The Silverstone Race to the Sky is an annual automobile and motorcycle hillclimb to the summit of a mountain. The race has been held every year since 1998 on two days over the Easter weekend. Major international drivers compete to see who is the fastest to ascend the hill.


The race located at the Snow Farm ski area in the Cardrona Valley, a 45 minute drive from Queenstown, New Zealand and 20 minutes from Lake Wanaka. The hillclimb is held over a 14.5-kilometre (9.0 mi) gravel course, with an average gradient of 1:11. The 135 turn course climbs from 450 meters (1500 feet) above mean sea level to 1500 meters (5000 feet).[1][2]

The qualifying session for the race is held on Saturday. The race itself is held on Sunday. The top 10 fastest qualifiers race in the reverse order from tenth to first.


2007 may be the last year of the Race to the Sky. Event organiser Grant Aitken has given up the rights to the event to the Lee family in order to run the 2007 event. The Lee family were the former owners of the access road for Snow Farm resort, the route used for the event. Aitken noted several factors which led to his decision to surrender his right to run the event. They include marginal finances, changes to the tenure of the land used for the event, his team of helpers suffering burnout after a decade running the event, and the need to renew resource consents to continue with the event in the future. Aitken also had a troubled relationship with the Lee family who still own part of the access road. There was difficulty securing Silverstone as the title sponsor of the event, as Silverstone was signed for 2007 at the eleventh hour. The Lee family gives a 50 percent chance of the event running in 2008. The event would be more likely run in 2009 or 2010 if it does survive at all.[3] The event's official website was expired as of 14 October 2007.

Overall winners Edit

Year Driver Time
1998 Flag-of-japansmall Nobuhiro Tajima 8:13.60
1999 Flag-of-japansmall Nobuhiro Tajima 8:33.13
2000 Flag-of-japansmall Nobuhiro Tajima 8:40.91
2001 25px-Newzealand flag Possum Bourne 8:37.01
2002 25px-Newzealand flag Rod Millen 8:43.76
2003 Flag-of-japansmall Nobuhiro Tajima 8:10.02
2004 Flag-of-japansmall Nobuhiro Tajima 8:17.85
2005 Flag-of-japansmall Nobuhiro Tajima 8:10.8
2006 Flag-of-japansmall Nobuhiro Tajima 8:01.17
2007 Flag-of-japansmall Nobuhiro Tajima 8:03.95

Other notable competitorsEdit

Current classesEdit

The competitors are loosely divided into five groups: bikes; quads; cars; buggies and 4WD’s.

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