DEREK BOYD AND HIS MITSUBISHI EVO X CONTINUE TO CHALLENGE PIKES PEAK
Colorado Springs, CO – On June 23, an elite field of 74 drivers will set their sights on conquering the 14,115′ summit of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain in The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo. Among the returning veteran competitors is Derek Boyd, a Colorado native who now makes his home in North Carolina. Boyd, who has raced this 12.42 mile course for 10 years has entered his proven 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X in the Unlimited division in 2024.
A Decade on the Mountain
In 2014, Boyd’s initial appearance on the mountain in the Time Attack 1 division was a success. He clocked an 11:40.786, for a 10th place division finish.
Boyd bettered that time in 2016 when he took place in the milestone 100th Anniversary of this famous hill climb. Despite a car fire during practice, he was able to compete and, remarkably, shaved 43 seconds off his previous time to finish 5th in the Time Attack division.
Storms on the Horizon
In 2017, Boyd was plagued by car issues and couldn’t make his race day run. His 2018 run would be over a weather-shortened course. Returning with high hopes in 2019, Boyd would settle for a disappointing DNF. Before the 2020 event, he shared, “It’s been a rough past few years. I never know what to expect from Pikes Peak – it’s an unpredictable and sometimes hostile force.”
Better Luck in 2020
Despite a global pandemic, Boyd returned to his home state to compete in the 2020 Race to the Clouds. A quiet course and calm atmosphere awaited as spectators were not allowed to attend. He raced to the top in 10:11.446 for second place in the Unlimited division. This was the first year Boyd chose to compete in this high-powered division, moving from his previous Time Attack 1 attempts.
Weather Ruled in 2021
For the second time in the history of this race, all competitors would run a shortened course. After a sunny and warm week of practice, temperatures plummeted as the pits were being set up on Saturday. By morning, a thick layer of ice coated the last several miles of the course and the decision was made to move the finish line down the mountain. Boyd finished 4th among the Unlimited competitors.
As 2022’s 100th Running of the iconic hill climb approached, Boyd was eager to make his mark in the history books as he strapped in behind the wheel. Once again, the mountain had other plans and although drivers would be able to race to the summit, the foggy, cold, wet conditions made it even more treacherous. Boyd’s performance would earn him second place in the Unlimited division with a 10:43.511.
Clocking a Personal Best
Redemption came for Boyd in the 101st Running in 2023. He clocked a personal best time of 10:03.367 for a fifth place finish in the Unlimited division. Boyd remarked after completing his run, “I felt pretty good about most of it. It was denying downshift, so I kinda had to roll through in a higher gear than I wanted to in some spots, but we had nitrous to help us out today.”
At the Mercy of the Mountain
Boyd’s preparations for the 2024 race are well under way. He explained, “Overall, the Evo X is going to be the same, just more refined. We are replacing the front splitter and are confident that by refining our air shifting system and suspension settings we will finally display the Evo’s full potential and break into the 9-minute realm. All of this, of course, is dependent upon the mercy of the mountain.
GET TO KNOW DEREK BOYD
“I absolutely love playing golf!”
“Cooking is one of my favorite activities – preparing a meal, pork green chili or baking cookies. Outside of cookies, I don’t bake much, but I am most proud of the wedding cake I baked in 2020 for my own wedding. That was the first, and likely the last, 3-tiered cake I will bake. It was especially difficult to complete in a one bedroom apartment!”
“I work in our family business, Halona Farms, as an indoor gourmet mushroom farmer.”
Favorite memory? “It was a very rainy test morning with rain at the start and snow at Double Cut and my first time racing on rain tires. Driving on the rainy, snowy road in the early morning was such an experience! I was even more adrenaline-fueled by my very foggy windshield. Anti-fog did not work, and the car has no defrost, so the visibility degraded rapidly on each run with my heavy breathing fogging up the windshield. The adrenaline, fear and isolation in the driver’s seat made for a unique peace and clarity. Driving nearly blind in very slippery conditions helped bolster my confidence by having the mountain dedicated to memory. The mountain was so peaceful, yet terrifying at the same time.”
Any superstitions or good luck charms? “If I forget to turn on my GoPro, usually something bad or interesting happens!”
Favorite Track: “Road Atlanta will always be very special because of the elevation changes and rhythm. It is an absolute blast to drive.”
If you could race any car up Pikes Peak, what would it be? “If cost and logistics were not an issue, I’d love to drive any Formula 1 car up the mountain.”
Photos by: Rob Miskowitch, Revvolution,com, Larry Chen, Charles Zhao, Luis Garcia, Leif Bergerson, Louis Yio
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