FLINTSTONE MD – Bob Gardner, one of the East Coast’s most formidable hill climb competitors in his sleek 2006 Stohr DSR sports racer, sat only third overall by the end of Saturday at the 2019 Polish Mountain Hill Climb – trailing rival Brian Fritzler and rising star Mark Aubele by over three seconds.
Unphased by a weekend marked by drivers struggling with a deteriorating surface on the historic Gilpin Road course, the Newark Delaware based veteran calmly saved his best for last on Sunday. Gardner nailed down his second career Polish Mountain Fast Time of the Day crown with a breathtaking 54.337 second pass, reaching an event-best top speed of 114 mph at Turn 6 on that final run up the 1.2-mile course.
Aubele’s outrageous American V8-powered BMW M3 was second at 54.912, half a second behind Gardner but fast enough to set a new hill record in the SMX class. Saturday leader Fritzler, multiple Polish Mountain FTD winner, ended third overall – .25 seconds behind Aubele.
Other notable drives into the Top Ten included King of the Hammers racer Erik Miller’s impressive run into 9th place overall in his Custom Miller-Pro Chassis rock crawler and Dave Stoner’s thunderous attack at 10th place in his SSM class-winning C5 Corvette.
Standout class battles included Matt Huffman’s RX-8, setting the DSP class record over Jason Fraley’s Audi A3, Matt Philips upsetting Chris Carlisle in a battle of SAM-class Honda Civics and a tight finish in F Production that saw Hunter Huffman’s CRX Si squeeze by Chrystal Whisler’s Neon by a scant .08 seconds.
Formula V results were also close, as Dillon Axarlis’s 1984 Womer EV1 nipped John Pittman’s 1997 Caracal CR by half a second.
NEWS AND NOTES: 80 racers competed. The Saturday corn was amazing. Saturday and Sunday were dry. Event organizers have already set meetings with local officials to expedite SHA paving on Gilpin Road.
More information is available on Facebook by searching Polish Mountain Hill Climb.