FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 4, 2023
BEHIND THE WHEEL
COLORADO SPRINGS RACER GEORGE HESS III AND HIS DRIVE TO GIVE BACK
Colorado Springs, CO – The 101st Running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, presents 70 drivers from around the world and across the USA on June 25. Veteran competitor, George Hess, III will be back behind the wheel in his 2020 Porsche GT4 Clubsport in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama division.
Photo by Larry Chen Photo – Luis Garcia
Hess first challenged the 12.42-mile course in 1976 in the 250cc Sportsman Motorcycle division finishing sixth on his Can-Am 250. He eventually returned to racing on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain in 2018, this time on four wheels when he entered the Time Attack 1 division. He was back in 2019, in the spec Porsche division but his late-day starting time relegated him to running a weather-shortened course.
Photo by Larry Chen Photo – Luis Garcia
In 2020 Hess ran his fastest time, and claimed a second place division finish with a time of 11:06.789 in the same Porsche-based division. Blake “Bilko” Williams finished first, while Kathryn Mead, 2020 Rookie of the Year, took third.
Hess was similarly disappointed in 2022 when a flat tire during his race day run took him out of the competition.
Preparing for another run at the summit in 2023, Hess is back in his #744.
With his unique approach to sponsorship, Hess draws phenomenal support for his racing effort. A self-funded driver, all sponsorship monies raised are directed to charities through HBA Cares,a non-profit arm of the Homebuilders Association. “All the names on this car did not sponsor me, but instead made a contribution to HBA Cares, with the bulk of the money directed to the Ingram Guest House at St. Francis Hospital,” shared Hess. “More than $100,000 in donations to date have been collected through race sponsorship.”
Photo by: Larry Chen Photo – Louis Yio
Asked who helped him get here this year, Hess is quick to reply, “Fred Veitch, Roger Lovell, Travis Smith, Jerry Novak, Ted Thurber, Josh Peterson, Matt Scheffe, Mike Finkbiner and, of course, my wife, Barbie Hess. I am really blessed to be able to do this and have friends, family and an industry that supports what we do the way they do.”
Hess also shared his thoughts on what makes racing at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb different than racing anywhere else, “Where else could George Hess be pitted next to Romain Dumas?”
Photo by Larry Chen
Get to Know George Hess III:
Pikes Peak Heroes – The local racers like David Donner, Fred Veitch and many others who encouraged me to participate.
Favorite corner – Gotta be George’s Corner!
Most challenging section – The top. There are four blind lefts that are fast. It’s so fast up there and the road changes from day to day.
Favorite Track: COTA – Circuit of the Americas
They say I’m the oldest driver this year!
A while back, a friend and I won the team roping at the El Paso County Fair.
My goals for 2023 – Be competitive, be safe and have a doughnut at the top!
I call my car “Dorothy” after my mother.
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 six race divisions feature a wide variety of vehicles – from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles. The current race record was set in 2018 by Romain Dumas and Volkswagen in the all-electric I.D. R Pikes Peak – 07:57.148.