Colorado Springs—-2018 Olympic figure skating bronze medalist Chris Knierim will be behind the wheel of the Official Pace Car for the 2018 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, on Sunday, June 24.
Knierim and his wife, Alexa Scimeca Knierim, captured the bronze medal in the team event in PyeongChang. In the pairs free skate, the Knierims became the first USA pair and the second pair in history to successfully perform a quad twist at the Olympic Winter Games.
“It’s a surreal honor to be selected as the Official Pace Car Driver for the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb,” said the Olympic star. “I say surreal because I can still remember the first couple of times that my Dad let me work on cars with him. In hindsight, I wasn’t doing much more than passing a wrench or holding a light, but it brought us closer together and also forged my love of cars at a very young age. There’s a part of me that still feels like that 10-year old Chris–the one that was holding the light is now leading the pack! It’s all wonderfully surreal.”
“It’s also an honor, and I say that because I understand and appreciate the history and heritage of this event. The 96th running–with 156 turns and nearly 5,000 feet of climbing–will undoubtedly be one for the ages, and I’m humbled to play a small part in such an iconic American sporting event,” added Knierim.
“Chris is the perfect choice to drive the Official Pace Car,” said PPIHC Executive Director Megan Leatham. “Colorado Springs is Olympic City USA, Chris and his wife train here, and the city has hosted this unique motorsport event since 1916.” Knierim enjoys working on cars and hopes to open his own auto shop. He graduated from Pikes Peak Community College in 2015 with an associate degree in diesel mechanics.
Acura returns to Pikes Peak, America’s Mountain for the seventh consecutive year with the all-new 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec selected as the Official Pace Car for the 96th running of the world’s most famous motorsport hill climb.
In addition to its pace car distinction, Acura will field multiple entries, ranging from production cars to full-fledged race car applications for the race. Competing vehicles include a production-based NSX race car, TLX V6 A-Spec, all-wheel drive TLX GT race car, and the all-new RDX A-Spec making its racing debut.
Acura will present the 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec, the first-ever Acura SUV available in sport appearance A-Spec trim. Sporting an all-new design, platform, and powertrain; the 2019 RDX is the first in a new generation of Acura vehicles and delivers top-of-class performance, a more spacious and luxurious cabin than ever before, and a host of premium technology and features. Designed, developed and manufactured in America, the new turbocharged RDX will go on sale mid-year as the quickest, best handling and most luxurious RDX yet.
“The all-new RDX represents the very definition of what Precision Crafted Performance means for the Acura brand,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura, “I can’t think of a more appropriate motorsport event for us to debut it than on Pikes Peak.”
Acura is a leading automotive luxury nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance, representing the original values of the Acura brand – a commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability.
The Acura lineup features six distinctive models – the RLX premium luxury sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the 5-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America’s all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV, and the next-generation, electrified NSX supercar as a pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance.
Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Superstar Rhys Millen returns for the 2018 Race to the Clouds in a Bentley Bentayga
Colorado Springs—Rhys Millen, one of the most celebrated drivers in the history of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, will be back at the start line for the 96th edition of the world famous race on June 24.
Millen will be behind the wheel of a 2017 Bentley Bentayga in the Pikes Peak Challenge Exhibition Class with five other drivers who will tackle the rugged course to the summit of 14,115-foot peak of America’s Mountain.
The two-time King of the Mountain has chalked up five overall titles, and multiple class wins on the mountain, beginning with his 1992 crown in the Pikes Peak Open Class, piloting a Mazda on his way to Rookie of the Year honors. He took the title last year in the rugged Time Attack 1 Class, driving his 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe and clocking 9:47.427.
Photo courtesy of Bentley
Millen made history in 2016, winning the Electric Modified crown in a ‘16 eO PP100, with a time of 8:57.118, joining Sebastien Loeb and Romain Dumas as the only three competitors to finish the course in under nine minutes.
The race-ready Bentayga, featuring an unmodified 600 bhp, 900 Nm (664 lb.ft) Bentley W12 engine, has been prepared by a special team in Bentley’s motorsport department in the UK.
The car has been built as close to production standard as possible, with minimal changes in accordance with PPIHC Production Class rules.
A full roll cage, on-board fire suppression system, racing seats and harnesses will support Millen’s assault on the mountain. Production tires will be supplied by Pirelli, and the auto will run with a custom exhaust system from Akrapovic, which also produced the bespoke exhaust for the Bentley Continental GT3-R motorsport-inspired model. In every other respect, including the air suspension with 48V electric active anti-roll control, the car will mirror the unmodified production Bentayga, the fastest SUV ever built.
“The opportunity to race with Bentley at Pikes Peak is one that I couldn’t pass up,” said Millen. “I visited the Bentley factory in Crewe, England, last month and was amazed at the level of skill that goes in to handcrafting these cars. I also had the chance to drive the race-prepared car for the first time and was blown away by the performance that’s already available. I’m really looking forward to preparing for the race, competing on the mountain with Bentley and hopefully establishing a new SUV marker.”
PPIHC Senior Media ConsultantKEEP READING
From the first race, an upset victory by Rea Lentz while driving a homemade car, to Sebastien Loeb’s record smashing run in 2013, “Race to the Clouds ™ 100 Years in the Making” is a 90-minute documentary film capturing the history of America’s second oldest auto race, the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The greatest challenge in motorsports for both man and machine, founded in 1916 by entrepreneur and philanthropist Spencer Penrose, has grown into an international event attracting the best drivers and riders from around the world.
“Race to the Clouds”™ features amazing historic footage and interviews with past Champions Bobby, Al, Al Jr., and Robby Unser, John Wells, David Donner, Greg Tracy, Paul Dallenbach, and many more.KEEP READING
Colorado Springs, CO: Inspired by the BMW Art Car collection and the brand’s racing history, Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs has partnered with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to invite design entries for the ultimate art wrap. The design will be highlighted on a BMW i8 Coupe and showcased as the official Pace Car of the Parade of Champions at the conclusion of the 96th Running of the Race to the Clouds on June 24, 2018.
It will be unveiled to the public on Friday, June 22, at Fan Fest in downtown Colorado Springs. Thereafter, the car will be displayed in the dealership’s showroom and at special events.
There will be $10,000 in prizes available, as well as a driving experience at the BMW Performance Center West in Thermal, California. The contest runs from March 1 until May 15.
“We’re really excited to be staging a contest that celebrates two of the things that make Colorado Springs so unique and special – the Arts and the Hill Climb. We’re looking forward to sharing the winning design at the Race to the Clouds and showcasing the vehicle at our dealership location thereafter,” notes Winslow BMW Managing Partner, Gregg Randolph.
The BMW Art Car collection itself represents mobile works of art celebrating the connection between art and technology – the world’s most outstanding artists, the Ultimate Driving Machine their canvas. And now – WRAPsody, an enthusiastic expression of excitement in contemporary art.
For full competition rules and prize information, including acceptable file formats for entry submission, visit www.winslowbmw.com
Additionally, watch for five BMWs in their racing stripes during the month of June in the Pikes Peak area. The BMWs will be used for the SMART Program (Special Mentor Assisted Road Training) whereby seasoned veterans of the Hill Climb work with rookies to ensure a safe race.
For more information about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, go to ppihc.org
About the BMW i8: The BMW i8 is part of BMW’s “i” brand focused solely on plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles. Since its debut in 2015, the BMW i8 has won several Green Car of the Year and International Engine of the Year awards, as well as Car of the Year and Performance Car of the Year honors. It’s the world’s best-selling plug-in hybrid sports car to date. For more information, go to www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/bmwi/bmw-i8.html
About Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs: Winslow BMW is a BMW Authorized new and pre-owned automobile dealer located at 5845 North Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80918. Locally owned and operated, it is BMW’s premier luxury car dealership in the Pikes Peak region, building lifelong relationships with its customers, providing growth opportunities for its employees, and investing in the success of its community.
Winslow BMW of Colorado Springs
La Junta Raceway in La Junta, Colorado would like to offer discounted pricing to this year’s PPIHC Competitors looking for additional testing and/or tuning time.
Track Prices and Details:
Weekday rental $350.00 per day.
Weekend rental $500.00 per day. (Subject to track availability)
(Rate is per team for one car, $100.00 each additional car. Same rates apply to additional teams that agree to share the track on the same day.)
Payment is due at the track upon arrival. Credit cards are NOT accepted at the track. No additional insurance is required for exclusive rental.
Camping at the track is permitted. RV hookup (electric only) is available at $25.00 per day.
A special hotel rate of $59.00 is offered at the Red Lion Hotel in La Junta, Colorado. Please mention the La Junta Raceway track discount for this rate.
Interested Competitors may contact Allan Lasater, Allan@lajuntaraceway.net, for booking and further information.KEEP READING
The 96th Running of the storied Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will spotlight notable competitors and exciting rookies
Colorado Springs, January 18—The 2018 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, will reward fans worldwide with a brilliant lineup of competitors on June 24 as America’s Mountain greets the 96th running of the world’s premier motorsport hill climb.
Drivers and riders from the United States, Romania, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Ireland, France, Japan, Italy, Australia, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Scotland, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Canada make up a field that will take on America’s most famous and challenging mountain highway.
“The fans of this historic race will really embrace the competitive field for the 96th Running of the Race to the Clouds,” said PPIHC Executive Director Megan Leatham. “We have many of the legends of the race on board along with a roster of rookies from the USA and many nations that will generate incredible interest.”
See the full list of competitors here:
Featured drivers include Pikes Peak superstars Clint Vahsholtz, a 23-time champion; Paul Dallenbach, returning after missing last year and seeking his 9th win; the veteran Layne Schranz, making a remarkable 25th appearance; David Schmidt II, a 25-time race veteran; and Spencer Steele with three victories during 17 consecutive years in the Race to the Clouds.
Dallenbach is 3-time Pikes Peak King of the Mountain (1993, 2003, 2004) and holds the all-time record in the Time Attack 1 class (9:46.001) set in 2013 behind the wheel of a Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
Schranz is a living legend of the race, like his father Randy, who competed on the Peak 40 times. Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Layne has made his home in Birmingham, Alabama since 2001. He began his Pikes Peak odyssey in 1993, racing a Suzuki 500 quad, but switched to autos in 1997 in the Super Stock Car class. He has three wins on the Peak in 24 years, most recently in the 2016 Pikes Peak Open Class, where he became a member of the PPIHC 9-Minute Club with his blistering 9:53.071 clocking. His dad won the same race in 2013 at 11:21.410.
Al Unser, Jr, of the legendary Unser family, comes home to the Peak for the first time since 1989. He claimed victory at the 1992 Indianapolis 500, the race famous for the fierce battle in the closing laps, as he held off second place Scott Goodyear for the victory by 0.043 seconds, the closest finish in Indy history. In winning, he became the first second-generation driver to win the Indy 500, following in the footsteps of his father, Al Unser, Sr. He also became the third member of the famous Unser family to win the race. “Little Al “ also won the 1994 Indy 500 with Penske Racing, joining his father Al Sr., and his uncle, Bobby, as winners of multiple 500s at Indy. He was tagged Pikes Peak King of the Mountain in 1983, taking the Open Wheel crown in his Wells Coyote Chevy.
Rookie Drivers Of Note
Davey Durelle, the most decorated motorcycle competitor in PPIHC history with 17 class victories, a 2016 Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame induction, and the current Pikes Peak record in the Pikes Peak Lightweight Division (10:35.354), heads a classy field of riders.
Chris Fillmore broke the motorcycle class record and won the Pikes Peak Heavyweight Motorcycle class during the 95th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last year as a rookie. His time for the record book was 9:49.625, with the former AMA Pro SuperBike rider, piloting a KTM 1290 Super Duke R to his monumental win. The previous Two- Wheel record was set by Carlin Dunne at 9:52.819 in 2012.
Codie Vahsholtz has three wins since his rookie debut in 2011 and set the record in the Pikes Peak Middleweight Division last summer with a blistering clocking of 10:34.967. He also set a record in the erstwhile Pikes Peak 250cc class (11:24.792) in 2013.
Greg Chicoine has five championships under his belt on the Peak in eight different divisions on Kawasaki motorcycles in 18 years, starting in 1998. He was runner up last year in the Pikes Peak Lightweight Division at 11:10.144.
Rookie Riders To Watch
The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, described by one writer, “as close to heaven as a thrill-seeker’s ride can be,” is an invitational automobile and motorcycle hill climb staged every year on the last Sunday of June. Inaugurated in 1916 by Spencer Penrose, the founder of the Broadmoor Hotel, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain and El Pomar Foundation, the classic race takes place on a 12.42 mile (19.99 km) public toll-road boasting 156 turns, while competitors climb 4,720 ft. (1,440 m.) from the 9,390 ft. (2,862 m.) Start Line at Mile 7 marker on the Pikes Peak Highway to the 14,115 ft. (4,300 m) Finish Line at the mountain’s picturesque summit.
2018 PPIHC FAN FEST, FRIDAY, JUNE 22
Held annually on the Friday before Race Day, Fan Fest presented by Budweiser and Toyo Tires is Colorado Springs’ largest and most popular street festival. More than 25,000 people gather in the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs to meet top PPIHC qualifiers, watch freestyle motocross jumpers perform in the middle of Tejon Street, taste and vote for the best chili from a Fire Fighter Chili Cook-off and experience much more during this 10-block street party. Named the Best Downtown Event by readers of The Gazette in its annual “Best of the Springs” awards,” Fan Fest is a can’t-miss experience.
For all 2018 race-related details, including ticket information, camping permits and Pikes Peak information, stay in touch at: www.ppihc.org.
Mike Moran firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Media Consultant
1631 Mesa Avenue, Suite E
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
(719) 338-9161KEEP READING
The deadline for all Request for Invitation applications for the 96th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Brought to you Gran Turismo is January 5, 2018 at 5:00pm MST. Before submitting a Request for Invitation, please review the below 2018 Registration Timeline.
Request for Invitation Timeline
October 2017 – Rule Book posted on PPIHC website
November 15, 2017 – 2018 PPIHC Request for Invitation Period Opens
January 5, 2018 – 2018 PPIHC Request for Invitation Period Closes
January 16, 2018 – Competitor Invitations issued for 2018 PPIHC
January 18, 2018 – 2018 Competitor List posted on PPIHC website
January 31, 2018 – Deadline for competitors to withdraw from the 2018 race, with a refund
April 16, 2018 – Deadline for waitlisted competitors to be added to the field
Click here to complete your Request for Invitation.KEEP READING