Extreme Hill Climb racing is one of the only motorsports where spectacular failures are celebrated.

It’s hard to look away while watching these formula off-road trucks and buggies rocket up near vertical dunes or dirt cliffs, spiking so much momentum that to lose traction and go airborne can sometimes only mean a combination of short flight, followed by a weightless hang, and then with any luck, contact with the earth once again in an upward sort of direction that under the correct circumstances will perch the truck and driver atop the hill for success.

Others are not quite so lucky, and for these drivers, a high speed tumble to the bottom is all they get. Some trucks break apart. Others catch fire. Mostly, the drivers come out unharmed, and do a little dance to prove it.

Such tumbles are part of the game, and most of the fun. They look like Hot Wheels trucks tossed across a sandbox.

The sport is broken up into three classes, with a trophy awarded for each. But this sport, as explained earlier, angles for the spectacle. For this reason, a “best in show” trophy is given for spectacular attempts and good saves. Rollovers do not earn trophies, but it seems they should, considering the crown reaction.

Extreme Hill Climb Racing is a timed event (hence, the racing), so getting it done faster than your opponent is important. Getting it done, however, means a little more than just making it to the top; drivers need to pass all of the necessary gates or flag markers positioned along the hill. There are points given for each gate passed, but subtracted for things such as stopping on the track, touching a gate with one, two, or three wheels, reversing direction, and inadvertently destroying the track.

A 2015 race was held in Liwa, in the United Arab Emirates. Souped up Nissans with roll cages and Arabic characters painted on their bumpers roared up the 393-foot Moreeb Dune at a 50 degree climb. The sport has been gaining traction on an international level for many years.

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