DAVID HACKL SPENDS A DECADE PURSUING PPIHC DREAM
Colorado Springs, CO – Since 1982 when John Buffum made the first run up Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain in an Audi Quattro, the marque has gained a massive following. Racing legends Michѐle Mouton, Bobby Unser and Walter Röhrl have each etched a course record on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain driving the popular Quattro.
In 2023, for the tenth time, David Hackl of Arvada, Colorado, entered his 1983 Audi Quattro in The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo. Hackl had his sights set on proving his Audi has what it takes to beat the Quattro time set by Röhrl in 1987 – 10:47.85, which, at the time, was a course record. However in 2018, David Rowe shaved four seconds off that time in his own Quattro, giving Hackl a new mark to shoot for – 10:43.960.
Quattro By the Numbers
1983 Audi Quattro
All Wheel Drive
Audi 2.5L Turbo
In 2012, Hackl first strapped in behind the wheel of his Quattro to challenge the 12.42 mile course in the Time Attack division but had to settle for a shortened course finish.
The following year he experienced all 156 turns as he crossed the finish line in 12:33.304 in a downpour.
As the 100th Anniversary of the first Race to the Clouds approached, Hackl was prepared, but the mountain decided a finish was not to be and he experienced his only DNF.
Redemption in 2017 saw Hackl once again at the summit with a time of 11:46.784, in the Time Attack division, an impressive gain of nearly 45 seconds.
Thirty seconds would drop from his overall clocking in 2018 for a finish time of 11:14.919.
The second shortened course finish would take place in 2019, with a third in 2021. Sandwiched between was 2020, the year of the pandemic, was a sixth place division finish for Hackl and another four second improvement on his time.
First Alcon Brakes No Holding Back Award Winner
“In 2021 we were the recipient of the Alcon Brakes No Holding Back award,” shared Hackl, recalling the 2021 award ceremony and receiving the product voucher from PPIHC Registrar and Board Member, Marla Wiseman. “It was a complete surprise and incredibly moving to receive this recognition from Alcon. An entirely new custom braking system package was modeled and built for our 1983 Audi Quattro by Alcon and the team at ProSystems. They all worked tirelessly to make this one-off custom package for our special car, and the control and confidence these brakes provide has been a game changer.”
Hackl entered the milestone 100th Running in 2022 but the excitement of seeing records set would have to wait as thick fog and cold, damp conditions plagued competitors. He finished 9th in Time Attack 1 in 11:44.109.
Switching to the Pikes Peak Open division in 2023, Hackl returned in the crowd pleasing Quattro and clocked his best time to date, 11:02.742, an 8th place finish.
Hackl’s dedication to the sport, to safe driving and to the Quattro, shows in the work he does beyond the race track. He is a founding member of Gruppe-Q.com, a premier core group of rally, race and performance drivers, instructors and professionals dedicated to the art, science and skill sets required for driving in adverse conditions. The Steamboat Winter Driving Ice Facility and Georgetown Lake, both located in Colorado, have been training grounds for many years for this popular curriculum.
As founder and acting president of QClubNorthAmerica, QClubNA.com, a 501(c)(3) organization established in 2007, Hackl explains, “We exist to offer vehicle owners, enthusiasts, corporate participants, and the public the opportunity to enjoy educational driving events and technical driving seminars around the country.”
Hackl’s effort to preserve history and showcase this legendary race car on one of the mountains that made it famous is remarkable. We’re looking forward to the next chapter of Audi on Pikes Peak.
GET TO KNOW DAVID HACKL
Three Things For Fans To Know:
“I grew up in Glenview, Illinois, but I have a lot of family in Bavaria – 64 second cousins to be more precise. Growing up in an American household in a 1st and 2nd generation family from Germany was really a wonderful upbringing. Lots of potato salad, beer, dancing and laughing, just enjoying life to its fullest. I got my first pair of lederhosen at age five!”
“My first job was as a lifeguard at age 13. I made $2.35 an hour!”
“I play piano, guitar and bass. The first band I was in, we named Kung Pao Kitty.”
Pikes Peak heroes? “Walter Röhrl, Michѐle Mouton, and our late hero Bobby Unser.”
Favorite section: “Brown Bush – when you hit that turn right it sets you up for the next major set of complexities, all the way to Glen Cove.”
Most challenging section: “The upper section…you can always push the limits to go faster but, there is potential price to pay if it goes wrong.”
Advice for a rookie racer on Pikes Peak?
“Layne Schranz said to me my first year in 2012, ‘Drive the road you know.’ I have passed this on to many others in years since. You don’t show up at Pikes Peak and ‘know’ the mountain. You have to study it, drive it, and build into it. The conditions change minute to minute, turn to turn, and is unlike any other venue you may have driven. Take your time. It isn’t so much a race as a journey. If you think you will make it and set new blazing times the first year, take a deep breath. Countless examples lay before us in carnage of cars and dreams. It is an evolution to try and master this mountain and most often the mountain replies back with a ‘No’.”
Good Luck Charms or Pre-Race Traditions?
“My wife Margaret gave me a lucky Irish thimble to carry in my pocket which is always with me at Pikes Peak. We also have some traditions with the team always having our own fresh coffee brewing, chocolate doughnuts (my weakness!) and fresh Bavarian pretzels on hand during race week.”
“Tough question but for winter it is an ’83 Audi Ur-Quattro for our ice driving events, a 1979 Tucker Sno-Cat to plow snow, and a Q5 diesel or an S4 to get around. Summer and fall might be a 911 or 930 on occasion.”
Favorite Track: “Nürburgring, an incredibly challenging experience for my first time there. In 1998, I made the annual visit to see family in Bavaria. I’d printed out all the turns and put them in a 3-ring binder. I convinced my cousin Mickey to ride shotgun and navigate in the Volvo S40 rental. We arrived super early and it was fogged in. Dozens of motorcyclists in full leathers were sitting there drinking espressos and smoking cigarettes. Race cars filled the parking lot waiting for the gate to open. The first turn was a free-for-all with bikes diving to the inside, getting passed by a husband and wife (with two kids in car seats) in a Passat wagon at 210 km/h. A few minutes later we passed a flipped over M3 with the driver standing outside in his shirt and tie, just taking a few laps before work most likely! It was surreal!”
Photos by: Larry Chen, Revvolution.com, Jason Zindroski, Louis Yio, PPIHC Archives.
Communications Manager / Historian