Hill Climb says goodbye to its King

Mauro Nesti, record holder of FIA European Hill Climb Championship titles, has passed away at the age of 78.
Mauro Nesti

His country, Italy, called him “il Re della Montagna” (King of the Mountain), and with good reason: Mauro Nesti is the most successful driver in the history of the FIA European Hill Climb Championship. Between the years 1975 and 1988, he achieved no less than nine European Championship titles, always at the wheel of two-seater prototypes, of the makes Lola and Osella. Naturally, he also left his mark on his national Championship, in which he won a staggering 17 titles. His name features nine times and fourteen times respectively on the list of winners of two events reputed to be the toughest in hill climb: Trento-Bondone (17 km) and Rieti-Terminillo (14 km).

Mauro Nesti began his sporting career in motorcycling in the 50s, before moving on to motor sport in the 60s. First driving on circuits, he turned to hill climb at the beginning of the 70s, achieving his first major victory in 1972 in one of the most renowned events, Cesana-Sestriere, at a time when the discipline still held the interest of the biggest car manufacturers. His career in hill climb extended over three decades. Although he retired from competition in the year 2000, his passion for hill climb remained intact, so much so that he decided to return to the driver’s seat of an Osella PA9/90 on the occasion of several historic competitions over the past few years.