Gorjanci Hill-Climb Race 2019

The Past and the Present of the Gorjanci Hill-Climb Race

The first automobile hill-climb race in Slovenia was in Gorjanci in 1969. In 2019, we are celebrating two milestones 50 years from first hill climb race and 30 edition of the hill climb race on Gorjanci.

The Gorjanci Hill-Climb Car Race is considered to be the cradle of this kind of motor sport on the Slovenian roads. It was first organized already in 1969, when the route was 6.8 km (3.7 miles) long and supported by the IMV, a domestic automobile company. Two years later, when the route was shortened for 400 meters, the race was already listed on the car caring calendar as the first national hill-climb championship in Yugoslavia. The last championship took place in 1972. A year later, the road racing in Slovenia was prohibited due to tragic events in Kamnik and Škofja Loka. The race in Gorjanci disappeared from the scene for many years, but was revived again in the early nineties, as a national championship contest of the new, independent state of Slovenia. These were the most spectacular moments in the history of the race, also thanks to strong international participation. However, after 2008 the race again disappeared from the calendar, but fortunately only for two years – it was revived again in 2011. From 2012, the organization has been taken over by a new organizer AŠD SA-I.

The race route has undergone several changes. Originally the route led from Novo mesto across the Gorjanci Hills to Metlika. The most obvious changes were in terms of length; the original 6.8 km (3.7 miles) have repeatedly been cut down. Furthermore, the roads have also been improved. This aspect of the competition has long been the most commonly criticized one. But already last year, some significant road improvements were made. In Dolenjska, the region where this race takes place, are doing their best to repair the roads as fast as possible. This means wider, smoother and safer roads, which plays a significant role already for normal traffic, let alone for the competition! Also the service areas have improved; not long ago, the boxes were positioned on a humble parking lot in front of an inn along the road. Today, the boxes are positioned on a big parking lot suitable for trucks. The only thing missing is the asphalt, otherwise conditions would be perfect. An important aspect is also the position of the boxes which are situated directly at the start, which is rather an exception than a rule with hill-climb races.

Many celebrated drivers from the former Yugoslavia and also from abroad participated in the Gorjanci Hill-Climb Race. Surely those with slightly more distant racing memories still recall the names like Dušan Djaniš, Aleš Pušnik, Dušan Kermavner, Alojz Pavlič, Drago Regvart, Mladen Gluhak, Jovica Palikovič, Robert Lang. A few years later, Stojan Pirjevec, Slavko Dekleva, Matjaž Tomlje, Mišel Zupančič and several others impressed the spectators. More recent names of the race are Samo Valant, Igor Dekleva, Milan Bubnič, Vladimir Stanković and among foreign competitors Jaroslav Krajči, Walter Leitgeb, Herman Waldy, Marietta Nalon, etc.