LET 'EM RIP: Classic Ford Escort Mk1 in action from previous Noosa Hill Climb, Gyndier Drive, Tewantin.
LET 'EM RIP: Classic Ford Escort Mk1 in action from previous Noosa Hill Climb, Gyndier Drive, Tewantin. Iain Curry

In for one Hill of a fast climb up a winding road

NOOSA racing driver Lloyd Robertson is no stranger to entertaining crowds, and this weekend will be no different as he powers his 1963 Indy 500-winning replica race car up the Noosa Hill Climb.

As founder and driver for the Holden Precision Driving Team for almost 40 years, Lloyd has demonstrated his driving prowess to tens of millions of spectators all across Australia.

The now-retired local has continued his showman career by expertly campaigning his open-wheel Watson Indy Roadster up the Hill Climb's Gyndier Drive twice each year, and at impressive speeds too.

Although his V8-power Indy car may not be ideally suited to the 1.5km twisty Noosa Hill Climb track, Lloyd still loves the challenge of powering and occasionally power-sliding his racer through the unforgiving 14-turns.

"It's such a unique car and still brings me great pleasure," he said.

"It's a handful compared to a modern car, but I drive it accordingly and it's great fun."

While Lloyd is one of dozens of local drivers competing this weekend, the Noosa Hill Climb has always attracted drivers from further afield.

Headlining this year is reigning Bathurst 1000 champion Luke Youlden, who will be doing high performance demonstration runs in a brand new $150,000 Audi RS4 Avant, capable of hitting 100kmh in 4.1-seconds.

Noosa Hill Climb Chairperson Bruce Anderson said securing Youlden was a huge boost for this weekend's two-day event.

"Luke will do demonstration runs, some spectator rides and he'll be around to meet fans, have a chat and sign autographs."

Houlden is a supporter of the Drive Against Depression charity, which uses cars and driving to raise awareness surrounding mental health.

The Noosa Hill Climb is helping Drive Against Depression and the Sunshine Coast Prostate Cancer Support Group promote their causes this year.

Bruce said this year's event welcomed two new local sponsors - Nationwide Realty and Brooklands Restorations - but the cars are the real stars, and some 140 racers have registered for the weekend.

An open pit lane also gives spectators the chance to see the racing cars up close and talk to drivers as they wait for their next run.

Racing starts at 8.30am on Saturday and Sunday June 9 and 10, with tickets available at the gate each day.

Access to the start and main pit area is from the bottom of Gyndier Dr off Coory-NoosaRd.


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