ROMANIA’S ANDREI MITRASCA
MAKES THIRD PIKES PEAK RUN
WITH NEW BUILD
Colorado Springs, CO – The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, has been welcoming competitors from around the world for decades. For the third time, Andrei Mitrasca traveled from Oradea, Romania to Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, a journey which took him nearly halfway around the globe.
Making his rookie debut in the Time Attack 2 division in 2014 behind the wheel of his diesel-powered 2005 SEAT Ibiza Cupra TDI, Mitrasca finished in 7th place with a time of 16:16.014, far short of the diesel record at that time of 14:03.320 set in 2007 by John Hamilton in a 2000 Volkswagen Golf TDi.
He pointed out, “Pikes Peak is the most important hill climb race in the world, and being the first Romanian to ever race here is very special. Someday I want to be on a Pikes Peak podium or break a record.”
Recalling his first year on the mountain, Mitrasca said, “It is simply amazing how much support I received from people like Steve Goeglein who welcomed me into his house like I was his friend from the first time he met me.”
Hoping to better his time the following year, he returned in a 2013 SEAT Ibiza to run in the Time Attack 1 division, however, as often happens on the mountain, the weather was uncooperative and 44 competitors, including Mitrasca, were forced to run a shortened course.
Since 2015, Mitrasca has been busy building driving skills and stepping up to the podium at races in many countries including the 2015 championship in the Romanian Logan Cup, a 2017 front-wheel-drive record at Mt. Washington, and 1st place in A class in Mexico’s 2018 San Pedro Martir Hill Climb.
Prepping for the Big Day
Mitrasca was back on the mountain in 2023 with a 2014 Apexocet – a Chevrolet-powered V8, rear wheel drive, 1750 pound machine entered in the Open Wheel division. He shared, “Richard Tomlin trusted me with his car, no contracts, no pressure, only moral and very good technical support.”
After nearly a week of practice sessions beginning at dawn, and his qualifying time set, Mitrasca named his goals for the race. “I just want to reach the finish line and put in a competitive time. I’m targeting a sub-11-minute run.”
Reaching the Top
Surpassing his goal, finishing fourth in the Open Wheel division, and placing 20th overall, with a time of 10:26.697, Mitrasca was thrilled, “It was amazing to reach the summit in a competitive car! I knew I had the car to go below 10 minutes, but it was way too important to reach the finish line to risk anything.”
Mitrasca elaborated, “I know I can be faster but, for the moment, I am just happy to prove I deserve to be among the drivers accepted to race this year.”
Asked about sponsorship this year, Mitrasca exclaimed, “How unlikely is it to receive sponsorships from a few people in Romania without asking? I thought I was going to pay almost everything myself by going into debt, but Ralph from Dosco Petroservices, and my good friend, Bogdan Toma, among others, really stepped in and made me look like a professional racing driver. I don’t know when, but I will be back!”
GET TO KNOW ANDREI MITRASCA
Three Things For Fans To Know:
“Pikes Peak gave me the chance to know how the authentic Americans are. Passionate, curious, hardworking, generous.”
“Racing saved my life. It gave me the chance to be proud and taught me how to deal with sacrifice, patience, fulfilment, and disappointment. It is the most important thing I’ve done in my life.”
“My favorite music is blues. Especially if there is a slide guitar involved.”
Any Pikes Peak heroes? “Steve Goeglein, Jeff Zwart, Sebastien Loeb”
Favorite Corner: “Elk Park. It is flat out and you see only the sky in front of you.”
What makes the PPIHC different than racing anywhere else? “A lot of things. The fact that you race only once on the entire course, and the change in the weather – multiple times between start and finish and between practice runs, the variety of divisions, the length of the course, almost 20km (12.42 miles), and of course the altitude.”
What keeps you coming back? “When I will be 70 or maybe 80 years old I will look back and I will be able to say ‘I did a few things in my life that I can be proud of.’ I don’t think there is anybody who raced at Pikes Peak and thought he wasted his/her life.”
Favorite Track: “Mt. Washington where I still hold the FWD record.”
Communications Manager / Historian