Adherents of hillclimbing know that it’s a fantastic form of motorsport, where cars of all shapes, sizes and budgets compete. In Europe, hillclimbing has a very wide following and the top-level cars that one sees show a level of preparation that defies belief.
One such car is the Norma M20 campaigned by Castellana Racing. This French team has campaigned the locally made cars for several years now, and if Norma sounds like a car your mom would drive, you can stop laughing now because Castellana’s Norma M20 has won numerous races culminating in the French hillclimb championship.
The car is built around a chromoly chassis with a carbon fiber survival cell. Suspension is dual wishbone front and rear with inboard shocks and AP Racing brakes. Total length of the car is no more than 2.8 meters. With a fiberglass body, total weight is 600 kilos or around 1400 pounds. This particular car features a 400hp BMW M3-derived powerplant (type S50) mated to a Sadev 6-speed sequential transmission. Newer versions of the M20 feature an all-carbon chassis and optional Honda K20 engine with around 260 horsepower. Even with the smaller engine, power-to-weight ratio is already equivalent to a Ferrari F50.
Hillclimb courses are held on public roads, so imagine the skill a competitive driver needs to just keep a car from dropping off the side of a mountain or even hitting a guardrail. Check out the video that follows to see what we mean.