The 2022 Motorsport Australia State Championship season officially gets underway this weekend with Victoria and Tasmania both hosting state-level events.
Like most years, the EZIUP AND GO Motorsport Australia Victorian Hillclimb Championship will be one of the first to begin with the iconic Rob Roy Hillclimb to have the honour of holding the opening round once again.
With seven rounds making up the Victorian Hillclimb Championship in 2022, the MG Car Club of Victoria-run season opener will welcome 87 entries to the fold.
Although there are less competitors taking part compared to recent years, the entry list is just as strong with the likes of David Mahon, Mike Barker, Mirko Grbic all confirmed to line up.
Taking place on Sunday, the event will see competitors spread across 26 classes, with entrants to get up to four runs of the famous 700 metre course in a bid to start their 2022 hill climb campaign on a high.
Assistant Clerk of Course Richard Collett was looking forward to the hill climb, which will serve as the last major event before the course undergoes a significant transformation.
“I think it’s a good start to the year as people use the event to shake off the cobwebs and begin their 2022 campaigns,” Collett said.
“Everyone is excited to get back out there and we’re lucky with really good weather conditions as there is no rain forecast and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be too hot.
“We’re a bit down on numbers, but it’s not so bad as 105 is our absolute limit and people are obviously still a bit worried about the current COVID situation in the state.
“The plan is to have a minimum of three runs, but it depends on how the day goes, although we’re confident we will get four runs as there are under 90 competitors.
“There isn’t a date set just yet, but the course surface is going to get a new layer of asphalt in the coming months, so this weekend will be the last major event before that happens.”
Competition begins at 9am AEDT with gates open from 8:30am. Tickets begin at $10 per individual or $20 per carload.
Also taking place on Sunday is the opening round of the Motorsport Australia Tasmanian Motorkhana Championship.
Held at Symmons Plains Raceway, around 30 drivers will compete in the round and will compete across two runs on five tests – four of which will be forward-run, while one will be run in reverse.
Headlining the entry list will be reigning champion Stephen Turner, while Damian Midgley, Paul Lendvay, Stefan Lendvay and Craig Large will all be looking to start their year off strong.
Clerk of Course, Robin Wilmot was looking forward to the weekend.
“Having 30 competitors is a good result,” Wilmot said.
“Even though we’re not making too much money due to discounted rates, it’s more about giving people the opportunity to compete at state level for the love of the sport.
“We held the first-round last year and it was at Baskerville on gravel, but it wasn’t that well received, so we mixed it up and went for a sealed surface now – which we will do again later in the year.
“There are six junior drivers, one of which is a young girl, while we have a further three women competing, so there is some good diversity too.”
The opening round of the 2022 Motorsport Australia Tasmanian Motorkhana Championship takes place at Symmons Plains on Sunday 16 January.