One for your scrapbook--http://www.grahamstar.com/articles/2012/06/28/community/doc4feca5c3075c6557387513.txt
Hill Climb brings in crowd of 2,000
By Zelerie Rose Thursday, June 28, 2012 1:49 PM CDT
Early figures indicate around 2,000 spectators traveled out to Maple Springs last weekend to watch the second SCCA Chasing the Dragon Hill Climb.
The 2.2-mile course drew drivers from all across the United States to compete in what is becoming a main attraction in the county.
Starting with the Friday night party on Main Street, locals and visitors alike had the opportunity to meet and greet the various drivers, and examine the many types of cars racing in the event.
“The drivers really enjoyed meeting everyone on Friday night, and signing autographs for the kids,” said Ted Theodore, SCCA event manager. “Many of the drivers and workers liked it here so much they said they would be coming back in the near future for some relaxing time with their families.” The weather couldn’t have been better for the event. Sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s kept everyone in high spirits.
“We think the event was a great success,” Theodore said. “Our drivers were thrilled with the challenge of the road, the beauty of the Nantahala forest, the hospitality of Graham County, and the level of competition in all racing classes.”
The fastest woman for the weekend was Chris Moore from Florida in Triumph TR6 with a time of 1:39.231. The fastest man for the weekend was a gentleman originally from Finland. Heikki Rinta-Koski won the event with a time of 1:16.336 in a Locost 7. The trophies were awarded by the SCCA Dragon and Ms. Black Knight, McCall Anderson.
The best part of the weekend is that everyone made it through the event safely. There were two minor incidents involving the cars, but no one was hurt.
“All the drivers stayed safe, they just scratched up their cars a little,” Theodore said. “The guard rails and earth walls make the Dragon the safest hill climb site in the United States.”
Three high school students participated as junior crew chiefs in the hill climb. Willie Adams, Colby Adams and Jessie Evans were able to get hands on experience with the teams and cars.
“This was a great experience for the students, and Ted, as well as the drivers, were wonderful to work with,” said Dale Wiggins, automotive technology teacher at the high school.
“Jessie worked with the BMW team, Colby was with the Saab team, and Willie worked with the Mazda team. They checked tire pressures, wiring, took panels on and off, and a variety of other activities they’d learned in the classroom. We’ll be a lot more involved with the fall hill climb, and will have several more students participating. It is a great learning experience for them.”
The next hill climb is scheduled for Sept. 29 and 30. Theodore extends thanks to everyone who makes the hill climbs possible.
“I’d like to give special thanks to John and Valerie Fiel from the chamber, Cheri Brantley from Graham County tourism, Lauren Stull and Terinda Whisenant from the U.S. Forest Service, and the Ditmore brothers for all their help,” Thedore said. “And to all of the local businesses that stepped up to help sponsor our event and cars, our drivers were so pleased to represent you. Thank you so much for everything.”