Spectator

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Official Podcast “Turn 156”

June 11, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator

Colorado Springs, CO – Catch the inaugural episode of Turn 156 with our hosts Robb Holland and Mitch Snow as they share historic highlights, memorable moments and build backstories.

When: Friday, June 11 (and every Friday in June at noon MDT)

Where: Spotify – or wherever you listen to podcasts

  • A quick history of the Race to the Clouds
  • The story behind Bobby Unser’s 1986 “King of the Mountain” run
  • The .017 second difference between Rhys Millen and Romain Dumas in 2012
  • Their 2021 competitor preview and King of the Mountain predictions
  • And much more!

ABOUT THE PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB

First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds is held annually on the last Sunday of June on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet, and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet above sea level. The PPIHC’s automobile categories feature a wide variety of vehicles representing multiple forms of motorsport; everything from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles take on America’s Mountain pursuing victory. The 100th Running of this iconic motorsports event will take place in 2022.

Contact:
Lisa Haight
Event Coordinator / Media / Historian
lisa@ppihc.org
(719) 685-4400

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2021 TLX Type S Will Pace 99th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Driven by Car Nut and TV Personality Ant Anstead

June 10, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator
Contact:
Karina Gonzalez (Torrance): karina_gonzalez@ahm.acura.com
Chris Naughton (New York): chris_naughton@ahm.acura.com
Lynn Seely (Detroit): lynn_seely@ahm.acura.com

2021 TLX Type S Will Pace 99th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Driven by Car Nut and TV Personality Ant Anstead

  • Acura returns as sponsor and competitor in America’s most grueling hill climb
  • 2021 TLX Type S to pace the historic race with television personality Ant Anstead behind the wheel
TORRANCE, Calif., June 10, 2021—Acura’s best performing sedan ever, the new 2021 TLX Type S, will pace the 99th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo on June 27. Driving the TLX Type S pace car up the challenging 12.42-mile hill climb will be television personality and self-proclaimed car nut Ant Anstead, former host of enthusiast programs like “Wheeler Dealers,” “Master Mechanic” and co-founder of Radford Motors.

The TLX Type S is well suited to pace the field on Colorado’s challenging mountain course with its turbocharged V6 engine producing 355-horsepower, standard Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) with true torque-vectoring, quick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission, Brembo® brakes and double-wishbone front suspension. Moreover, its Type S-exclusive Sport+ driving mode sharpens responses for even greater performance and driver enjoyment.

Known as the Race to the Clouds, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of America’s longest running motorsports competitions. Since 1916, drivers from all over the world and a wide variety of vehicles from multiple motorsports disciplines race against the clock as they take on the 156-turn course, starting at 9,390 feet and climbing to the 14,115 summit.

Last year, a development prototype of the highly-anticipated TLX Type S paced the historic hill climb and Acura vehicles have competed in the event since 2012, recording numerous race records and podium finishes. In 2020, Honda R&D engineer James Robinson beat his own Hybrid record by more than half a second behind the wheel of an Acura NSX with a time of 10:01.913. Acura also holds the front-wheel drive record, set by James’ brother and fellow engineer Nick Robinson (10:48.094) in 2018, and the Pikes Peak Open all-wheel drive record (9:24.433) was set by race car driver Peter Cunningham in 2019, driving the Acura TLX GT race car.

British television personality and car restorer Ant Anstead gained popularity in his home country on shows such as “For the Love of Cars” before becoming a household name in the U.S. co-hosting “Wheeler Dealers.” Recently, Anstead and business partner, Formula One World Champion Jenson Button, are bringing luxury coachbuilding back with Radford Motors.

About Acura
Acura is a leading automotive nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance – a commitment to expressive styling, high-performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability. The Acura lineup features five distinctive models – the ILX and TLX sport sedans, the RDX and MDX sport-utility vehicles and the electrified NSX supercar. All 2021 model year and newer Acura vehicles sold in America are made in the U.S., using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Additional media information including pricing, features & specifications and high-resolution photography is available at AcuraNews.com. Consumer information is available at Acura.com.
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Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Launches Podcast

June 4, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Launches Podcast

Turn 156 – Hosted by Robb Holland and Mitch Snow

  • Meet our co-hosts
  • Hear the secrets behind the builds
  • Feel like you’re in the driver’s seat
  • Listen to personal stories and challenges

Colorado Springs, CO – The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, is excited to announce a new podcast aptly named “Turn 156,” a tribute to the 156 turns on Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain and that final corner marked by the checkered flags.

Meet the Hosts!

Robb Holland

Veteran Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competitor, Robb Holland, asks the challenging questions and draws out behind-the-scenes details in each episode. Co-owner of Rotek Racing in Nurberg, Germany, and no stranger to the Nurburgring, Holland has worked as a professional driver since 2005. Holland set a record in a front-wheel drive vehicle in 2016 – his rookie year on the mountain. Holland shares insight on the 2017 Pikes Peak run in his 900 horsepower salvaged Corvette Z06 on a popular episode of Mastering the Mountain. He returns to Pikes Peak for his fifth run in 2021 in a 2018 Audi S3. When he’s not on the air, he’s either racing, working or writing automotive content for Jalopnik, Road & Track, Autoblog or Grassroots Motorsports.

Mitch Snow

Mitch Snow is a Colorado Springs native, third generation race supporter, and the former Director of Promotion & Legacy of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Snow’s passion for preserving and sharing race history is evident in his involvement in creation of The Pikes Peak Hill Climb Experience exhibit at the Penrose Heritage Museum, the centennial documentary “Race to the Clouds: 100 Years in the Making”, reviving The Broadmoor Special Yellow Devil, and reestablishing of the Hall of Fame. He also worked to build upon the event’s history and share it with the masses as it entered the ”paved” era including cultivating projects such as Ken Block’s Climbkhana, a variety of international and domestic television programs, and establishing high profile partnerships with the likes of Gran Turismo, TAG Heuer, and more.

Check out the official trailer!

Listen to the official trailer

Listen on Spotify and make sure to follow us for giveaways and new Season 1 episode notifications each Friday through June!

Contact:
Lisa Haight
Event Coordinator / Media / Historian
lisa@ppihc.org
(719) 685-4400

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BBi at 2021 Pikes Peak

May 27, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BBi Autosport Leads a Triple-Porsche Race Effort at the 2021 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb

Famed Drivers Raphaël Astier, David Donohue and Tanner Foust Bring BBI’s Heightened Porsche Technology to ‘The Mountain’ with Three Separate Porsches in Three Divisions

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA (05.10.2021) BBi Autosport returns for the 6th time to take on the Pikes Peak mountain in the 99th running of America’s second oldest race, The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo June 27, 2021 – regarded as one of the most famous and arduous racing events in the Rockies and the world. For this year’s 2021 effort, BBi returns to ‘the Mountain” with three Porsche race cars and BBI’s impressive and updated aerodynamics to three divisions: Open Class, Time Attack 1 and the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy division by Yokohama.

“We have learned so much competing at the PPIHC from our past experiences and to apply those learnings on three different Porsche platforms takes it all to a new level” says Betim Berisha, Owner of BBi Autosport. “This event is extremely special to us as we are able to incorporate our full range of know-how while fulfilling our passion for racing. The Porsches and the team go through some of the toughest environments and conditions imaginable,” according to Berisha. “We take this home and apply it to our everyday operation, our development and products for fellow enthusiasts.”

The BBI Team 

“Lucy”, the OPTIMA Batteries Porsche GT3 “TurboCup” which set the TA1 record in 2019 is back again, this time in the Open division and is once again being piloted by French rally car driver, Raphaël Astier. BBI has improved the OPTIMA “Turbocup” from the 2019 configuration to remain competitive in the new division.

David Donohue returns for another attempt in “Sunny” the Audrain Motorsport GT2 RS Clubsport after an incomplete run in 2020. Learnings from the 2020 effort have allowed BBI’s team to improve speed and bring more advanced technology to the updated 2021 BBi EVO variant of the GT2 RS Clubsport. The Audrain Motorsport GT2 RS once again runs in the highly competitive Time Attack 1 group.

Finally, Tanner Foust will be piloting the OPTIMA Yokohama Porsche GT4 Clubsport in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama division. Foust, a 4-time competitor, is no stranger to the mountain, racing on it in prior years before the course was fully paved. BBi has partnered with Porsche Motorsport North America to support Foust’s effort.

This year BBi has key technical partners that bring forward technological advancements and help achieve the performance needed.

All three cars are supported by Yokohama and are equipped with the ADVAN A005™ slicks on the TurboCup and GT2 RS CS and A052® tires on the GT4. BBi will be the first to demonstrate the new proactive damper technology from Suspension Research Innovations and JRZ, outfitting all three race cars with the new dampers. Airtech, industry leader in composites manufacturing, is supporting BBi with 3D printed molds for carbon fiber components and supplying the brand new NEXX carbon fiber material. Aerosim-Research along with Verus Engineering have been key in finding downforce and reducing drag though aerodynamic studies and part development. The team at Oilstain Lab has been leading the creative on livery development for all three race cars.

BBi is joining The Little Warrior Foundation to help raise awareness, funding and finding cures for childhood cancers, with a specific focus on Ewing’s Sarcoma. The organization funds projects and research that have high potential for saving kids’ lives. Lucy Spada is one of many kids affected by this cancer and BBi is dedicating “Lucy” the OPTIMA GT3 TurboCup and the other two race cars in the lineup to putting a spotlight on the cause. For more information, view: http://www.little-warrior.org

 

RACING FOR GOOD

As the BBI Autosport Team at Pikes Peak makes its mark on ‘The Mountain,’ for 2021 the team will also be gaining additional recognition by raising awareness and funds for two meaningful charitable causes, benefitting local organizations for Ewing’s Sarcoma and Parkinson’s Disease, through BBi’s support for two nationally recognized foundations: THE LITTLE WARRIOR FOUNDATION and DRIVE TOWARD A CURE.

BBi is joining The Little Warrior Foundation to help raise awareness, funding and finding cures for childhood cancers, with a specific focus on Ewing’s Sarcoma. The organization funds projects and research that have high potential for saving kids’ lives. Lucy Spada is one of many kids affected by this cancer and BBi is dedicating “Lucy” the OPTIMA GT3 TurboCup and the other two race cars in the lineup to putting a spotlight on the cause. For more information, view: http://www.little-warrior.org

Additional funding will be provided to non-profit Drive Toward a Cure, a 501(c)3 organization that raises funds and awareness for Parkinson’s Disease research AND patient care. Inspired by the camaraderie found within the automotive culture, the Foundation’s mission benefits equally from both enthusiast communities and industry professionals and since 2016 has raised more than a half million dollars including contributions that benefit various Parkinson’s Foundation Centers of Excellence on local, regional, and national levels through Drive Toward a Cure’s “Access to Care” program. 100% of BBI’s contributions to Drive Toward a Cure will benefit the University of Colorado Movement Disorders Center located in Aurora, located on the campus of the largest health center in the Rocky Mountain Region. For more information view: www.drivetowardacure.org

 

TEAM BACKGROUND

Drivers

Raphaël Astier

French rally car driver Raphaël Astier has raced for 11 years with championship wins in the French Rally Cup, WRC3 and FIA RGT Rally. This year will be his fourth race at Pikes Peak. In 2019, Astier piloted the OPTIMA GT3 TurboCup to set the TA1 record. Pikes Peak is close to his heart and he is looking forward to more division wins.

David Donohue

David Donohue has firmly established himself as a champion racing driver with an impressive resume that includes time spent in Touring Cars, Prototypes, NASCAR Stock Car and Craftsman Truck Series. He was an integral part of the Brumos Racing family, driving a Brumos Racing Daytona Prototype in every Rolex Sports Car series race from 2003 through 2010. In 2009 he co-drove to victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Donohue and co-driver Darren Law joined Action Express Racing in 2011, sharing three podium finishes and a 3rd place finish in DP driver points. Donohue returned to Action Express Racing in 2012 with an all-new Corvette Daytona Prototype finishing 4th in points. He was the 2013 Rolex-24 Hour GX class winner in Napleton Racing’s Porsche Cayman.

Tanner Foust

World-record holder Tanner Foust is a versatile and multi-talented driver known for his supreme car control and a proven track record of podium placements, national and global championships. He is a three-time U.S. RallyCross champion (2012, 2011, 2010) who has also won four X Games gold medals (2013, 2010, 2007), and two Formula Drift championships (2008, 2007).

Foust is the first American driver to win a round of the European RallyCross Championship and finished both 2011 and 2012 ranked in the top three. In North America, Foust has been a dominant rallycross driver since the sport of rallycross was first introduced to the United States in 2010. His varied race experience includes multiple years of open wheel competition, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, rally racing, various types of sports car racing and the SCORE Baja. He has represented the USA in the annual Race of Champions three times (2010, 2009, 2008).

 

BBi Title Sponsors

Audrain Motorsport

David Donohue in the GT2 RS Clubsport

https://audrainmotorsport.com

Audrain Motorsport is a carefully curated assortment of immersive automotive experiences for the enthusiast. It is all about the chance to share extraordinary experiences centered around the way you want to engage with cars and motorcycles. No matter where your passion connects, on a tour, rally or back country drive; exploring the limits of your car and your talent against the clock on a track; as an insider at the world’s leading Concours d’Elegance and historic races; or sharing conversation with the movers, shakers and legends of the motoring world in an intimate setting, we are here to make it possible.

OPTIMA Batteries

Raphaël Astier in the GT3 “TurboCup”

Tanner Foust in the GT4 Clubsport

https://www.optimabatteries.com

With a 40-year history of technological innovation and engineering, OPTIMA® products offer unstoppable power for extreme enthusiasts and others who require THE ULTIMATE POWER SOURCE. In the 1970s, OPTIMA Batteries introduced the first maintenance-free lead acid batteries for commercial and military use and the first high?performance AGM automotive batteries. OPTIMA revolutionized the industry with the introduction of its unique SPIRALCELL TECHNOLOGY® as well as developing its first digital battery charger and maintainer.

Yokohama Tires

Tanner Foust in the GT4 Clubsport

https://www.yokohamatire.com/

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. Since expanding to the United States in 1969, they have been an industry leader in tire technology and innovation across the globe. All three BBi Porsche race vehicles are running on Yokohama tires this year. The OPTIMA GT3 TurboCup and Audrain GT2 RS Clubsport on ADVAN A005 race slicks and Foust’s GT4 on the ADVAN A052 tires. Yokohama is providing critical technical support to keep the cars at peak performance when it comes to grip and safety

 

About BBi Autosport:

BBi Autosport, founded in 2005, specializes in Porsche service and race engineering, blending motorsport and street performance throughout the BBi product line and comprehensive workshop services. Located in Huntington Beach, Calif., BBi is the premier Porsche service facility in Southern California. BBi develops a comprehensive line of performance aftermarket and safety upgrades for all Porsche platforms and offers bespoke street and race engineering services. Through industry partnerships and new technology, BBi pushes the envelope in engineering and performance.

The Pikes Peak race and experience has captivated the team since the first race effort with Jeff Zwart in 2013, running the Porsche 997 “TurboCup”. This is one of the hardest events to prepare for given the unpredictable and brutal nature of the environment, limited access and complexity of the racecourse. Taking on the diverse challenges is what has been so intriguing for the team along with the general Pikes Peak sportsmanship and “family” of racers, teams and supporters. So many come together from across the world as there is no other race like the “Race to the Clouds” at Pikes Peak.

Audrain Motorsport, OPTIMA Batteries, Yokohama Tire, Little Warriors Foundation, Porsche Motorsport North America, Porsche Colorado Springs, RDS Automotive Group, Airtech, PFC, JRZ, Suspension Research Innovation, Rotiform, Verus Engineering, Aerosim Research, Garrett, Motul USA, Innovative Pro Design, Pankl Racing, Obsidian Motorsport Group, M-Engineering, Arobahn, Oilstain Lab, Creaform3D, ScanHub3D, Flying L Racing, STEK USA, Milwaukee Tools, Bill Rader Motorsports

 

Media Partners

Hoonigan / 000 Magazine / Linkage Magazine

 

BBi Media and PR Portal:

https://www.bbiautosport.com/bbihc2021

PR Contact: Dmitriy Orlov 301.675.2634

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Sixteen Drivers Take on Pikes Peak for the First Time on June 27

May 17, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator

Sixteen Drivers Take on Pikes Peak for the First Time on June 27

Meet Six of these Elite Competitors

Colorado Springs, CO — When the green flag drops on June 27th kicking off the 99th Running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, sixteen rookies will set their sights on the summit of America’s Mountain. Some will travel from as far away as Australia and France. Others live in the shadow of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs and Woodland Park. All share the same drive to conquer the course and master the mountain.

Benjamin Councill

Colorado Springs, Colorado – USA

Division: Pikes Peak Open

Vehicle: 2004 Cadillac XLR

Councill has long dreamed of racing on Pikes Peak. He has been a fan and worked as a crew member since 2010. “I love a challenge! I’m focusing on making sure both my car and I are in the best condition we can be for the race,” said Councill. “The only thing that pulls me away from racing is my amazing daughter, Allison, and I’d like to talk her into getting behind the wheel someday.”

Brett Dickie

Narre Warren, Australia

Division: Unlimited

Vehicle: 2000 Honda S2000

This 31-year old competitor began racing at age eight and has only missed one year on the track. Dickie’s journey to Pikes Peak began in 2018 when he won the Clubsprint Class in World Time Attack. He shared, “We were out for dinner one night in 2020 with the amazing crew from LA-based Project Import and the subject of Pikes Peak came up in conversation. The owner mentioned it was a dream to do it. I said, ‘Don’t dream! Let’s do!’ and we decided to rebuild the team’s Honda S2000 Time Attack Car. I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Cameron Ingram

Durham, North Carolina – USA

Division: Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama

Vehicle: 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport

“I love the history of hill climb events in Europe and Porsche’s success story with those events,” explains Ingram. “Pikes Peak is one of the last and truly grueling hill climb events left in the world. It’s a challenge in every way.” Ingram, co-owner of Road Scholars, author of Porsche Unexpected; Discoveries in Collecting, and Porsche aficionado has won more than 74 Concours awards and will be competing at both the Amelia Island and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this year.

Laurent Millara

Roquevaire, France

Division: Time Attack 1

Vehicle: 2008 Porsche 911 GT3

Drawn by the spirit of hill climb racing on Pikes Peak and mentored by overall course record holder, Romain Dumas, Millara’s racing experience encompasses GT and Le Mans prototype, including Le Mans 24 Hours. He is also well versed in track racing, rallying and ice racing.

William “Mirl” Swan

Brownsburg, Indiana – USA

Division: Unlimited

Vehicle: 2006 Swift 016a

Swan first learned about Pikes Peak watching ESPN’s SpeedWorld. “It’s one of the most iconic races in the world,” he explained. “The challenge of the course is what drew me to Pikes Peak.” His racing success began in 1992 when he was crowned SCCA Rookie and Driver of the Year for the Kansas Region. By 2009 he won at Sebring International Raceway in the Formula Atlantic Pro Series. Swan will run a Formula Atlantic chassis on Pikes Peak originally built by Swift Engineering.

Codie Vahsholtz

Woodland Park, Colorado – USA

Division: Open Wheel

Vehicle: 2013 Ford Open

Vahsholtz may be a rookie in a race car, but is a seasoned professional aboard a motorcycle on Pikes Peak. With ten years of competition on America’s Mountain under his belt in almost every motorcycle division, Vahsholtz holds the record set in 2013 in the Pikes Peak 250cc class. This year, he makes the shift from motorcycles to cars when he gets behind the wheel of his father’s, 2020 winning car. Codie joins his father, Clint, 2020 King of the Mountain, who holds 24 division wins, and his grandfather, Leonard, a Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Famer, as the third generation to challenge the 14,115 summit.

View the full 2021 Competitor List HERE

ABOUT THE PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB

First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds is held annually on the last Sunday of June on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet, and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet above sea level. The PPIHC’s automobile categories feature a wide variety of vehicles representing multiple forms of motorsport; everything from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles take on America’s Mountain pursuing victory. The 100th Running of this iconic motorsports event will take place in 2022.

Contact:
Lisa Haight
Event Coordinator / Media / Historian
lisa@ppihc.org
(719) 685-4400

KEEP READING

Farewell Bobby Unser – King of the Mountain

May 3, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator

Colorado Springs, CO – The entire Pikes Peak International Hill Climb family is mourning the loss of auto racing legend and Pikes Peak icon, Bobby Unser.

From his earliest days on Pikes Peak, Unser’s racing talent was evident. His first entry in 1955 was in the Open Wheel division where he finished 5th, behind brothers Louis J. and Jerry, in a field of nearly 30 competitors. In 1956, Bobby Unser won the Open Wheel division, setting a new course record in the process. This was the first of eight course records Unser would achieve on America’s Mountain, including an unprecedented five consecutive overall records from 1958 through 1962.

King of the Mountain, the title given to the fastest driver each year was bestowed on Unser ten times, more than any competitor in nearly 100 years of racing on Pikes Peak. He raced and won in the Open Wheel, Sports Car, Stock Car and Rally divisions.  After a 12-year hiatus Unser returned to competition in 1986 determined to best the overall record of 11:25.390 set in 1985 by France’s Michèle Mouton. As usual, he accomplished what he set out to do, and once again his name was etched in the record books. He raced the Audi Quattro Sport to the summit in 11:09.220.

“I knew Bobby for 44 years. He was a mythical legend to me who became a good friend,” said Bob Gillis, former chairman of the board for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “Not only did he win on Pikes Peak again and again, but he was perhaps one of the greatest ambassadors for this race. He brought drivers like Parnelli Jones and Mario Andretti to Pikes Peak. When he returned to the mountain with Audi in 1986 to recapture the King of the Mountain crown, he proved he was never better behind the wheel.”

Bobby Unser became a legend on the 12.42 mile course to the summit of Pikes Peak, and beyond and, by his own account, his success on Pikes Peak opened doors. As a world-renowned driver, Unser moved on to race and win at tracks around world, but he never forgot his roots. Inspired by the generation that preceded him, especially his uncle, Louis, Bobby Unser knew what he wanted and set out to get it. His competitive nature was nearly always evident, but so was his willingness to help fellow competitors by sharing advice and offering encouragement.

Bobby Unser was among the first inducted to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Museum Hall of Fame in 1997. His tribute reads:

American Racing Legend

Lifetime Pikes Peak Supporter

13 records in 18 years

Never failed to finish

3-time Indy winner

“Fans of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb will greatly miss Bobby Unser,” shared Don Sanborn, President of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Historical Association. “As a driver, his feats on Pikes Peak were unparalleled, with eight course records and 10 King of the Mountain titles. As an innovator, his collaboration with Goodyear Tire Company resulted in the Pikes Peak Special, a tire unmatched in its ability to provide traction and for many years was used by all competitors as the go-to tire for the dirt race course. As a story teller, he could entertain for hours with stories about Pikes Peak. From a humble start with no money for race fuel and nothing but an insatiable desire to go fast on Pikes Peak, Bobby realized his dreams through pure grit and determination.”

Bobby Unser has left an enduring legacy on Pikes Peak. His sensational career inspired generations to dream of what was possible and to follow in his footsteps. He accepted the challenge, embraced the danger and conquered the mountain.  He will be greatly missed.

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World Drifting Record Holder Johan Schwartz Ready to Race

April 30, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator

World Drifting Record Holder Johan Schwartz Ready to Race

Crosskarts Bring Action and Excitement to Pikes Peak

Colorado Springs, CO – International race driver, Johan Schwartz, will join a host of elite competitors for the 99th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo.

Schwartz is one of 17 rookies set to challenge the 12.42 mile course on Sunday, June 27, and is a seasoned pro behind the wheel. Most notably, he also offers private coaching, provides guidance on race car set up and presents webinars to virtually introduce drivers to some of the most popular tracks across America.

No stranger to motorsports, Schwartz is taking his drifting skills to new heights as he prepares for the Race to the Clouds. While he is accustomed to racing BMW’s, he has entered his 2021 American X Kart CrossKart in the Exhibition division. Originally from Denmark, his initial love for going fast began at age six on his family’s Christmas tree farm in fields and on frozen  ponds.

Schwartz traveled to America to complete his master’s degree, but after few years in corporate America, he decided to dedicate his time and energy to racing. Schwartz started Endurance Karting, an arrive-and-drive karting program for individuals and corporate events. His passion for pushing the envelope led him to sell his karting company and join BMW as a factory driving instructor. He is known for being a BMW fanatic in the drifting world, and his skill has landed him multiple Guinness World Records, including:

 

  • longest continuous drift – 51.278 miles
  • longest distance drifted over an eight-hour time period – a staggering 232.5 miles
  • longest twin vehicle drift – 49.25 miles

The twin vehicle drifting accolades were achieved with Matt Mullins piloting the second vehicle, at the BMW test track in South Carolina on a water soaked track. Amazingly, Mullins’ drifting skills allowed him to stay close enough to Schwartz that a crew member could actually refuel the car in mid-drift several times during the course of eight-hours.

Since 2018 crosskarts have been part of the field on Pikes Peak. Cole Powelson captured the best crosskart finish to date in 2020 behind the wheel of his Sierra Alpha. Powelson took third place in the Open Wheel division in a remarkable sub-10-minute clocking of 9:37.449. Powelson’s teammate, John McInnes, will return to Pikes Peak following his 2020 debut behind the wheel of his 2020 Sierra RX3.

Crosskarts, basically simplified versions of a sprint car, midget or mini sprint are equally impressive on a dirt track, ice, or the asphalt surface at Pikes Peak with highly responsive throttle and steering. Erland Andersson of Sweden is said to have invented the crosskart in the early 1980s. The idea was to create something that is safe, cheap, and easy to maintain but still fun to ride. Crosskarting is probably most popular in the Nordic countries, although in southern Europe a similar motorsport with more powerful engines, kartcross, exists.

ABOUT THE PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB

First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds is held annually on the last Sunday of June on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet, and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet above sea level. The PPIHC’s automobile categories feature a wide variety of vehicles representing multiple forms of motorsport; everything from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles take on America’s Mountain pursuing victory. The 100th Running of this iconic motorsports event will take place in 2022.
Contact:
Lisa Haight
Event Coordinator / Media / Historian
lisa@ppihc.org
(719) 685-4400
KEEP READING

Renewable Fuel to Power Continental GT3 to the Clouds

April 12, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator

 

 

 

 

 

RENEWABLE FUEL TO POWER CONTINENTAL GT3 TO THE CLOUDS – BENTLEY’S 2021 PIKES PEAK RACER UNVEILED

  • Bentley launches new sustainability initiative with return to Pikes Peak
  • “Continental GT3 Pikes Peak” to run on renewable fuel
  • Modified race car to be the most dynamic Bentley ever built
  • Bentley bids for triple crown of Pikes Peak records
  • Targeting Time Attack 1 record, to add to Production SUV and Production Car records attained in 2018 and 2019
  • Former King of the Mountain Rhys Millen returns to drive for Bentley
  • Car developed in conjunction with GT3 customer team Fastr
  • The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb brought to you by Gran Turismo to take place on 27 June 2021

(Crewe, 9 April 2021) Bentley has today launched a major new sustainability initiative, with the announcement of a renewable fuels research and development programme spearheaded by the most extreme road-car-based Bentley in its 101 year history. The Continental GT3 Pikes Peak, designed and built to compete for the Time Attack 1 record at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, will be the first competition Bentley to run on renewable fuel, ahead of a goal to offer sustainable fuels to Bentley’s customers around the world.

The modified Continental GT3 racer, based on Bentley’s race- and championship-winning car, will power its way through the 12.42-mile course running on a biofuel-based gasoline. Various blends of fuels are currently being tested and evaluated, with possible Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reductions of up to 85% over standard fossil fuel. This first step marks the start of a longer programme that will investigate both biofuels and e-fuels for their potential to power the Bentleys of past and present in a sustainable way.

Bentley’s ambitious and transformational Beyond100 programme will see the brand become the world’s leading sustainable luxury mobility company, with the entire Bentley model range offered with Hybrid variants by 2023 ahead of Bentley being BEV-only by 2030. The adoption of renewable fuel for this project signals the start of a long-term ambition for Bentley, initiating a research and development programme that aims to offer renewable fuels to Bentley customers in parallel to Bentley’s electrification programme. This two-strand strategy is set to maximise the pace of Bentley’s progress towards outright carbon neutrality, as part of its Beyond100 journey.

Combustion-engine Bentleys will still be produced for the next nine years – and Bentley’s new project aims to make those cars as sustainable as possible through the use of innovative fuel technologies. With more than 80% of all Bentleys ever built still on the road, a genuinely sustainable and customer-facing renewable fuel offering will also allow customers to enjoy their current and classic Bentleys responsibly for years to come.

Bentley’s Member of the Board for Engineering, Dr Matthias Rabe, comments:

“We are delighted to be returning to Pikes Peak for a third time – now powered by renewable fuel, as the launch project for another new element of our Beyond100 programme. Our powertrain engineers are already researching both biofuels and e-fuels for use by our customers alongside our electrification programme – with intermediate steps of adopting renewable fuels at the factory in Crewe and for our company fleet. In the meantime, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak will show that renewable fuels can allow motorsport to continue in a responsible way, and hopefully it will capture the third and final record in our triple crown.”

Bentley’s pinnacle Pikes Peak project is being run in conjunction with British Continental GT3 customer team Fastr, who have successfully campaigned their Bentley race car in time attack competitions across the country. Technical teams from Bentley and Fastr are working together with specialists from M-Sport in Cumbria to extract the maximum possible performance from the Continental GT3 package, which will be run in Colorado by the same team and with assistance from K-PAX Racing.

To break the record, the car will have to complete the nearly 5,000 ft climb, which includes 156 corners, at an average speed of more than 78 mph to cross the finish line in less than nine minutes and 36 seconds. To help achieve this ambitious target, Bentley has once again turned to three-time Pikes Peak champion and former “King of the Mountain’ Rhys Millen (NZ) – who holds individual class records. It was with Millen that Bentley captured its two existing Pikes Peak records – the Production SUV record attained in 2018 with a Bentayga W12, and the outright Production Car record scored in 2019 with a Continental GT.

“There is no better proving ground for automotive engineering than the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Historically, manufacturer success on Pikes Peak translates to advances in consumer offerings,” explained Megan Leatham, executive director of the event. “With Rhys Millen’s proven performance on this mountain, we’re excited to see a possible third record from Bentley.”

The Most Extreme Road-Car-Based Bentley in History

With the start line at 9,300 ft, the course climbs to 14,115 ft – where the air is 1/3 less dense than at sea level. This environment means that the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak features modifications both to its aerodynamics package and its engine, turning it into the most extreme iteration of a Continental GT – or indeed any Bentley road car – ever.

The biggest rear wing ever fitted to a Bentley dominates the rear of the car, sitting above a highly efficient rear diffuser that surrounds the transaxle gearbox. This rear aerodynamic package is balanced by a two-plane splitter at the front, flanked by separate dive planes.

The engine is Bentley’s proven racing power unit, developed from the 4.0-litre turbo V8 fitted to the Continental GT V8. For the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak, engine modifications together with the use of carefully selected biofuel will ensure the engine develops significant horsepower despite the rarefied conditions it will operate in. Short side-exit exhausts will ensure the car sounds as dramatic as it looks.

Further modifications include cooling air scoops in place of the rear windows, and the obligatory stopwatch mounted to the roll cage next to the steering wheel, to allow Rhys Millen to keep track of his sector times up the mountain.

The Continental GT3 Pikes Peak now enters a major test and development phase, based initially in the UK before being shipped to the USA for altitude testing. An update on the progress of the car will be issued in May, ahead of the 99th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on 27th June. More technical details about the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak will be released in due course.

Notes to editors

Bentley Motors is the most sought-after luxury car brand in the world. The company’s headquarters in Crewe is home to all of its operations including design, R&D, engineering, Mulliner and production of the company’s three model lines, Continental, Flying Spur, and Bentayga. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury car brands such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley employs around 4,000 people at Crewe.

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MOBIL 1 RETURNS TO PIKES PEAK TO STREAM LIVE RACING ACTION ON JUNE 27

April 7, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Colorado Springs, CO – From 14,115 feet to your mobile device, The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, will be covered live from America’s Mountain as part of an innovative partnership with the Mobil 1™ brand.

Race enthusiasts will be able to access the livestream via the Mobil 1 Facebook page, on Sunday, June 27, 2021. The free online experience titled, “PPIHC Race Day Powered by Mobil 1,” will bring fans closer than ever to the racing action, including live commentary, special guests, exclusive giveaways, and more.

“While we are thrilled to be able to invite spectators back to the mountain for the 99th Running of this famous race, we know not everyone who would like to join us can do so. Thanks to our long-standing partnership with the Mobil 1 brand, and their dedication to showcasing all this race has to offer, we are able to bring this motorsports event to anyone wishing to experience it,” explained Megan Leatham, Executive Director of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “The cutting-edge livestream that the Mobil 1 team pioneered last year will return in June and allow our fans a unique opportunity to view the action anywhere they have access to Facebook.”

ABOUT THE PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB

First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds is held annually on the last Sunday of June on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet, and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet above sea level. The PPIHC’s automobile categories feature a wide variety of vehicles representing multiple forms of motorsport; everything from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles take on America’s Mountain pursuing victory. The 100th Running of this iconic motorsports event will take place in 2022.

Contact:
Lisa Haight
Event Coordinator / Media / Historian
lisa@ppihc.org
(719) 685-4400

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Dumas, Donohue and Astier Among Thirteen Porsche Racers to Challenge Pikes Peak on June 27

April 6, 2021 |by PPIHC | 0 Comments | Competitor, Spectator

Colorado Springs, Colorado. Porsche has been racing since its first vehicle rolled off the small assembly line and immediately went to a hill climb… and won. In 1958, the first Porsche came to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. In 1960, Robert Donner, Jr. drove a Porsche RSK to the sports car manufacturer’s first division win. In 2020, his son, David Donner (Colorado Springs, Colorado), raced a Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport to the marque’s 29th victory with a time of nine-minutes, 36.559-seconds in the Time Attack 1 Division. On June 27, a baker’s dozen of Porsche privateers will challenge “America’s Mountain” in the 99th Running of Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you Gran Turismo, near Colorado Springs, Colorado spread across three divisions: Time Attack 1, Pikes Peak Open and the bespoke Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama. Pikes Peak is North America’s second oldest motorsport event, just behind the Indianapolis 500, and will celebrate its centennial edition in 2022.

The 12.42-mile, two-lane road winds over 156 turns as it climbs from its 9,390-foot starting line, up Pikes Peak to the finish at 14,115-feet. The all-time race record is seven-minutes, 57.148-seconds set by Porsche factory driver Roman Dumas (France) in 2018 driving the electric Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak prototype race car. The current Time Attack 1 record for production-based cars is 9:23.721 established in 2019 by French rally racer Raphael Astier in a modified Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car which had been fitted with a turbocharger. Travis Pastrana (Annapolis, Maryland) holds the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama course record in a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport at 10:33.897 set the first year of the division, 2018.

As it was in 2020, Porsche is in-line to make a challenge for the overall win when the race returns to its traditional date in June. Leading the effort will be Dumas who returns to Pikes Peak in a Porsche. As announced on February 15, the Frenchman will team with longtime dealer and motorsport partner Champion Porsche to field a 911 GT2 RS Clubsport in the popular livery of the Florida operation. While his all-time record may remain safe, the outright victory is within the grasp of the track-only variant of the road-going Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Major competition in the Time Attack 1 Division will come from David Donohue (West Chester, Pennsylvania) who was a leading contender in the BBi Autosport-prepared Porsche in 2020. A third Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport – a twin-turbocharged machine capable of 700 Hp – has been entered by Germany’s Christoph Breuer. It will be his first attempt at the event which is also wildly popular in Europe and Asia.

Two more Europeans will travel to Colorado this summer with first-time aspirations in the Time Attack 1 Division with Porsche-built race cars. Laurent Millara (France) has entered a 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 while Steve Zimmer (Luxemburg) has modified his Porsche Cayman GT4 for the intense competition of Time Attack 1.

Five of the dozen Porsche entries in the “Race to the Clouds” come in the invitation-only one make division known as the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama. Headlining the group of contenders, all racing the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars, is veteran rally and stunt driver Tanner Foust (Newport Beach, California). Challenging Foust will be 2020 Rookie of the Year Kathryn Mead (Austin, Texas) who is making her second start in the Cayman race car after an impressive run that caught organizer’s and fan interest alike. Local George Hess is back for another attempt to sit atop the division standings as is Charles “Chas” Wirken (Mesa, Arizona). Cameron Ingram (Durham, North Carolina) is the fifth entry in the division. Ingram – whose Road Scholars is a longtime supporter of eight-time event winner and division coach Jeff Zwart (Aspen, Colorado/Long Beach, California) – is making his competition debut in the new mid-engine Porsche after intense preparations.

The Pikes Peak Open Division is home to three Porsche-based entries. Astier – who calls Huntington Beach, California home – returns to try and better his production-car based event record in the BBi-built turbocharged, modified 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Andy Kingsley (Buena Vista, Colorado) faces down the challenge in a modified twin-turbocharged 2002 Porsche 911. Colorado Springs’s own Chris Strauch looks to impress his neighbors in the division with a 1970 Porsche 914 “Wide Body” he has modified.

The first Pikes Peak Hill Climb was run in 1916 on a gravel circuit carved up to the Mountain’s summit. By 2012, the full 12.42-mile, 156-turn circuit was paved over, up to the 14,115-foot pinnacle. The race itself starts at the seven-mile marker giving competitors a 4,725-foot elevation change during their timed run.

More information can be found at: ppihc.org/.

Erik Skirmants, Event Manager, Pikes Peak, Porsche Motorsport North America.

“The Pikes Peak Hill Climb’s heritage in North America, and the strong international following it has, continues to be an excellent venue to showcase Porsche strengths in competition. Power to weight is critical in a hill climb, as well as the tested durability of our motorsport cars. We have a few modified/shop-prepared Porsches as there has always been but with the introduction of the turn key Clubsport models, we have shown that Porsche has series produced models that are instantly competitive on the world stage. We are very happy with the mix of competitors who will be showing that the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport sets the bar for versatility and speed exactly as produced.”

Megan Leatham, Executive Director, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

“The excitement of our event is definitely elevated by the presence of Porsche on the mountain. The racing technology that Porsche presents, along with the top-tier drivers they attract, really takes competition to the next level. Combine that with their history on Pikes Peak, going back to the late 1950s, and the number of wins and records set over the years, and Porsche is undoubtedly a major player.”

Andrew Briggs, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management, Yokohama Tire.

“The Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama has become a classic race. Each year the competition is incredible. For Yokohama, it’s been a tremendous honor to combine our heritage on the mountain with our ongoing support of Porsche activities in North America, and we’re excited about this year’s Race to the Clouds.”

Photo Credit: Larry Chen Photo

Contact:
Lisa Haight
Event Coordinator / Media / Historian
lisa@ppihc.org

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