Berjaya Hill Climb – Climbing to success

Published on October 14th, 2009

It might not have been Pike’s Peak but the sexcitement generated at the recently concluded JPM Berjaya Hills Time Challenge 2009 might as well have been from the slopes of the acclaimed hill-climb challenge.

After a lapse of 30 years, a proper hill-climb challenge infested with the who’s-who of automotive exotica was just the right thing to celebrate a year of accomplishments in motorsports for the country.

There’s no route to a satisfying hill-climb other than with a properly laid out route and rightly so the event was held over at the Berjaya Hills Colmar Tropicale Resort at Bukit Tinggi. However, unlike its Race to the Clouds counterpart, the JPM Berjaya Hills Time Challenge 2009 wasn’t based on the fastest time but instead it was held in line with the rulings of golf. Yes, that sport-retired people play trying to hit a ball into a hole.

A time handicap was the order of the day that saw the drivers striving to cross the finish line in a time that was closest to a pre-determined time of their choice based on the speed category chosen.

Confusing indeed, so here’s a practical example to wrap your noggin around. After the free practice session, the driver gets to choose a speed category from the three available ( and then gets to guesstimate a time that he or she will finish in. The actual time that the driver posts will be calculated to within a percentage of the pre-determined time and the driver with the closest time to their pre-determined time will win.

The course itself is an approximately 8km long road that will be closed off to traffic for the run. Participants will be required to do a downhill and uphill run for the challenge.

So in actuality, the fastest time doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the winner but instead the driver with the time that came the closest to the pre-determined time will be receiving the handshakes at the end of the night.

No head-to-head contest, no ego-busting and thrash-talking at the end of it (not like there was, the camaraderie amongst the contestants was awesome), just good old pure unadultered driving for a fight by men and his machines against nobody but themselves.

Whilst passing the time awaiting their turn on the course, a slalom competition called the Forest-One Time Attack was held simultaneously for the participants.

Over 100 exoticas and super cars were on hand that day, officially making it the biggest super car gathering in the country. Every class had a rep on hand, Ferrari and Lamborghini held the exotica flag high, Porsche and Aston Martin did the super cars proud while BMW ensured the conti’s weren’t left out. Lotus too had a big group on hand while a number of Impreza’s, GTR’s, Evo’s and S2000’s gave them a run for their money. Perhaps a bit misplaced but definitely not outpaced, a Bentley Flying Spur did the run too but minus the chauffeur in the driver’s seat. We’re pretty sure the owner was putting it through its glorious paces this time around.

A number of uber exotics made a cameo as well in the form of an R8 and classic but timeless Countach. In a tribute to the yesteryear of the old hill climb challenges, a classic car category was opened as well that saw Ferrari Dino’s and Jaguar E-Type’s schooling the people on how it was done in the olden days.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though as a Z4M and GTR encountered some mishaps along the route, making their acquaintances with the gravel and railings.

words: Dinesh Appavu  pix: Dinesh Appavu & Azdee Amir


  1. Posted by oreedo on October 14th, 2009, 11:56

    nice…. love the mountain pass…. god bless MY


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