2014.12.28 MH hill climb 12 copy

While the Hakone Turnpike is usually enjoyed by slow-driving families catching a glimpse of the natural beauty of the area’s mountainous landscape, some Japanese drifting enthusiasts last month turned a portion of the public toll road into a white-knuckle race to the top.

Shutting down the two-lane road, the drivers zoomed through the windy (and thankfully empty) roads, reaching speeds that would land normal citizens a pretty hefty fine. It may not be the first time a high-performance car has been seen on Japanese roads, but it’s pretty amazing that the Ministry of Transportation would approve this flashy display of speed, horsepower and roaring engines.

Motorhead, a Japanese magazine for automotive addicts, held the event called “MH Hill Climb” in mid-November, right in the middle of peak fall foliage season in Hakone. The magazine worked with turnpike authorities to shut down a 14 km stretch of the road for the day-long race. Besides having sole access to the turnpike for the day, the drivers would also apparently be exempt from speed limits and other Japanese road laws.

▼ This driver is taking full advantage of being able to disregard the 80 km/h speed limit on Japanese highways

2014.12.28 MH hill climb 4 copyImage: YouTube (japanmotorhead)

▼ Drivers would, however, still be required to pay all tolls

2014.12.28 MH hill climb 2 copyImage: YouTube (japanmotorhead)

The race itself was 7.5 km long and the start and finish lines had an elevation difference of 516 meters (1,693 feet). The expert Japanese drivers who took part in the race told the magazine that while they may have briefly considered the twisty Hakone road a “dangerous” place to drift and reach speeds several times the legal limit, they all said it was one of the most fun and thrilling experiences of their lives.

▼ Drifting through a closed-off public road that winds up one of Japan’s most beautiful mountains? Of course that’s going to be fun.

2014.12.28 MH hill climb 12 copyImage: YouTube (japanmotorhead)

The details of the race, such as top speeds, times and the g-force each driver endured, were published in the magazine’s most recent issue, released on December 26. The editor-in-chief of the magazine said that the inspiration behind the event was the fact that Japan has some fantastic roads and drivers should be able to take advantage of them. The magazine is hoping to organize more – legal and well-organised – races in the future using some of the “amazing” Japanese public roads.

Check out the video below of the government-sanctioned hill climb!

Video: YouTube (japanmotorhead)

Source: livedoor news
Feature Image: YouTube (japanmotorhead)