NUNO CAETANO TRAVELS FROM PORTUGAL TO COMPETE IN NEW DIVISION PIKES PEAK GT4 TROPHY BY YOKOHAMA

Colorado Springs, CO – The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, draws top competitors from across the USA and around the world. Drivers from 11 nations have been invited to compete in the 102nd Running of the Race to the Clouds on June 23. Among the European competitors is returning driver, Nuno Caetano of Portugal who strapped in behind the wheel for the first time in 2023 in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama division.

Plenty of Racing Experience

Caetano is a very accomplished motorcycle road racer competing multiple times at the Isle of Man TT, the Macau Grand Prix and other international venues. In 2016, he announced his retirement from motorcycle road racing and made a transition to auto racing. Since then, his racing highlights include:

2022 Portuguese National Rally Championship – Winner, Rally de Portugal

2021 Portuguese National Rally Championship – Winner, Rali Vinho Madeira

2019 Portuguese Hill Climbing Championship – 3rd place

Caetano shared, “I’m proud of the fact that I could transition to car racing later in life, and become proficient at sprint and endurance circuit racing, rallying and hill climbing.”

Portugal to the Peak

“It’s not easy to come across the ocean to do this,” Caetano stated, talking about what it takes to tackle Pikes Peak from across the globe. He credited his sponsors and partners with helping him make the journey. “If it weren’t for Jason Newcombe, Travis Smith from Pinnacle, Branden Peterson and Cory, I wouldn’t have been at Pikes Peak in ’23.”

An early morning practice session during race week welcomed Caetano to the mountain with a spectacular sunrise showcasing a sea of clouds below.

Porsche Performance

Sharing expectations from his rookie year versus his actual result, Caetano pointed out, “It vastly exceeded my expectations to be honest. I just went in literally to get up to the top in one piece. Things just started falling into place which was great.” He continued, “I was not meant to be in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama group, but the original car I was supposed to run had some issues. Travis at Pinnacle Motorsports was great to quickly change to the Porsche Cayman that we eventually ran which was absolutely faultless. Having Jeff Zwart as a coach helped immensely and the sector times started to gradually come down. I would be lying, though, if I said that come race day I was expecting to place!”

Preparing
Pushing
Persevering

While Caetano described the atmosphere at the Start Line in 2023 as, “A lot of people, a lot of tension, a lot of emotion, and a lot of expectation,” he was able to call on years of racing experience to settle into his racing rhythm. Caetano finished second in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama division in his 2020 Porsche Cayman Clubsport with a time of 10:50.741.

2024

As Caetano and his team prepare for this summer’s race on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, he explains what he’s most looking forward to, “Just building up experience really. I’m staying with Pinnacle Motorsports with a Porsche Cayman GT4 RS which feels like the natural progression to consolidate and build on last year’s experience.”

GET TO KNOW NUNO CAETANO

Fun Facts:

“I commute to work from Lisbon to London every week where I work as a fund and money manager.”

“I love diving, golfing, tennis and, more recently, I’ve added tow-in surfing along with boat and jet-ski racing.”

“I love most Portuguese cuisine. If I had to point to a specific dish I would say a simple ‘Pasteis de bacalhau com arroz de tomate’ (Salt Cod Fritters with Tomato Rice).”

Any Pikes Peak heroes? Ari Vatanen. I mean, that video! Absolutely crazy, slipping and sliding everywhere, using one hand to block the sun while on full opposite lock. I got to meet him a couple years back. He’s an extremely cool person overall and one of the best hands at any wheel that I’ve ever seen.”

Advice for PPIHC Rookies: My best advice is to take small steps forward. Practice as much as you can through the testing days, and don’t rush. Run a reliable package that you can just turn around and take back up. Get a season pass for the Peak and go up every day you can to soak up all the intricacies and visuals of the course. Not knowing exactly where you are on the track, or what’s coming up ahead, that’s what can get you in real trouble.”

Favorite Track? “The two that immediately spring to mind are the Mountain course in the Isle of Man, and the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The first because many moons ago I was an accomplished bike racer and ran in the Isle of Man TT for a good number of years. I’ll just say the lap is 37.7 miles long and average speed exceed 125mph.

The Nordschleife was an equally intense (albeit brief) passion. I got to the point of taking residency in Germany for a while to practice there as much as I could. Ultimately it got a bit wild on public days, and expensive on private ones, so it gradually faded on me.”

WATCH CAETANO’S 2024 POST-RACE SUMMIT INTERVIEW AND ONBOARD FOOTAGE

Photos by: Larry Chen, Charles Zhao, Luis Garcia, Nuno Caetano

ABOUT THE COLORADO SPRINGS AIRPORT

The Colorado Springs Airport provides a travel experience that prioritizes friendliness, safety, and comfort. Enjoy the speed and convenience of a small airport with options on daily nonstop flights and hundreds of connections worldwide. COS is committed to delivering exceptional service and a warm welcome to all our passengers, making your journey memorable from start to finish. For more information visit FlyCOS.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.­ Your adventure begins here at the Colorado Springs Airport.

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org

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.

Another Celebration

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

Fun Facts:

“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.”

CHECK OUT DEREK BOYD’S PPIHC 2023 SUMMIT INTERVIEW AND ON-BOARD FOOTAGE

Photos by: Rob Miskowitch, Revvolution,com, Larry Chen, Charles Zhao, Luis Garcia, Leif Bergerson, Louis Yio

ABOUT THE COLORADO SPRINGS AIRPORT

The Colorado Springs Airport provides a travel experience that prioritizes friendliness, safety, and comfort. Enjoy the speed and convenience of a small airport with options on daily nonstop flights and hundreds of connections worldwide. COS is committed to delivering exceptional service and a warm welcome to all our passengers, making your journey memorable from start to finish. For more information visit FlyCOS.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.­ Your adventure begins here at the Colorado Springs Airport.

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org

COLORADO’S JIMMY FORD ENTERS FORD MUSTANG ON PIKES PEAK

Colorado Springs, CO – A field of 74 drivers has been announced for the 102nd Running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, and the talent pool from Colorado which includes veteran competitor, Jimmy Ford, runs deep.

Jimmy will make his third run toward the 14,115′ summit on June 23, 2024 in the Pikes Peak Open division behind the wheel of a new entry, a 2017 Ford Mustang.

Jimmy’s first racing endeavors began at the age of seven racing dirt bikes and quarter midgets. He was eventually named Quarter Midget Rookie of the Year and had a Top 3 Grand National finish.

He has raced in Track Attack events at Pikes Peak International Raceway, and traveled to the Leadfoot Festival in New Zealand where he was awarded a Top 10 Best of Show. Since 2006, he has been a regular in the Colorado Hill Climb Association series where he won the Sportsman Class Championship in 2023.

Generations of Grassroots Racing

Jimmy has many ties to the history of this famous race. In his rookie assault on the mountain in 2022, at the milestone 100th Running, Jimmy brought his Ford Bronco with its Hall of Fame heritage. Originally built by John Wells for Leonard Vahsholtz, both men PPIHC Hall of Famers, the Bronco won on Pikes Peak in the mid-1990s. Not only that, Jimmy’s father, Jim, who heads up his crew, also raced on Pikes Peak in the early 1990s. Pair that with support and expertise from veteran PPIHC stock car winner, Joel Newcomer, and the depth of experience on Jimmy’s team is impressive.

Jimmy’s father, Jim Ford, Sr, (pictured) raced on Pikes Peak in 1993 in the Stock Car division, finishing 10th in his #7 Pontiac in 13:33.25. That same year, Leonard Vahsholtz claimed the win in the Stock Car division, setting a division record of 11:47.28 in his 1990 Ford Probe.

Joel Newcomer has known the Ford family for many years. As a PPIHC rookie in 1976, Newcomer embraced the Stock Car division and competed for more than a decade. He notched a division win in 1980 in his Chevy Monza 355, setting a division record of 12:57.33. The #84 race car (pictured in 1994), was John Day’s Buick Skylark which both Newcomer and Ralph Bruning raced in the Stock Car division in the 1990s.

When asked what’s changed on Pikes Peak since he was a competitor, Newcomer thoughtfully replied, “The course itself has changed. Everything is a lot faster now with the course paved. You need better brakes, more aero, and quicker steering than we had back in the day.” He continued, “But, the thing that hasn’t changed is how the people work together. All the drivers, including the top drivers, are willing to help anyone and offer their advice.”

Fords with their Fords

Presenting their Ford Bronco “Bronczilla” for the first time at 2022’s Technical Inspection, Jim Ford (pictured below) maneuvers the vehicle into line with son, Jimmy, behind the wheel for the pre-race examination.

Jimmy later shared, “My rookie year on Pikes Peak started really fast. I leaned on veterans of the mountain to help prepare the team. We entered with hopes of reaching the top on race day, but being from Colorado Springs, I knew anything could happen.”

“Testing sessions and practice week exceeded our expectations with favorable weather except on the crucial day – race day. Visibility was low due to fog at the Start Line, then somewhat clear in the middle section, but sleet was coming down on the top section. Despite the challenging conditions, we lined up confidently.”

 

“A fellow driver believed my dirt racing background and the loose conditions favored me for a top-three finish in my class. The road conditions were loose, but I enjoyed it, pushing through Halfway Picnic Grounds. As I approached the 11-mile water station, the engine’s pitch changed, and suddenly, everything went silent except for the rear diff turning. I quickly shifted to neutral, realizing the engine had seized. Coasting out of the race line, I knew our chances of reaching the top were gone with a broken connecting rod.”

Returning in 2023, the sun was shining, the crowds were cheering and the new engine, built by Leonard Vahsholtz, was performing well as Jimmy raced toward the summit.

Jimmy crossed the finishing line for the first time in 2023, finishing 4th in the Pikes Peak Open division with a time of 10:07.261 what he described as “an unparalleled feeling.”

As one of the Fast 15 Qualifiers in 2023, Jimmy was recognized at the post-race awards ceremony for his achievement by PPIHC’s event manager, Alex Urban.

Taking it to the Next Level

Veteran racer and car owner, Joel Newcomer, described the 2024 entry and what makes the Mustang well suited to race on Pikes Peak, “This car was built at Mosport in Canada. It’s raced at Sebring and Daytona. It was designed for high speed road racing with aero built into the car that’s adjustable for the rough section at the top of the mountain. We’re looking forward to seeing how the Roush Yates Engine performs, too. It’s already done really well in early test sessions.”

GET TO KNOW JIMMY FORD

Fun Facts:

“The first car I ever bought was a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am T-top. I’ve made a few minor modifications, but mostly it’s stock.”

“I love Mexican food. I can eat it for every meal. And, my favorite restaurant is 511 Rose in Georgetown, Colorado. The ambiance and the owners are amazing, with some of the best food!”

“I have a pair of infamous bright orange socks I wear on Race Day as my lucky socks.”

What do you most look forward to during Race Week? “Throughout the week new challenges and issues arise. Fixing them and putting them behind you or dealing with what you have to and moving forward as a small race team is something you look back on and feel proud of accomplishing.

Fan Fest is another amazing part of the week, where you see tons of people who share the same passion for motorsports as you do, and it’s unmatched. This event brings in family and friends from all over the country to support our team’s efforts.

Overall, race day is my favorite, getting up early in the morning, prepping the car, knowing that anything can happen and change your hopes for the event.”

Best advice from your dad: “Smooth is fast, keep it on the road, and remember, good sportsmanship goes a long way.”

Favorite section? “11-Mile water station is my favorite part of the course. As you approach the first of its three corners, it seems tighter than it is. Holding through the initial turn is crucial for maintaining momentum. There’s a bit of tension, but as it tightens, you carry that momentum through the next two lefts. I enjoy the force and challenge of nailing the apex to seamlessly connect them all, aiming for a smooth corner and a powerful exit.”

Most challenging section? The most challenging action on the course is through Boulder Park on up to Cog Cut. It is very bumpy and high speed which takes commitment when the bumps are throwing you all around. Even though it is my least favorite I can certainly say I look forward to clearing this section on race day.”

Advice for a rookie on Pikes Peak? “Connect with seasoned racers who’ve tackled it for years. Their deep familiarity with the terrain allows them to guide you on optimal racing lines and ensure your car’s performance on race day. The mountain community is welcoming, eager to share advice and support newcomers, as they’ve navigated the challenges as rookies themselves.

Additionally, invest time in watching in-car videos, yours and others. This not only exposes you to diverse driving techniques but also helps you understand the car’s feedback throughout the entire journey, enhancing your preparation.” 

CHECK OUT JIMMY FORD’S SUMMIT INTERVIEW IN 2023 AS HE RECAPS HIS RUN

Photos by: Larry Chen, Charles Zhao, Luis Garcia, Jason Zindroski, Joel Newcomer, Jimmy Ford, PPIHC Archives

ABOUT THE COLORADO SPRINGS AIRPORT

The Colorado Springs Airport provides a travel experience that prioritizes friendliness, safety, and comfort. Enjoy the speed and convenience of a small airport with options on daily nonstop flights and hundreds of connections worldwide. COS is committed to delivering exceptional service and a warm welcome to all our passengers, making your journey memorable from start to finish. For more information visit FlyCOS.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.­ Your adventure begins here at the Colorado Springs Airport.

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org

HALL OF FAME EDITION

RANDY SCHRANZ CHALLENGED THE MOUNTAIN FOR 40 YEARS

Colorado Springs, CO – As The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo gears up for the 102nd Running of the second oldest auto race in America, it is an opportune time to reflect on drivers who have made significant contributions to the success of the event. Race fans who have followed PPIHC drivers for years need look no further than the name Randy Schranz, a member of the PPIHC Hall of Fame.

Schranz, a Colorado Springs local, has challenged the mountain more times than anyone else – 40 years. Schranz may not be a King of the Mountain, but is certainly a friend of the mountain. They’ve spent a lot of time together. Schranz knows the mountain, the road, the weather, and the wildlife. He’s seen the course change from the dusty, gravel-slinging, rooster tail days, to a fully paved course with sections of guard rail. He’s familiar with the blinding early morning glare in the upper section on practice days. He knows the 156 turns like the back of his hand.

As a Spectator

Randy Schranz has been a fixture on Pikes Peak annually since he witnessed his first race in 1960, the year after he arrived in Colorado. He loved watching it and dreamed of racing through the 156 turns. Whether viewing the race, working on cars, showing cars or driving them, Schranz had found his passion. A car enthusiast from an early age, he joined a local car club, Stockers, in 1965 and is currently its oldest active member.

Schranz is seated, second from the left, with club members in a 1970 photo.

As a Crew Chief

Following his years as a spectator, Schranz would be asked to serve as crew chief for Marv Youngman in 1966. “He was my boss, the sales manager at Doenges-Long Ford. He had raced Pikes Peak in 1963 so he had a little experience but wanted to do it again,” explained Schranz. “He talked the dealership into giving him a brand new 1966 Ford Fairlane. We put a new 427 motor in it and took third place.”

As a Driver

When asked about his earliest days on Pikes Peak, Schranz recalled, “They had just started offering a Production Truck class, and I had been doing some offroad racing, so I thought I’d try it.” Schranz shared a little of the backstory of his first attempt on the mountain. “I had rolled the Bronco at Las Animas earlier that year. Then, I entered the Hill Climb and rolled it on Pikes Peak the first day of practice at Elk Park. It wasn’t a good start! The problem wasn’t a flat tire or a mechanical issue, it was just me over driving it. Well, that settled me down pretty quick!” Despite a rough beginning, Schranz conquered the mountain, claiming his first win in his rookie year with a time of 14:33.40.

Schranz began his stock car days in the mid-1970s in a Dodge Challenger, the inspiration behind the teams moniker, Challenger Racing. This car is near and dear to Schranz’s heart as he has completely restored it and still enjoys getting behind the wheel.

He continued to compete in the Stock Car division through 1997. His race cars included Dodge, Ford and Chevrolet. Schranz drove this Chevrolet Lumina in 1991 to an 8th place finish in 13:24.53.

In 1996, a clocking of 12:36.25 landed Schranz on the podium in third place behind Clint Vahsholtz and Roger Warden in the Stock Car division.

The following year, another Schranz would take on the division. Randy’s son, Layne, would carve out his own legacy on Pikes Peak as a competitor and race chaplain.

Randy hadn’t planned to race in 1998. He was at Tech Inspection helping Layne with his entry when Ray Robinson approached him and asked if he wanted to drive his 1998 Chevy S-10 in the Super Stock Truck division. Randy quickly changed gears and did compete in the #34 truck, a rare departure from his iconic #17.

As an Innovator

In 1999, Schranz broke the long-standing record for a propane powered vehicle, driving his Chevy Lumina stock car to the summit in 12:48.23 but, his era of advancing propane technology on Pikes Peak had just begun.

The following year, Challenger Racing built a 1966 Cobra kit car, once again, powered by propane, to compete in the Exhibition division. Schranz would go on to set a fuel record that still stands, and compete in the car for over 10 years in its propane configuration. During his last decade of competition on America’s Mountain, Schranz demonstrated consistent performance, set standards and exhibited the strength of propane as a power source.

As a Father and Mentor

In 2013, Randy and Layne celebrated together, taking first and second, respectively, in the Pikes Peak Open division. The elder Schranz clocked an 11:21.41 for the win, while Layne’s time in the Chevy Monte Carlo was 11:29.245.

Well-Deserved Honors

In his 40-year racing career on Pikes Peak, Schranz captured ten class wins and stood on the podium 19 times. He championed the use of propane as a racing fuel. He shared his love of the mountain, his knowledge of the course and his remarkable memory of race history with so many. As an event sponsor, providing towing services for well over a decade, Schranz was also known for his generosity. These achievements created a legacy worthy of his Hall of Fame status. Schranz was inducted to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Fame in June, 2018, and the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame in October, 2018.

GET TO KNOW HALL OF FAMER – RANDY SCHRANZ

Fun Facts:

“They used to give the pace car away to a ticket holder after the race…and tickets were only $2.00! My dad worked for Doenges-Long Ford (now Phil Long Ford) who provided the pace car in 1962. Well, the guy who won it had six kids, so a convertible wasn’t practical. He asked the dealership for a station wagon instead, so my dad bought the convertible! We still have and drive that ’62 Ford Galaxie.”

“We were asked to drive that pace car in a parade for Peggy Fleming when she won the Olympic gold medal in 1968. Although she didn’t ride in the car, we did have three of our Stockers car club beauty queens in the back, including my wife, Pati.”

“We always loved going to the Pancake Breakfast in Manitou Springs after qualifying. We’d all drive our race cars down Ute Pass.”

Favorite section? “For some reason, I always enjoyed driving the Ws, but I never thought I was very good at it!”

Most challenging section? The top. It’s so fast up there.”

If you could race any car up Pikes Peak, what would it be? “I always wanted to drive a sprint car – an old, front-engine sprinter.”

Advice for a rookie on Pikes Peak? “No matter how good you are at oval track or road racing, even though Pikes Peak is now paved, it can still bite you when you’re not expecting it. You’ve got to respect it.”  

Photos by: PPIHC Archives, Rob Miskowitch, Paul Kolinski, Schranz Family

ABOUT THE COLORADO SPRINGS AIRPORT

The Colorado Springs Airport provides a travel experience that prioritizes friendliness, safety, and comfort. Enjoy the speed and convenience of a small airport with options on daily nonstop flights and hundreds of connections worldwide. COS is committed to delivering exceptional service and a warm welcome to all our passengers, making your journey memorable from start to finish. For more information visit FlyCOS.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.­ Your adventure begins here at the Colorado Springs Airport.

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org

LUCY BLOCK IN SIERRA ECHO HONORS LATE HUSBAND KEN IN PIKES PEAK HILL CLIMB

Colorado Springs, CO – The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo welcomed the family, friends and fans of the late Ken Block, the driving force behind the Hoonigan brand, a rally racer, and marketing genius.

Ken made his rookie run on Pikes Peak in 2005 racing in the Rally Group N class alongside co-driver Alex Gelsomino. The duo finished 5th in class.

Ken returned in 2022 for the 100th Running of the iconic hill climb presenting the Hoonipigasus, a BBi-built Porsche 911, 1400hp, twin turbo, all wheel drive beast. Despite an engine failure during practice and no race day run, Block planned to return in 2023 in the pink-liveried Porsche. Sadly, he was killed in a snowmobile accident in Utah in January, 2023.

While Ken’s passing left a giant hole in the motorsports world, it wasn’t long before plans were being put in motion to honor his remarkable life and career, and add to the family’s success, including a 2023 PPIHC race entry.

Ken’s wife, Lucy Block, a first-time racer on Pikes Peak, teamed up with PPIHC veteran Cole Powelson to drive an electric-powered 2024 SIERRA ECHO Block Edition by Hypercraft in the Unlimited division. Her number #430 was a nod to Ken’s own #43.

Rally Passion

Lucy made her rally racing debut at the Middle Cog Rally in Colorado in 2009. She has raced more than 30 rallies thus far in her career. In 2022 she raced her first full American Rally Association season.

She continued to run in the ARA series in 2023 with a familiar face on board as her co-driver, Alex Gelsomino.

Prepping and Practicing

Technical Inspection kicked off race week where early morning practice sessions on different sections of the mountain help drivers memorize the course and experience current conditions. Lucy’s effort, with advise from Powelson, improved daily.

43 Institute

Established in memory of Ken Block, 43 Institute was created to carry on his greatest legacy: creating paths of opportunity for the exceptionally driven who may lack the proper support system for growth and success. Whether it’s brand-building, pursuing action sports or a motorsports career, it was part of Ken’s DNA to support those who chased their passion with their whole heart and soul. The Institute provides grants and support to make dreams come true.

Support for the Block family was prevalent all of Race Week and especially at Fan Fest, the pre-race street festival in downtown Colorado Springs. Hundreds of fans lined up to meet Lucy and Lia, get an autograph and purchase their merch to benefit the Institute. On top of massive fan support, Mobil 1 showed great commitment by donating more than $68,000 to Ken’s foundation.

Mobil 1 Presentation
Autograph signing at Fan Fest

Racing and Remembering

As Lucy awaited the green flag, a steady stream of well-wishers shared memories of Ken and encouraging words, including her daughter Lia.

Lucy put in a solid run up the 12.42 mile course clocking a finish time of 11:25.315, a 10th place division finish. The only thing remaining on her mind was 16-year old Lia and her tribute run in Ken’s #43 Hoonipigasus, who was making her way through the 156 turns as the last car on the course.

When asked how she felt when she and Lia were reunited at the 14,115′ summit of Pikes Peak, Lucy shared, “Definitely a feeling of relief and then, of course, sadness that we were missing the person we were there for.”

It’s safe to say Ken Block was in the heart of every competitor on race day. The support shown, love spoken and tears shed following the race were all part of the remarkable celebration honoring him.

“It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey and how you get there.” Ken Block

Q & A WITH LUCY BLOCK

What was it like crossing the finish line? “A complete relief. Pikes Peak is a very difficult race.”

What would you hope to see the racing community come away with after watching the Block family conquer Pikes Peak? “Most of the racing community would do exactly what we did if they were in our situation…press on, regardless. Keep your head up and do what you love.”

Thoughts about returning to Pikes Peak: “If I ever race Pikes Peak again, I’d like more time to prep…time to feel more comfortable on the mountain. I don’t know what I’d drive, but all wheel drive would be nice.”

A film documenting Lucy’s experience on Pikes Peak in 2023 was released in December, 2023. Watch the story unfold behind the scenes in 43 Fortitude, A Continuing Legacy.

LUCY BLOCK RACES TO THE 14,115′ PIKES PEAK SUMMIT

Photos by: Larry Chen, Luis Garcia, Jason Zindroski, Charles Zhao, Hoonigan

ABOUT THE COLORADO SPRINGS AIRPORT

The Colorado Springs Airport provides a travel experience that prioritizes friendliness, safety, and comfort. Enjoy the speed and convenience of a small airport with options on daily nonstop flights and hundreds of connections worldwide. COS is committed to delivering exceptional service and a warm welcome to all our passengers, making your journey memorable from start to finish. For more information visit FlyCOS.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.­ Your adventure begins here at the Colorado Springs Airport.

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org

CHRIS RIMMER’S SUBARU IMPREZA IMPRESSES PPIHC FANS

Colorado Springs, CO – As the New Year was celebrated atop Pikes Peak and around the globe just days ago, planning for the 102nd Running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo was already well under way. And with one week remaining until applications for the 2024 event close, competitors from near and far are gearing up for June.

Drivers have a variety of reasons for challenging the 156 turns on this iconic mountain from realizing a childhood dream, to building a family legacy, to an opportunity to push beyond their limits. Sharing the inspiration for his PPIHC racing career, Chris Rimmer, a five-time competitor in the Time Attack 1 division, recalls, “Back in the days when I was rallying in the UK, I saw the Ari Vatanen Climb Dance film, and that’s what inspired me to do Pikes Peak.”

Rally Passion

A rally competitor for four years at national and international events, Rimmer offered specifics, “I’ve raced and rallied in the US, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, and Spain. I stopped competing in 2008, but then decided to race at Pikes Peak for the first time in 2017. It’s pretty much the only race I’ve done since. I’d certainly like to do more, when I have the time,” offered the 50 year-old driver, “since there are so many race tracks and rallies in the US I want to experience.” While he represents the UK when racing, he currently makes his home in Sag Harbor, New York.

Focused on the Finish

Rimmer entered the fray on Pikes Peak for the first time in 2017. Despite encountering patchy fog from Cove Creek to the 16 Mile marker, his smooth rookie run to the summit earned him 8th place in the Time Attack 1 division with a time of 11:21.582.

With a second top ten finish in 2018, Rimmer strapped in behind the wheel of his proven machine for the 2019 event. Unfortunately, a series of on-course delays forced many drivers to race a shortened course as weather moved over the mountain later in the day.

2019 – Racing in the Rain

Post-COVID, Rimmer returned to America’s Mountain for the milestone 100th Running of the Race to the Clouds in 2022. Although competitors would run to the summit, they would do so under adverse weather conditions. Another finish in the clouds for Rimmer.

2022 – Finishing in the Clouds

In 2023, Rimmer waited for the green flag with clear skies ahead. His goal was to clock 11 minutes. His 110mph radar speed through Halfway Picnic Grounds helped him beat his stated goal by three seconds for a personal best race time of 10:57.351.

Subaru Sound

Asked about the turbo sound that PPIHC race fans love, Rimmer exclaimed, “I don’t get to hear it properly inside the car, and I don’t know enough to explain what causes it, but I certainly get a lot of people saying they love the sound of the car. I also believe one of the race photographers does a pretty good impression of it!” Check out a throwback video to Rimmer’s first run in 2017 showcasing this fan-favorite turbo sound.

5 Runs on Pikes Peak with the #555

With five finishes notched on Pikes Peak, Rimmer explained why he has always raced his 2007 Subaru Impreza in the TA1 division up the 12.42 mile course. “My passion was rallying. I was competing in the late 1990s in the UK when Subaru became an iconic rallying brand. This car was built specifically for the Nürburgring 24hr, which it finished multiple times. We changed the turbo and mapping and it made an ideal car to use for PPIHC. It may be one of the only cars in the world to complete the 24hr and PPIHC multiple times.”

Asked about the significance of his 555 race number, Rimmer pointed out, “555 was the long-time sponsor of the Subaru World Rally team, so it seemed fitting as a race number on a Subaru.”

GET TO KNOW CHRIS RIMMER

Three Things For Fans To Know:

“I was very lucky to grow up boating in Ibiza, it’s my passion and my job. I studied yacht design and construction at college, then crewed on super yachts before getting into sales. It’s enabled me to live in various countries, and spend lots of time on the water. My pride and joy is a 1973 wooden Riva, which is a classic Italian boat.”

“My favorite book is The Art of Racing in the Rain. I was a huge Ayrton Senna fan, watching the Grand Prix every Sunday.”

“When I moved to America I rescued a dog who was already named Enzo!”

Pikes Peak heroes? “Ari Vatanen and Sébastien Loeb”

Most challenging section: “The top section because the bumps are throwing the car all over the place. You’ve nearly made it to the top, so you don’t want to throw it all away, but you’re still pushing for a good time. It’s a fine balance.”

Favorite section: “The lower section, because it’s so fast and flowing.”

If you could run any car on Pikes Peak, what would it be? Sébastien Loeb’s Peugeot 208 T16

Advice for a PPIHC Rookie: Take some time to appreciate what a spectacular location and special event this is.”

What keeps you coming back? “The dream of the perfect run with no mistakes, and clear blue skies. The road is so much fun to drive, as well as challenging. I get to hang out with great friends for a week, and have a good laugh. I’ve done some pretty cool racing like Rally GB, Nürburgring 24hr, but PPIHC is such a unique event – it’s very special.”

 

CHRIS RIMMER CELEBRATES PERSONAL BEST TIME

Photos by: Larry Chen, Luis Garcia, Jason Zindroski, Charles Zhao, Luis Garcia

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org

GARDNER NICHOLS PUSHES 7,000 LB RIVIAN BEAST TO THE SUMMIT OF PIKES PEAK – AMERICA’S MOUNTAIN

Colorado Springs, CO – Electric vehicles are a familiar sight on the 12.42 mile course during The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo. Since the first EV challenged the mountain in 1981 with Joe Ball driving the Sears XDH-1, a modified 1977 Fiat 128 3P “Berlinetta” converted by Globe Union to promote the Sears DieHard 12V EV Battery, technology has evolved and finish times have plummeted. Ball’s run in 1981 was clocked at 32:07.42. Compared to today’s overall course record set in 2018 by Romain Dumas in the all-electric Volkswagen I.D. R, a blazing 07:57.148, the numbers speak for themselves.

A handful of electric-powered trucks have raced through the 156 turns on America’s Mountain, but none, until 2023, were production vehicles available to the public. Gardner Nichols set out to prove that his entry, a production model 2018 Rivian R1T electric pickup truck was capable of not only reaching the summit but doing so with an impressive time.

First Pikes Peak Memory

“Racing in the PPIHC has been a lifelong dream of mine. In 2009, I was 15 years old and spectating at the race with my dad. After an early morning practice session, I met Paul Dallenbach. That meeting would ultimately launch my career in the auto industry and give me a taste of racing on Pikes Peak. In 2010, I was a 16-year-old apprentice crew member working on Dallenbach’s team and would introduce myself to everyone I met as ‘an aspiring driver’,” recalled Nichols. “I became good friends with Matt Trainham, the lead engineer for that team, and we kept in touch over the years. Then, three years ago he hired me at Rivian as an engineer and test driver. It was definitely a full-circle moment!”

Paul Dallenbach’s 2010 Unlimited division entry featuring crew list, including Gardner Nichols.

PPIHC Proven

Since Nichols was pursuing a production vehicle record, entered in the Exhibition division in the 101st Running of the Race to the Clouds, the truck was essentially stock aside from his upgraded DOT Pirelli tires and different brake pads. His R1T put down 835hp via a quad motor system (one electric motor per wheel) controlled by hydraulic cross-linked adaptive dampers.

“I was really eager to showcase the broad capabilities of the Rivian. This exact truck has driven across the country multiple times, has taken me off-roading, camping, skiing, mountain biking and more,” explained Nichols. “It’s not a new truck, which makes it that much more amazing to do what it did on Pikes Peak!”

The livery design was a creative outlet for Nichols. He shared, “I chose to keep it simple with large color blocking that reflected Rivian’s color palette as well as representing my work history on previous race teams.”

Taming a Beast

Sharing his perspective on his race day run, Nichols recalled, “As I entered ‘the Ws’, the steep switchback section in the middle of the course, I glanced at my HV battery temperature and saw a much higher number than I was expecting. Like all production electric vehicles, the Rivian has a max battery temperature where motor torque output drops to zero in order to save the hardware. My margin to that max temperature was smaller than I was anticipating so early in the run. I knew if I kept my current pace, the battery would get too hot and the truck would shut down, so I knew I had to change my driving style to suit the situation. For the rest of the run, I had to be extremely thoughtful about when to go full throttle.”

“This took every ounce of self-control because I know the pace is there, but it was a hot, sunny day and we were climbing a mile in elevation with a 7,000lb race vehicle at a blistering pace which required a lot of energy. I kept a close eye on the HV battery temps and tried to push it on the higher speed sections of the course. It turns out that my monitoring the temp gauges paid off. I crossed the finish line with a 0.2 degree margin to the maximum HV battery temperature. I really wasn’t expecting that close a margin!”

Rivian Record

On June 25, 2023, Nichols’ dream came true, not only to compete in the Race to the Clouds, but to set a record during his rookie attempt on the legendary course. When asked who helped him get to Pikes Peak this year, Nichols exclaimed, “My wife! She has been endlessly supportive of my passion. Anyone who has run Pikes Peak can attest to the amount of time and attention it takes to prepare. Also, the Pirelli team and a few of my mentors were the catalysts in making this effort a reality. Without the help of some auto industry friends, this effort wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.”

Record – Electric Production Truck/Van, 2023 – Rivian R1T – 11:23.983

GET TO KNOW GARDNER NICHOLS

Three Things For Fans To Know:

I love good food, cooking and great coffee. Cooking and food were really important ingredients in my upbringing! I love making my own pasta.”   

“I’ve always been passionate about photography. It started when my cousin showed me how to light-paint when I was about 12 years old. I travel a lot for work so I try to capture my adventures between my phone and my mirrorless camera.” 

“I learned to ski when I was about 2 years old. Now, I’m learning to surf since I recently moved to SoCal!”

Pikes Peak heroes? “Paul Dallenbach has been a great lifelong mentor of mine, and more recently, David Donohue as well. I still think Romain Dumas’ achievements at Pikes Peak are epic. Finally, Jeff Zwart’s storytelling ability for all things Pikes Peak has always been inspirational.”

Favorite section: “I really like the section from the Start Line to Brown Bush. It’s fast, flowing and I get into a fun rhythm.”

Most challenging section: “The top section, particularly from Bottomless Pit to Boulder Park. It’s bumpy (even in a pickup truck!), high speed and has very few reference points for a driver.”

Significance of your race number: “December 21st happens to be my birthday, so 21!”

Biggest accomplishment in racing: “I’d say my range of experience is an accomplishment. I started in go karts around age 12, competed in autocross and time attack competitions, got back into shifter karts, and then club racing in college. Since then I’ve started running in some endurance racing events.”

“My professional career has focused on vehicle dynamics and test driving. I’ve logged thousands of hours in a wide range of cars driving on various proving grounds all over the world.”

Share a special race day memory: “When all the drivers and crew sang The Star-Spangled Banner together during the drivers meeting, it definitely added to the great memories of my first Pikes Peak campaign!”

Any news since setting the PPIHC record? “I got to spend some time driving in sand dunes, off roading and recently got back from a winter test trip in Alaska. I’ve also been busy putting some campaigns together for various events next year which I’m really excited to share soon!”

Gardner Nichols Talks Temps, Tires and Truck Weight

Photos by: Larry Chen, Luis Garcia, Jason Zindroski, Charles Zhao, Rob Miskowitch

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org

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

99.5in Wheelbase

2,733lbs

PPIHC Proven

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.

Attention to detail is key on Race Day and at Technical Inspection.
The iconic Audi on display at Fan Fest in Colorado Springs.

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.”

Daily driver?

“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!”

David Hackl’s 2023 Post-Race Interview

Photos by: Larry Chen, Revvolution.com, Jason Zindroski, Louis Yio, PPIHC Archives.

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org

“TEXAS DAVE” CARAPETYAN REUNITES WITH PIKES PEAK

Colorado Springs, CO – In 2023, The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, saw the return of veteran competitor, Dave Carapetyan, or “Texas Dave” as he is known in racing circles. Carapetyan was eager to share his thoughts about how it all came to pass. “I had taken a decade away from racing on Pikes Peak to build our Rally Ready Driving School in Texas but, in 2021, I came back to the mountain with my friend Bucky Lasek to spectate and see old friends. That was a reminder of how tight a group of friends I have and what a special community there is at Pikes Peak. When I heard Melissa Eickhoff, somebody I admire very much, was joining as Executive Director it felt like the right time to come back and be part of the next chapter in the evolution of this race. The fact that Cole (Powelson) happened to have a 500hp SIERRA Alpha he was willing to rent me helped make the decision much easier!”

Rally Enthusiast

A 17-year old Pikes Peak rookie in 2005, Carapetyan entered the Rally/Production GT division, his third rally ever, in the inaugural Rally America National Championship. Pikes Peak was the fourth race in the series. While Carapetyan finished the stage in his 1998 Acura Integra in the Production GT division, Tanner Foust, the only non-rookie in the group, along with co-driver Scott Crouch, took the win. Carapetyan was in good company on the mountain as another promising rookie driver, Ken Block, got his first taste of competition on Pikes Peak in the Rally Group N division the same year.

Get a Grip

During the multi-year highway paving project, drivers often had difficulty selecting tires that would meet the needs of a dual-surface course. Carapetyan gave this illustration, “In 2009, Marcus Gronholm and Michelin came to try and break the record in a modified rallycross Fiesta. One of the Michelin engineers came over to me after a practice run and said, ‘Which tires are these? They say Michelin but I do not know these tires,’ to which I explained that we were running a P2C Michelin GT3 rain tire and spraying the tires with windshield wiper sprayers to keep them from overheating. He looked astonished at our “budget” solution. On race day he ran to find me and show me that they had cut their tires to match because they couldn’t get our tires in time. Tires were always a sacrifice, but I preferred a car that had grip on gravel and moved around a bit on the pavement. That’s a much easier car to drive than something with grip on asphalt, that ends up being like driving on ice if you’re sitting on top of the marbles on the gravel.”

Carapetyan would strap in behind the wheel to challenge Pikes Peak ten times between 2005 and 2015. He saw the most success in 2008, 2009 and 2010 (pictured) when he took home three consecutive Pikes Peak Open division champion titles.

Lesson Learned

In 2011, Carapetyan moved to the Unlimited division, where he didn’t enjoy the same success, recording his first DNF. He recalled, “That was a year we decided to go for it and build our Evo for Unlimited division. Unfortunately, some of our sponsorship dried up a month before the race and we ended up with a half-finished car that kept blowing up head gaskets on the dyno. My goal was to make one big push on the last year of dirt, and the car lasted until the last dirt corner and then popped a motor. I learned more that year than in any other single race of my life. Most importantly, when to know you’re beat.”

Never Back Down

“The following year, 2012, we had some similar issues in a Subaru we entered, and I decided to learn my lesson and withdraw to focus on helping our other two cars make the summit. In 2013, we had a strong run but lost power two miles from the finish and just barely finished.” Carapetyan claimed 7th in the Unlimited division, with a time of 10:28.315.

The team experienced similar issues in 2014 and, unfortunately, couldn’t make it past Ski Area.

Rally Ready Dream to Reality

In 2004, Carapetyan traveled the country entering rallies and learning all he could about the sport. Mile after mile, he noted the best turns, jumps and tree-lined terrain and began designing and planning a facility that would encompass the best of it.

Carapetyan and his team began coaching drivers in rally techniques in 2012, and the Rally Ready Driving School became a reality when the team moved into their permanent home on the Rally Ranch in 2015. The ranch is a 140 acre playground for enthusiasts, just fifteen minutes from Circuit of the Americas in Austin and is notable as the home of rally racing in Texas offering everything from wide open pastures for consequence-free beginner lessons to narrow tree-lined rally stages with jumps, crests and blind corners.

Back on the Mountain in 2023

Carapetyan shared something he loves about Pikes Peak. “The fans, whether they know who you are or not, just want to see you finish, go for a personal best and have the best time ever.”

He claimed third in the Open Wheel division, and an impressive 15th overall, with his time of 10:04.665. His goal of a sub-10-minute finish is within reach. We’ll have to wait and see if a return to America’s Mountain is in the works.

GET TO KNOW “TEXAS DAVE”

Three Things For Fans To Know:

“I grew up singing in a skate punk band called The Snobs.”

“Through our dog rescue, Rally Rescue, we’ve rehabilitated and rehomed over 150 stray dogs from around Dale, TX, where our rally school is located.”

“I used to have a Dr Pepper addiction. I wouldn’t drink it for four months before race day, then I’d pack it in the trunk of the race car and drink one at the summit.”

Pikes Peak heroes? “The number of people I consider heroes is endless, but most of them for who they are off the mountain and out of the race car. Cole Powelson is an amazing friend who has taught me much about shutting the (bleep) up and listening. Savannah and Val Ivanitski are a hero-couple I adore. Phil Layton taught me a lot about what servant leadership looks like by putting the needs of the many over the wishes of the few. Andrew Hawkeswood and his family have become family that we travel as often as possible to visit in New Zealand.”

Significance of your race number: “I’ve run 959 on Pikes Peak as my goal to break 10 minutes.”

Favorite section: “I absolutely love Engineers up through Ski Area. The rhythm of getting the exit right and carrying commitment into Picnic Grounds followed by hugging the inside along the guardrail and chucking into the first hairpin at Brown Bush, it’s just such a fun series of corners, and it’s where it feels like the real challenge starts.”

Most challenging section: “The entire top section is brutal. Once you’ve made it through the W’s, you can taste the finish. Above the treeline the corners are all incredibly fast, and several of them look very similar. The commitment is unreal, and it’s hard to push as hard because you want to be conservative and just make it to the finish. It’s historically where I lose the most time, not because I’m afraid to commit to the speed, but because of my PTSD from breaking the car so many times within a mile or two of the finish.”

If you could race anything up the mountain, what would it be?

“It would probably be 4WD. It would be loud. It would be slow, in a conventional sense, but it would be just plain fun to drive. At this phase in life my identity isn’t tied to my results I really just love driving up the mountain with my friends, and seeing if I can beat my personal best. Although I think I would also love driving my 2006 Chevy Colorado

rally truck on a set of General Grabber ATX all terrains for the pure comedy of it!”

Favorite Track: “You know, I haven’t spent as much time on tracks as most of my friends, but I am fortunate enough to have seven miles of rally, off-road, and rallycross tracks in my front yard at The Rally Ranch, and given that I’ve built every inch of them with all the love of everyone on our team, they’re a bit more special to me than anywhere else.”

Texas Dave takes fans through his 2023 Race to the Clouds

Photos by: Larry Chen, Charles Zhao, Rob Miskowitch, Scott Paine, Nick Cress, Dave Carapetyan/Rally Ready, PPIHC Archives.

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org

COLORADO-BASED KINGSLEY PROVES RACING IS A LIFESTYLE

Colorado Springs, CO – From top names in motorsports with factory-backed efforts to drivers who got their start with garage builds in local grassroots series, The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, has welcomed them all. These homegrown teams have been the heart and soul of the race since its earliest days.

Andy Kingsley was like many kids around the world who grew up playing Gran Turismo driving the game favorite Escudo Pikes Peak made popular by Monster Tajima. He loved it and could beat any car in the game.

When he was young, Kingsley enjoyed watching the Hill Climb and going to local races with his father. “My father wasn’t a racecar driver but he was a professional hot air balloon pilot setting records flying over the Continental Divide and competing for over 30 years at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta,” shared Kingsley. “He also had a passion for mechanics, automobiles and engines which seemed to trickle down. Growing up, he would tell me the stories of the Unsers and Dallenbachs and their success in racing. These stories inspired me to create the drive and courage to compete alongside some of the greatest names in motorsports at Pikes Peak.” Kingsley eagerly explained, “What attracted me to Pikes Peak was the big wings and loud exhausts of these 600-800hp racecars, shooting massive fireballs and rooster tails all the way up the dirt road to the summit of a 14er right here in Colorado!”

Rude Awakening

Kingsley, who makes his home in Buena Vista, Colorado has been racing among his heroes on Pikes Peak for seven years. He made his rookie appearance on America’s Mountain in 2014 behind the wheel of his #300 Subaru Impreza STi in the Time Attack 1 division. He shared, “I have been a fanatic of Pikes Peak since my father taught me to turn a wrench as a 15-year-old. Ever since, I have had the need for speed! I first raced Pikes Peak in 2014 driving an overstressed Subaru. The mountain chewed me up and spit me out that first year, but ever since, my passion for racing has become a lifestyle.”

Despite a DNF on his first attempt at the 14,115′ summit, Kingsley continued to challenge the mountain through 2017 in his Subaru, then moved to a 2002 Porsche 911 which he has run in the Time Attack 1, Pikes Peak Open and Unlimited divisions.

Gaining Ground

After a one year hiatus, Kingsley was back on the mountain in 2016 for the 100th Anniversary of the iconic race. He finished his run in 11:55.849, claiming 12th in the Time Attack 1 division.

The Best is Yet to Come

Racing on Pikes Peak is made of ups and downs, and Kingsley’s return to the mountain in 2017 ended on a down note, but despite a DNF, he was undeterred. For two years he worked tirelessly on building a new race car, and his efforts paid off in 2020 when he captured a 4th place finish in the Time Attack 1 division.

A finish is a finish and Kingsley did just that in the 2021 Race to the Clouds despite a shortened course finish line at 16 Mile.
Back on top in 2022, Kingsley finished in the fog in the Unlimited division capturing 6th place.

Alcon Brakes – No Holding Back Award Winner 2022

Following the milestone 100th Running, Alcon Brakes presented the No Holding Back Award to Kingsley in recognition of a competitor who overcame 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.”

Kingsley’s 2023 entry, outfitted with an Alcon Brakes package clocked an 11:12.021 for a ninth place finish in the Unlimited division.

“Learn automotive trades, mechanics, welding, engineering, or engine software tuning. These are all quality trades you can apply to your career. In the midst of your career path find a vehicle you enjoy, and a racing environment you can afford, and get out there. Go meet people, have fun and see where the racing world can take you.” Advice from Andy Kingsley to those aspiring to race cars.

GET TO KNOW ANDY KINGSLEY

Three Things For Fans To Know:

“I love Las Vegas!”

“Sometimes I enjoy driving to a destination more than the destination itself.”

“I lost both my parents to cancer, so it’s important to me to raise awareness of how families are affected by cancer. I want it to be known that you are not alone in this world. Cherish the moments you have, keep fighting, and live every day to the best you can.”

Pikes Peak heroes? “Paul Dallenbach. My late father had told me if I ever wanted to race, talk to Wally Dallenbach. I met Wally in 2012 as a spectator and just so happens I now race with Wally’s son, Paul.”

Mentors on Pikes Peak: “Tim Hardy – he’s like a member of my family.”

Favorite Pikes Peak memory: “2020 was the most impactful year – competing in a self-built Porsche 911 and clocking my best time to the top. It was a goal I wasn’t sure was possible, but somehow it happened. Being on the summit of the mountain I never felt closer to my parents than I did that day. It was years of hard work coming together in that moment. I reflected on that the entire drive back down. Each year I make it to the summit is equally powerful, but 2020 was a long time coming.”

Favorite section: “I thoroughly enjoy the W’s. I also make up names for the turns I like. I have nicknamed the section two turns past the Sump ‘Andy’s Straight’.”

Most challenging section: “My favorite is also my most challenging – The W’s – many corners appear to be the same.”

What’s different about racing on Pikes Peak? “The Mountain. This place provides the rarest environment with technical driving, low air density, and high speeds all in one package.”

Favorite Food: “In-N-Out for sure! No team meeting is successful without it!”

Andy Kingsley spins out at Ragged Edge but pushes on to the summit.

Contact:

Lisa Haight

Communications Manager / Historian

lisa@ppihc.org

(719) 685-4400

www.ppihc.org