Colorado Springs, Colorado- The 98th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, welcomed only one female competitor, Kathryn Mead, to the field in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama Division. Behind the wheel of her 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Mead finished 3rd in the division with a time of 11:36.345 which was cause for celebration at the summit. Mead’s biggest goal was just to get to the top and have a clean run and did she ever. Laying down the quickest time of all rookies on the mountain Mead earned 2020 Rookie of the Year honors.
When asked about the best part of her experience on Pikes Peak this year Mead recalled, “If I had to choose one thing, it was race day and the feeling I had when I crossed the finish line. Without the hard work to get there, it would not have felt so rewarding.”
Racing as a rookie in anything is tricky, but being a rookie at the Race to the Clouds provides an added level of difficulty. Luckily for all the newbies to the mountain, the world of hill climbing is a welcoming community with many drivers willing to offer advice to first-time racers. Mead says the best advice she received was from Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Fame driver, Jeff Zwart, “He coached me in practice and told me to always leave time on the table in each practice run so I could learn and get faster each session. He also emphasized that you race the mountain, not the other competitors.”
Mead’s racing career began in 2016, however the first time she heard of the mountain itself when she was an active runner and heard about the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. When she began auto racing and learned about the opportunity to run the mountain on four tires instead of her own two feet, it seemed totally crazy and not something she would do. Yet, sometimes things just work out, and when the Porsche division was created and her car fit the profile she knew she had to go for it. Her original plan to visit Pikes Peak in early April to check out the course and the mountain had to be scrapped due to the pandemic. She had practiced in a driving simulator and spent hours watching onboard videos in her hometown of Austin, Texas but it was not until early August that she actually experienced the race course in person.
Not only did she compete, but Mead designed the wrap for her racecar. She stated, “With so many things outside my control, the one thing I could control was how this car looked. I think it looks happy. Every time I get behind the wheel, I know it makes me happy.” Mead was happy to finish, happy to capture third in her division and happy to be named Rookie of the Year on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain. “My goal was to get to the summit on race day. Getting a trophy for fastest rookie was the cherry on top. Beyond that, it would take too long to explain. It was about more than just racing.”
Mead is already making plans to return for the 99th running on June 27, 2021.
Photo credits: Larry Chen
Event Coordinator & Historian
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
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September 23, 2020
The Board of Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has announced that the decision of whether or not to include motorcycle competition in future years will be postponed until after the 2021 race.
In July of 2019, it was decided that in order to determine the long-term viability of the motorcycle program there would be no motorcycle competition offered in 2020. Race organizers planned to review all aspects of the event by gathering and analyzing data to determine the impact of the absence of the motorcycle program. However, the COVID pandemic forced changes to the race in 2020 resulting in a program that was far from the norm including a 60-day postponement, the loss of nearly all international competitors and, most importantly, the absence of spectators.
“While we had hoped to make a decision post-race in 2020, there were just too many variables this year,” explained Tom Osborne, Chairman. “We worked very hard to stage the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year in the midst of the pandemic so that the tradition of this famous race could continue and it wouldn’t be a fair assessment of motorcycle program viability to make that decision now.”
For a complete history of motorcycle racing on Pikes Peak, click HERE.KEEP READING
Colorado Springs, Colorado—The 98th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo yielded great success for acclaimed local driver, Clint Vahsholtz, competing for the 29th time. His first victory came in 1993 when he won the Open Pro motorcycle division aboard a 1992 Wood-Rotax 600. He would add two more wins in as many years in the same division, including 1995 on the weather-shortened course.
In 1996 Vahsholtz, following in his legendary father Leonard’s footsteps, strapped in to a stock car and launched a new legacy on Pikes Peak. Behind the wheel of a 1996 Ford Mustang, Vahsholtz not only claimed the division win, but was named Rookie of the Year. His #18 stock car, a reversal of his father’s famous #81, finished in 12:10.83.
Over the next 10 years, Vahsholtz stormed the mountain in the Super Stock Car division, winning every time. 2007 marked the sole DNF in his Pikes Peak career. In 2008, entering again in his tried-and-true Ford Mustang, Vahsholtz stood atop the podium in the Super Stock Car division where he would remain through 2012.
By 2013, with the newly paved course on Pikes Peak, Vahsholtz and the team began work on an open wheel racer better suited to asphalt than to the gravel surface that was the hallmark of Pikes Peak. Modifying the winningest stock car ever to compete, Vahsholtz Racing entered and won the Open Wheel division in 11:07.305.
Performance and aerodynamic adjustments made the Ford one-off racer even faster in 2014 and Vahsholtz earned not only the win, but a division record on the paved surface in a blazing time of 9:54.700, his first sub 10-minute finish.
In 2015, a rare third place finish didn’t deter Vahsholtz as he charged back up the mountain in 2016 claiming victory once again in the Open Wheel group. In 2017 the now famous #18 returned, not only winning the division, but notching another division record of 9:35.747.
Offered an opportunity to race with Flying Lizard Motorsports behind the wheel of a 2014 McLaren 12C, Vahsholtz was back in 2018 sporting not only a new racecar and team, but a new number – #45. A second place finish in the Time Attack 1 division behind David Donohue, son of famed racer Mark Donohue made for exciting racing action. Competing again in 2019, this time in a 2014 McLaren 650S, Vahsholtz was bumped to second place for the second time behind France’s Raphaël Astier in Time Attack 1.
Returning to his family’s roots with Vahsholtz Racing, Clint returned to challenge the 12.42 mile course in 2020 with his proven 2013 Ford Open. Backed by his Pikes Peak Hall of Fame parents, Leonard and Barb who were inducted in 2018, his brother Ben, his wife Shelly, his Pikes Peak motorcycle champion son, Codie, and the entire Vahsholtz family, along with his dedicated crew, Vahsholtz once again claimed an Open Wheel division win. After years of remarkable success as a division champion, Vahsholtz received King of the Mountain honors for the first time. Not only is this a first for Clint, but for the entire Vahsholtz family, further reinforcing their established legacy on Pikes Peak.
Vahsholtz resides in Woodland Park, Colorado, a mere 6 miles from the famous mountain. His dedication to his sport and his desire to win, like many of his contemporaries, draw him back to Pikes Peak year after year. With the 2021 Race to the Clouds comes the opportunity to return for his 30th race when all eyes will be focused on Clint Vahsholtz, King of the Mountain!
Photo Credits: PPIHC Archives and Larry Chen
Event Coordinator & Historical
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
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Colorado Springs, CO — A week of early practice and qualifying sessions on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain built excitement for the 98th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo on August 30.
By Friday, three contenders were out of the race, and two more were scrambling to repair their racecars after crashes on the mountain. Randy Pobst and Steve Goeglein, backed by their crews, worked day and night determined to make it happen – both returning on race day. Pikes Peak rookies, Joshua Allan in a Tesla and Don Wickstrum in a Porsche, weren’t so lucky, and withdrew their entries prior to the race. Likewise, Tommy Boileau, the 2019 Rookie of the Year, was unable to compete on Sunday after a crash near Boulder Park earlier in the week.
Saturday’s pit set up took place in the wind and rain as a storm moved over the mountain in the afternoon and continued into the evening.
Sunday dawned clear and sunny, but revealed up to half an inch of ice coating the road on parts of the upper section. Heavy equipment moved in to clear the slick surface as crews worked diligently to make the course race-ready.
As drivers, teams and race officials geared up for action, the Acura TLX Type S Prototype pace car left the Start Line piloted by three-time Pikes Peak class winner and Acura engineer, Nick Robinson.
Romie Gallardo, mother of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champion, the late Carlin Dunne, waved the first green flag sending Scott Birdsall off the line in his 1949 F1 diesel-powered truck, “Old Smokey”.
Open Wheel Division:
Clint Vahsholtz with 23 division and class wins on Pikes Peak stepped to the top of the podium not only as champion of the Open Wheel division, but as King of the Mountain, recording the fastest time of the day and setting a new Open Wheel division record. “I wasn’t as fast as I’ve been on the lower section,” said Vahsholtz, “so on the middle and upper sections I just went 100%.” Vahsholtz bested his previous Open Wheel record set in 2017 with a new record time of 9:35.490 set in the same racecar, a 2013 Ford Open. Vahsholtz is the first American to be crowned King of the Mountain since David Donner in 2005.
Another Pikes Peak champion, Paul Dallenbach, claimed second place with 9:36.181 finishing less than a second behind Vahsholtz in the 2006 PVA-03 Dallenbach Special.
Third place went to Cole Powelson in a 2020 Sierra Alpha finishing in 9:37.449, just one second behind Dallenbach.
Blake Fuller claimed the Exhibition division title in his Tesla Model 3 and set a new Electric Production vehicle record of 11:02.802, improving on his former record set in 2016.
Randy Pobst, only two seconds behind Fuller, garnered second place in the division in his Tesla. Pobst’s team put forth a monumental effort to rebuild his race car after a spectacular crash at Bottomless Pit earlier in the week.
Scott Birdsall finished third in the division, besting the previous diesel powered record set by Uwe Nittel in 2015, with his own record time of 11:24.065.
Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama Division:
Originally, a group of eight was slated to compete, but due to travel complications of COVID-19, the field was whittled to four.
Blake “Bilko” Williams claimed the top spot on Sunday after being forced by adverse weather to run a shortened course in his first appearance on Pikes Peak in 2019. Williams, of Nitro Circus fame, with a time of 10:52.622 was still well off the record pace set by Travis Pastrana in 2018 at 10:33.897.
Colorado Springs resident, George Hess III received second place, and Kathryn Mead, the only woman to enter the 98th running not only garnered third place but was crowned 2020 Rookie of the Year. Mead’s time of 11:36.345 was fastest of the eight rookies competing.
Time Attack 1 Division:
Two Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Fame members returned to racing on America’s Mountain this year, both from Colorado and both choosing Porsche racecars. Driving one of the most gorgeous cars to ever challenge Pikes Peak, the 000 Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport, David Donner took top honors with a time of 9:36.559, the best time he’s recorded on Pikes Peak. The eye-catching art car was a nod to the Rare Shades™ event series.
Jeff Zwart, eight time Pikes Peak division winner, was behind the wheel of a 2019 Porsche 935 – one of only 77 produced. The #11 Porsche, sporting a throwback Mobil 1™ Pegasus livery, finished second in 9:43.921.
Third place went to James Robinson driving a 2019 Acura NSX. James held the record for a hybrid-fueled vehicle set in 2018 and improved on that time charting a new record of 10:01.913.
Pikes Peak Open Division:
Three vastly diverse vehicles claimed the top three positions in the Pikes Peak Open division – a NASCAR-style Chevy SS, a Palatov D2tt and a 2001 Porsche 996 TT. One of only seven racers finishing in under 10 minutes, Layne Schranz won the division in his 2019 Chevy SS in 9:45.360. Schranz, like Vahsholtz and Donner, is a second generation competitor in the Race to the Clouds.
One of the most exciting moments came as the last racer, Formula Drift champion, Daijiro Yoshihara, left the start line behind the wheel of his Toyota 86 and blasted to the summit in 10:05.006 claiming first place in the division.
Derek Boyd finished second in his 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X in 10:11.446. Boyd occupied the top spot most of the day and looked like the winner until Yoshihara crossed the finish line knocking him down one step on the podium.
Third place was awarded to Kevin Wesley in the 2018 Dodge Challenger Hellcat for his finish time of 10:25.915.
The Parade of Champions was led back down America’s Mountain by a custom-wrapped BMW M8 Competition Coupe driven by Laura Hayes, a BMW Performance Center driving instructor.
Although the 98th running of the Race to the Clouds was conducted without spectators on the mountain, plenty of race fans followed Pikes Peak Live presented by Mobil 1 for the first time on Facebook with legendary Radio Le Mans host John Hindhaugh commentating. “Being able to offer our loyal fans a new way to experience the racing action was something we were really excited about,” explained Megan Leatham, Executive Director of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “We were determined to do everything we could to continue the 98-year legacy of this motorsports tradition.”
Event organizers, competitors, fans and motorsports enthusiasts from around the world can now set their sights on the 99th running next year and the spectacle that is sure to be the 100th running on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain in 2022.
Photo Credits: Leif Bergerson, Larry Chen, Louis Yio, Jason Zindroski
Event Coordinator & Historian
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
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Colorado Springs, Colorado – Racing is an art, and thanks to Winslow BMW, one artist’s work will be featured at the 98th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo. WRAPsody 2.0 presents artists with the unique opportunity to design a vehicle wrap for a BMW M8 Competition Coupe that will lead competitors back down from the summit after the race on August 30 in the Parade of Champions.
About the BMW M8: The M8 Competition Coupe sports BMW’s most powerful production engine. Loaded with a 4.4-liter V8 motor, the coupe is capable of acceleration from 0-60 mph in a cool three seconds flat thanks to the 617 horsepower with different exhaust modes, precision shifting, and powerful brakes making for optimal performance and endless opportunities with the twin-turbo.
About the WRAPsody 2.0 Winning Design: The livery featured on the M8 was chosen by a team of judges from the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Artists were invited to seek inspiration from the elements of racing, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb or Colorado’s Pikes Peak region. Mary DeMars created this winning design which stays true to the Colorado roots of the race with the added element of racing excitement that is always present on Pikes Peak. Boasting the colors of the Colorado flag and BMW Motorsports in a sleek, yet abstract, eye-catching design, the blues, reds and yellows really pop on a white background with black accents. The lines running along the side represent the speed and coarseness of the asphalt with darker shades to demonstrate the shadows created by the towering peak.
In addition to the honor of seeing her artistic vision showcased on the M8 for the Parade of Champions, DeMars will claim a $5,000 cash prize, and an additional $1,000 contribution will be made in her name to her favorite Colorado 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The second place winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize as well as the $1,000 contribution to the Colorado charity of their choice.
The custom-wrapped M8 Competition Coupe will be promoted on social media, in the Winslow BMW showroom and at special events.
About the Driver – Laura Hayes: From Sacramento, California, Laura Hayes began her driving career at only eight years old where she learned to appreciate vehicles and their capabilities racing Quarter Midgets. She graduated to Karting, and currently races a BMW 128i and M3 in endurance races. Her passion has turned into a successful career leading her to the BMW Performance Center as an internationally certified driving instructor in South Carolina. She also plays a part in organizing winter driver training in Sweden. Laura is very excited about her impromptu opportunity, stating, “I know this will be an incredible experience. The M8 Competition has been my favorite BMW since its recent appearance in the lineup, and I can’t wait to see the winning artwork design.”
About the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: Since 1916, when this world-class motorsports event was founded by Spencer Penrose, competitors from around the world have come to Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain to challenge the 12.42-mile course comprised of 156 turns to the 14,115’ summit. August 30, 2020 marks the 98th running of the Race to the Clouds.
Event Coordinator and Historian
The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
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Colorado Springs, CO—-The Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Fame, presented by Rebellion Timepieces, congratulates five outstanding individuals on their induction as the Class of 2020 on August 27.
Taking spots in the prestigious ranks of competitors, officials, organizers and others who have contributed to the success of the world’s toughest automotive hill climb and America’s second-oldest motorsport event behind the Indianapolis 500 are:
Al Unser: Unser competed on the Peak starting in 1960, winning the crown in the Open Wheel Class in 1964 and 1965. He also won the Indy 500 four times during his amazing career in the motorsport world, and he won the national championship in 1970, 1983, and 1985. A life-long ambassador for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Unser currently operates the Unser Racing Museum in Albuquerque, NM.
Carlin Dunne: Perhaps the finest motorcycle racer ever to perform on Pikes Peak, Dunne became the first racer to break the motorcycle ten-minute mark in 2012 with his winning time of 9:52.819 aboard a Ducati Multistrada. The next year, he beat every motorcycle to become King of the Mountain on an electric motorcycle. He won four titles overall before a tragic crash last summer that took his life and cut short one of the most amazing stories in the history of the race.
William J. Hybl: Bill Hybl is recognized for his significant contributions to the fabled Race to the Clouds over several decades as a partner and friend through his positions with El Pomar Foundation and the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation. Hybl, the President Emeritus of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, is also a member of the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame, inducted with the inaugural Class of 2000.
Art Walsh: Walsh, a legendary race official, waved the checkered flag atop Pikes Peak for nearly 40 years, beginning in 1969 when the great Mario Andretti won the Open Wheel crown. He became a fixture at the summit in all kinds of weather and was a friend to scores of racers who took their turns in challenging America’s Mountain. Walsh, who died in 2011, was a loyal supporter of the Hill Climb and its legacy. He was honored by the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2010 with its inaugural Jerry Van Dyke Memorial Award for “outstanding contributions to motorsports by an individual.”
Stan DeGeer: DeGeer is arguably the greatest and most influential historian for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He photographed and documented the race in its early years and later researched, wrote and published four books on the race that served as the foundation for the race’s historic preservation. His books include: Pikes Peak Is Unser Mountain, The Pikes Peak Race 1916-1990, Pikes Peak or Bust 1916-1996 and Race to the Clouds 1916-2001, the Pikes Peak Challenge. DeGeer died in 2009 at the age of 93.
The Museum Hall of Fame is committed to honoring and preserving the achievements of individuals who have left an indelible mark on the Race to the Clouds; whether they are competitors, organizers, officials, members of the press or volunteers. Anyone who shares a passion for speed and competition in addition to a great respect for Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain is eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a tribute to their passion, competitive spirit and support for this world-famous motorsport competition.
Distinguished members of The Pikes Peak Hill Climb Museum Hall of Fame are:
The Hall of Fame is located at The Penrose Heritage Museum, across the street from The Broadmoor Hotel at 11 Lake Circle in Colorado Springs.
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Event will feature guest interviews and be broadcast for free via the
Mobil 1 Facebook page on August 30
SPRING, Texas – From 14,115 feet to your mobile device, The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, will be broadcasting live from America’s Mountain as part of an innovative partnership with the Mobil 1™ brand of advanced synthetic motor oils. The experience, dubbed, “Pikes Peak Live presented by Mobil 1,” will bring fans closer than ever to the racing action, including live commentary, special guests, exclusive giveaways, and more.
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will take place without fans for the first time in the hill climb’s history. As a partner going back to 1934, Mobil™ branded products have a proud heritage of performing in the extreme conditions only Pikes Peak can pack into a single run. This year, those runs will be streamed live exclusively on the Mobil 1 Facebook page, providing free unique access for motorsport fans to enjoy the racing action on America’s Mountain from anywhere.
Further fueling the passions of its fans, the livestream will feature play-by-play commentary courtesy of legendary motorsport broadcast announcer, “The Voice,” John Hindhaugh. Hindhaugh serves as the host of Radio Le Mans, and he’ll be bringing that same detailed coverage in his role as master of ceremonies of the “Pikes Peak Live presented by Mobil 1” broadcast. This commentary will extend to welcoming long-term partners of the Mobil 1 brand who have collectively driven millions of miles with Mobil 1 advanced synthetic protecting their engines – some in conditions as extreme as Pikes Peak.
Partners of Mobil 1 to appear on the stream will include:
The broadcast will begin on Sunday, August 30 at 7 a.m., and conclude at 1 p.m. MDT. Those tuning in early will have the chance to enter to win limited-edition giveaways, and even have their questions answered by partners of Mobil 1 during their interviews.
“Just as drivers and race teams constantly need to adapt to changes at high altitudes and ever-evolving weather conditions, so too has our involvement through our Mobil 1 brand,” said Andrew Hanna, global motorsports and sponsorship advisor at ExxonMobil. “Reflecting the same innovative approach we take with every one of our products, ’Pikes Peak Live presented by Mobil 1’ is a new solution to a new problem as we remain committed to the safety of fans and competitors above all else. Doing so while providing a unique access point to this historic event is how we’re keeping focused on our consumers and delivering them unique experiences they can’t get anywhere else.”
In 2020, Mobil 1 advanced synthetic motor oils will again be an integral part of Porsche Motorsport’s entry in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama division. All vehicles competing in the program rely on off-the-shelf Mobil 1 FS 0W-40. Meanwhile eight-time event winner Jeff Zwart will also return to the mountain this year, piloting the new Porsche 935 that features Mobil 1 ESP X3 0W-40 under the decklid. This race car by Porsche is one of only 77 made and will be racing as part of the Time Attack 1 division which pits production-based sports racers against each other. The Mobil 1 products featured in both divisions are production-ready as well, and are available at your local Porsche dealer today.
“This new livestream format that allows us to help keep our fans and competitors safe is a dream come true,“ said Megan Leatham, executive director of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “Through our long-standing partnership, it’s fitting that Mobil 1 is the brand helping our team bring this innovative fan experience to life. And since America’s Mountain is rather daunting, having global motorsports authority John Hindhaugh provide his entertaining insight and perspective while interviewing some of the world’s most renowned motorsport and automotive personalities will be like nothing we’ve ever done before. There are going to be spectacular camera angles, historic film clips, and live timing, so we hope people don’t miss what’s in store so they can plan to come see us in-person next year.”
To connect everyday enthusiasts with those on the mountain, participating Porsche dealerships nationwide will have the same Mobil 1 products used during the 98th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb available for oil changes. Consumers who prefer to change their own oil can also find these products for purchase at their local Porsche dealer, or at their preferred automotive retailer.
For more information on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, visit PPIHC.org. To catch “Pikes Peak Live presented by Mobil 1,” log on to the Mobil 1 Facebook page from 7 a.m. through 1 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Sunday, August 30.
About Mobil 1
Mobil 1, the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, has been factory fill in the most powerful Porsche vehicles for over 20 years. In fact, over that time more than 1,000,000 Porsche engines have trusted Mobil 1 from day one. Mobil 1 motor oil features anti-wear technology that provides performance beyond our conventional motor oils. This technology allows Mobil 1 full synthetic motor oil to meet or exceed the toughest standards of vehicle manufacturers like Porsche, to provide exceptional protection against engine wear, under normal or even some of the most extreme conditions. Mobil 1 motor oil flows quickly in extreme temperatures to protect critical engine parts and is designed to maximize engine performance and help extend engine life.
For more information, visit mobil1.com and follow @Mobil1 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.KEEP READING