Colorado Springs (January 16)—- 62 drivers from seven nations are part of the opening lineup of competitors announced for the 98th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, on June 28.
Drivers from the United States, France, Sweden, South Africa, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom will be on hand on America’s Mountain for the Race to the Clouds, with additional competitors to be announced in the weeks to come.
The world’s toughest auto hill climb and second-oldest American motorsport race behind the Indianapolis 500, featuring a challenging course with 156 turns over 12.42 miles to the summit of 14,115-ft. Pikes Peak, will feature a trio of accomplished drivers who have their sights set on winning.
Robin Shute (Old Buckenham, United Kingdom) will return after winning top honors in the Unlimited Division last year with a clocking of 9:12.476, the fastest time in the race. His win last year earned him the coveted King of the Mountain title and he is hoping to notch back-to-back triumphs.
Shute, 32, grew up in the United Kingdom, and beginning at a very young age, was racing radio-controlled cars at a national level. Moving on to karts and alpine ski racing throughout his teenage years, he broadened his skillsets to a variety of speed disciplines. Motorsports and competition are very much in his blood. His father, Tony Shute, is a renowned development driver and racer for Goodyear tires, Lotus and Caterham.
In 2011, Robin relocated to California where he started his automotive engineering career at Tesla Motors. He continued his racing development, running in multiple Formula Car classes where he would end up taking a National title in Formula Pro Mazda. Several endurance appearances in GT cars would follow, both in the UK and in America, showing his competitiveness and versatility as a driver. He made his first appearance on Pikes Peak in 2017.
Tommy Boileau (Monument, CO) will be entered in a tough Pikes Peak Open Division, where he took fourth place in 2019. He’ll be driving a 1967 Chevrolet Camaro this time as he attempts to take home a victory for his fans.
Boileau is a 26-year-old driver from the small town of Monument, just north of Colorado Springs. He began racing in go-karts at the age of eight and showed talent from an early age. By the time he was thirteen, he had already claimed numerous karting championships and was prepared to transition to cars. He became the youngest American to be granted a road racing license at age fourteen when he received his NASA competition license. In his first year of sports car racing, he finished second in the championship of the highly competitive Spec Miata class, was granted Rookie of the Year honors and invited to the NASA National Championships at Mid-Ohio. The next year Boileau was asked to drive a BMW M3 for a team based out of his home state. He was quicker than ever, and once again finished second in national points. He received his SCCA National Competition License and took the SCCA world by storm. Racing in a Honda S2000 for Honda HPD in the T3 class, he was favored by SportsCar Magazine to win the National Championship Runoffs. Boileau was National Points champion in T3, runner up in FV and National Driver of the Year. In 2019, he was the SCCA T4 Divisional Champion and was named Rookie of the Year at Pikes Peak.
Shawn Bassett (Orlando, FL) will be driving a 1972 Datsun 240Z in the PPIHC Exhibition Division in his Rookie appearance on the Peak. His first time at Pikes Peak in an unusual auto has a great story behind it. Not every auto build that begins with a definite plan ends up following it to a tee. Sometimes, circumstances can push a project car in a completely different direction. That’s exactly what happened when Bassett first laid eyes on a 240Z at a local racetrack. “I was there with my prerunner [race truck] competing in a rallycross class,” he remembers. “And I saw a little yellow Z on the nearby road course. I had to have one, and three days later, I was the proud owner of the cheapest possible Datsun from Miami Craigslist.” “I had always wanted to run the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Being a longtime professional motorcycle racer, I thought it would happen on two wheels, not four,” he explains. “But I realized it was time to finally put to use all the fabrication and composite skills I’d learned over the years to give this beat-up car a purpose and make that dream a reality for me at the same time.” And, here he is in 2020.
A total of 10 former Pikes Peak champions are on the first list of competitors announced today.
They include Shute, seven-time champion Jeff Zwart (Aspen, CO), 10-time winner Paul Dallenbach (Basalt, CO), who won last year’s crown in the Open Wheel Division, and the veteran Layne Schranz (Birmingham, AL), three-time champion.
Other former winners in the field are Raphael Astier (La Teil, Ardeche, France), last year’s Time Attack 1 champion and record-setter, David Donohue (West Chester, PA), the 2018 Time Attack 1 winner, James Robinson, (Raymond, Ohio), the 2011 Exhibition winner, and Fumio Nutahara (Eniwa-shi, Hokkaido, Japan), who won the past Electric Modified title in 2012.
View the full list of 2020 PPIHC Competitors HERE.
Two former Vintage Division champions are also looking to add wins in new divisions; two-time champion, Ralf Christensson (Stockholm, Sweden) returns in the Pikes Peak Open Division, and Chris Lennon (Monument, Colorado) moves to the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama Division.
Last year’s 97th edition of the race attracted 7,840 fans to the mountain on race day, and spectators from 24 countries and more than 40 states.
The 2020 edition of the race will not include motorcycle competition. PPIHC staff and board members are tracking all metrics related to the annual race and plan to make a final determination in late 2020 about whether or not the inclusion of a motorcycle program will take place in future years.
Mike Moran firstname.lastname@example.org
PPIHC Senior Media Consultant
1631 Mesa Avenue, Suite E
Colorado Springs, CO 80906