Subtitled ‘the fastest show on gravel on New Zealand’s highest public road’. Hayden Paddon’s, Ben Nevis Station – Golden 1200 Hillclimb is set to return in 2022 for its second biannual running.
First run in 2020, the event is based out of the Nevis Valley nestled above Cromwell. Starting at the bottom of the valley, competitors race alongside the Nevis River before beginning the climb the Nevis Road, and finishing at on the best spectator vantage points in the world; the Golden Grandstand. From here, spectators are treated to a view of almost 3 km of the total 3.6 km course.
Paddon commented “There are some fantastic specialist gravel events running across the country, but for me the Golden 1200 is a spectator and competitors’ delight. The spectating, road and surrounding scenery are a great showcase of what Central Otago has to offer and is really a world away from the world.”
The event is expected to reach a full field at 80 entrants. Paddon is the first to confirm his participation in ‘Ed’, the 700 horsepower Hyundai i20 hill climb monster. In addition, more big names have also expressed interest in lining up at the start on Waitangi weekend (including some international competitors if travel restrictions allow).
In 2020, the Nevis Road hosted a stacked field with Sloan Cox, Job and Dave Quantock, and Tony Quinn in the Unlimited 4WD class along with numerous others. The 2022 edition looks to see even more high horsepower specialist cars competing along with a variety of cars including 2WD, classics and crosscars.
Though the 2020 running was a huge success, 2022 will see some dramatic changes to improve the experience for all onsite.
“Learning from our first attempt, the organising team have evaluated some weak points and provided solutions to improve. Though I can’t say too much currently, our marketing team is set to roll out details over the next few months. It will be a much better spectator experience; and best of all, it’s free. That is something I am committed to personally, helping grow the sport to the public.”
The event will be run over February 5/6th 2022, with two days of racing on the iconic Nevis Road. Interested entrants are encouraged to fill the intent to enter form via the below link.
Media release by Jack Smith, Paddon Rallysport