Slaying the Giants Despair Hillclimb

LAUREL RUN — All sorts of race cars will take to the Giants Despair Hillclimb in Laurel Run near Wilkes-Barre.

The event got its start way back in 1906, making it one of the country’s oldest hill climbs.  The single-seater cars will race against the clock one by one. They’ll start at the bottom of Northampton Street, and power up the twisty, mile-long course.

Only a few hay bails and guide rails protect the cars from flying off course. 

Six-time king of the hill champion and current record holder Darryl Danko made it to the top in 2007 in just over 38 seconds, a record he hopes to beat.

“Devil`s Elbow is always a fun place. That`s one of the hardest parts of the course it`s cut back off camber. Usually a lot of action there we see spins and most accidents that happen on the hill,” said Danko.

The cars come in all shapes and sizes.

“Yeah, Busch Grand National car with a Chevy 383 stroker. How fun is this? Oh it`s fun. I retired and haven`t raced in five years! First time back,” said Larry Simpson from Laurel Run.

“There`s a lot of the fans in the area that have seen this car for some time and other cars that they root for and they get really excited about some of the variety of vehicles that are allowed to run here,” said John Hartnett, who drives a home-built custom-made car.

The event will last all day long on Saturday and Sunday. Action begins at 9 a.m. and runs through the afternoon until 5 p.m.



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