Against a picturesque backdrop of Mont Blanc and the Dents du Midi, our humble mountain village of Villars - inhabiting just 5,000 residents - has a star-studded and illustrious motorsport history, dating back to 1953 when the Ollon-Villars hill climb was first founded.

Over the past seven decades - since the Le Mans tragedy in 1955, when Switzerland banned all forms of circuit racing - Villars has been at the forefront of the country’s motorsport culture. It has attracted a plethora of World Championship Formula One drivers, who have not only raced here but who have resided and enjoyed great times too. Some racing legends still call Villars ‘home’ to this day.

In 1962, the ‘Club International des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1’ was founded here by Louis Chiron, Juan Manuel Fangio, Franco Comotti, Giuseppe Farina, Paul Frere, Albert Divo, Toulo de Graffenreid and Yves-Giraud Cabantous. This expanded rapidly with great success, becoming the well-known Formula 1 Grand Prix Drivers Club we recognise today.

One lesser-known event of the ‘60s and ’70s in Villars was the Festival de Neiges; a thrilling winter sports festival that was attended by the likes of Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, and Sir Jackie Stewart. It was an event that saw F1 drivers and petrolheads take to the snowy slopes to race Meyers Manx beach buggies, Skidoos, and skijorns for an undeniably cool adrenaline fix.

Despite only taking place between 1953 and 1971, the Ollon-Villars still remains one the best-known European hillclimbs, challenging many famous names such as Derek Bell and Jim Clark.

Happily situated overlooking the Rhône valley and under 10 kilometres southeast of Lac Leman, the hillclimb ran from the town of Ollon at 400 metres to Villars-sur-Ollon and Chesières at 1208 metres, passing through the village of Huémoz along the way.

During the ’60s the surrounding woods and vineyards echoed regularly to the sound of racing, and after the recent quiet lull we will once again fire up our exciting machinery, bringing back nostalgia and creating new motoring memories in our magnificent surroundings.

Villars Motorsport History

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First Swiss Grand Prix in the City of Bern


The Ollon-Villars hill climb is founded


Switzerland bans circuit racing following the Le Mans Disaster


Club International des Anciens Pilotes de Grand Prix F1 is founded by Chiron, Fangio, Comotti, Farina, Frere, Divo, Graffenreid and Cabantous. Pictured together here in Villars


Motorcycles and Sidecars are allowed to enter the hillclimb


Jim Clark races the Ollon-Villars Hill Climb in an Lotus-Ford 38


The winter sports Festival de Neiges Villars is founded


Peter Schetty wins in a Ferrari 212 E Montagna setting the course record at the Ollon-Villars Hill Climb


François Cevert set the last record in a Tecno F2 with a time of 3’47”05


Villars Palace reopens


ACV was founded