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.”
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!”
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.
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
“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.”
Photos by: Larry Chen, Charles Zhao, Luis Garcia, Nuno Caetano
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