FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Thursday, June 30, 2022
100TH RUNNING OF THE PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB
WET WEATHER DIDN’T STOP THE RACE OR DAMPEN SPECTATOR ENTHUSIASM
ROLLOVER AT ENGINEERS DOES NOT STOP LEVI SHIRLEY
ROBIN SHUTE NOW 3-TIME KING OF THE MOUNTAIN
Colorado Springs, CO – The summit of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain was covered in snow and shrouded in clouds for the 100th Running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo. Gates opened at 2:30am for the sold-out event to thousands of fans undeterred by cold, wet conditions.
Pre-race activities began with a breathtaking rendition of “America the Beautiful”, originally penned by Katharine Lee Bates to commemorate her visit to the now-famous mountain in 1895, followed by the National Anthem, performed by Carly Simpson. Drivers were briefed on course conditions and given final reminders from race officials. Wisconsin’s Don Wickstrum, “Fastest Pastor,” a competitor and a pastor, offered the invocation and the 100th Running of the Race to the Clouds was about to begin.
Renée Brinkerhoff of Valkyrie Racing piloted the 2022 Official Pace Car, a bright yellow 2022 Acura NSX Type S that was visible to fans along the course despite the foggy setting. With mixed road conditions but no ice on the course all competitors now had the opportunity to race toward the checkered flag at the 14,115-foot summit. Although full course runs were possible, the extremely limited visibility and slick surface would extinguish all hope for a record-setting pace.
The Exhibition division’s 14 drivers lined up behind Blake Fuller who would take the initial green flag to start the day’s competition. Topping the division was David Donner (Colorado Springs, CO) behind the wheel of a 2022 Porsche Turbo S, the first of four drivers to win sporting the prestigious badge, with a time of 10:34.053.
Onboard footage of Levi Shirley’s (Dodge City, KS) 81 Ultra4 racer bombarded the internet as the infamous Engineers Corner caught Shirley by surprise. Shirley rolled his vehicle once, landed perfected on all fours and proceeded out of the ditch unfazed to complete his first race to the clouds. While unofficial, Shirley now holds the record for fastest car to roll and finish the 12.42 mile course.
The one-make Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama division followed with Cam Ingram (Durham, NC) stepping to the top of the podium in just his second race at Pikes Peak after posting quick time in his 2020 Porsche GT4 Clubsport with a time of 11:22.691. Fourth-generation Pikes Peak royalty and Pikes Peak rookie, Loni Unser, chased Ingram to capture second. During Thursday’s practice session, Unser crashed at Cog Cut, coming to rest on the mountain railway’s track. Her dedicated crew and committed sponsors rebuilt the car allowing Unser to take a green flag on race day and capture second place in her division.
The remaining competitors ran in order of their qualifying times with the 2021 King of the Mountain, Robin Shute (Lomitas, CA), representing the United Kingdom, leading the pack. Shute’s incredibly quick qualifying time of 3:24.519 beat the fastest internal combustion engine qualifying time, set by former record holder Sébastien Loeb back in 2013. Throughout race week, it did not take long to realize Shute was competing on another level. Behind the wheel of his 2018 Wolf TSC-FS, Shute would repeat his overall win earning a third King of the Mountain crown with a time of 10:09.525 in the Unlimited division, twenty-five seconds faster than the closest competitor. One can only imagine his time if the mountain presented ideal racing conditions on Sunday.
Newcomer, Henry Hill (Cedar City, UT), also behind the wheel of a Wolf, the 2021 Wolf GB08 F1 Extreme, claimed Rookie of the Year honors for scoring the fastest time of the twelve first-timers on the mountain in 11:36.502.
Alcon Brakes presented the No Holding Back award to Andy Kingsley (Buena Vista, CO) for a competitor who has overcome challenges and persevered to reach the checkered flag on race day. Jonathan Edwards of Alcon Brakes shared, “It’s remarkable to see these local racers competing against factory teams. We chose Andy to receive this $10,000 product award since we see his dedication to coming back year after year, basically as a one-man show, with grease under his fingernails, as crew and driver. He’s making this happen and Alcon wants to help elevate his vehicle to the next level.”
In the Brumos Racing red, white and blue livery, David Donohue (West Chester, PA) stood out among the field of twenty drivers from six countries in the Time Attack 1 division capturing the win in a 2019 Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport in 10:35.830. Donohue dominated the division throughout “Peak Week” setting the quickest trial times in all three sections of the course.
The Open Wheel division was a battle of drivers from Colorado. Codie Vahsholtz (Woodland Park, CO), 2021 Rookie of the Year, laid down the fourth fastest time of the day winning his division in 10:38.259. In only his second year competing on four wheels, Codie is an Open Wheel champion.
Paul Dallenbach (Basalt, CO), inducted to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Fame at the Road to 100 Reception earlier in the week, placed second in the division in a new entry, but still sporting the #98, a 2020 Sierra Alpha.
Rhys Millen (San Juan Capistrano, CA) triumphed in the Pikes Peak Open division driving the 2016 E-Motion Porsche GT3R TT with a time of 10:52.664. Millen etched his fourteenth division win into the record books when he shared the victory with his father, Rod, 5-time King of the Mountain and Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Famer. The senior Millen ran his 20th race on America’s Mountain in the same Toyota Tacoma he piloted to win overall in 1998 and 1999. The legendary driver and iconic racecar were fan favorites all week.
As the final car reached the summit, BMW Performance Center driver, Matt Mullins, in a custom M5 Competition prepared to lead the competitors back down the course in the Parade of Champions. Spectators lined sections of the course for the unique opportunity to high-five the winners, shout their congratulations and snap pictures of their favorite drivers.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb extends sincere gratitude to all involved with the 100th Running of the Race to the Clouds as well as to all who made it possible for the iconic race to reach this milestone year. From the loyal spectators to race officials, safety teams, volunteers, media, competitors, sponsors and everyone behind the scenes, thank you for your continued support and passion for this motorsport spectacle on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. Here’s to the next 100 years.
ABOUT THE PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB
First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds is held annually on the last Sunday of June on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile (20 km) course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet (1,440 m), and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet (4,302 m) above sea level. The PPIHC’s automobile categories feature a wide variety of vehicles representing multiple forms of motorsport; everything from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles take on America’s Mountain pursuing victory.
Photo Credit: Larry Chen Photography, Louis Yio, Luis Garcia, Jason Zindroski
Event Coordinator / Media / Historian