Mirko Gribic has become the first non open-wheel driver to win a round in the 2019 Up and Go CAMS Victorian Hill Climb Championship after a brilliant performance over the weekend.
More than 75 cars competed in the Championship’s fifth round at the Ararat Car Club hosted event at its One Tree Hill course, as Gribic claimed the victory with an incredible run of 39.91 seconds.
The Mitsubishi Evo pilot dominated the event, finishing more than three seconds ahead of the next best driver in Glen Latter, as well as only requiring four attempts to post his fastest time.
Gribic’s time also made him just the third person in the history of the course to break the 40-second mark, further highlighting his sensational weekend behind the wheel.
The battle for second place was a lot closer as Latter had his hands full with James Callahan and David Harris, but by the end of the event, Latter’s 42.94-second penultimate run was enough to secure a runner-up finish.
Throughout the middle stages of the event, Callahan had led the trio and occupied second place, but the Evo driver was unable to break the 43-second mark like Latter and had to settle for third place with a time of 43.19 seconds, more than a second ahead of David Harris.
Rounding out the top five was Steve Grinstead and his Holden Commodore with a time of 45.27 seconds.
While each of the top five drivers each secured a different class win, some of the main talking points came in the Female and Junior classes as a mother and daughter team won their respective classes.
Coming in at 25th outright with a competitive time of 49.36 seconds, Tania Langcake took home the fastest female honours in her Subaru WRX Impreza, while her daughter Chloe ended the day as the fastest junior in the same car.
Despite none of the Championship’s big names being part of the round, vice-president Christopher Harwood was thrilled with the success of the hill climb, as well as Gribic’s performance.
“We are really happy with the way the event ran and it was a great to see a number of new faces on the class podiums,” Harwood said.
“A big congratulations to Mirko for his victory and his time - It’s very rare that we have a new driver break the 40 second mark, so to see it again this weekend was fantastic.
“As always, a big thank you to all the officials who volunteered their time to put on the hill climb, as well as all the drivers for putting on a good show for the attending spectators.”
The next round of the Up and Go CAMS Victorian Hill Climb Championship will be at the State Motorcycle Complex in Broadford on 31 August.