Largest Pikes Peak International Hill Climb In History Starts Tomorrow
Anticipation for this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has been heavy. Never before in the history of the world’s tallest hill climb race has there been so much interest and excitement about it. This year, an unprecedented 400 drivers (157 of which are officially competing) will be vying for the Peak, pushing themselves and their vehicles from the lofty nine thousand or so feet at the base to the fourteen thousand foot summit.
International race stars will be there, with Pikes Peak veterans like Rhys Millen, Romain Dumas, and other members of the “9 Minute Club” – those who’ve scaled the peak in less than ten minutes – leading the show. Newcomers with a lot of racing credibility, however, will also be hitting the mountain, including Sebastien Loeb driving for Peugeot seeing if he can turn his powerful success as nine-time World Rally Champion into a win on the newly-paved hill.
Returning Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champions are also going to be there, including Nobuhiro Tajima, another member of the 9 Minute Club, who is tackling the hill this time in a custom-built electric race car aptly called The Monster after its large-and-in-charge driver. Another veteran on the mountain will be Jean-Philippe Dayraut of France, who is taking the unusual step of driving a 900 horsepower No Limit Mini Countryman that’s never been tested in hill climb before. Rod Millen is this time also going electric in a purpose-built Toyota EV P002. In fact, a total of seven electric cars will be running up the hill, including two from Mitsubishi in a surprise entry of a set of newly-designed MiEV Evolution II twins. One of those will be driven by six-time Pikes Peak motorcycle champion Greg Tracy behind the steering wheel of the four-wheel drive EV.
On two wheels, things are also going to get hot in the thin air of the Peak. Every major motorcycle maker and race club that can be named will be vying for the top. Of interest are some electric entries from Lightning Motors and a possible entry from Brammo as well. The Lightning will be ridden by last year’s Pikes Peak 1205 division winner Carlin Dunne, so all eyes will be watching his potential record-setting climb. Veteran climber Doug Siddens from Texas is unveiling a newly-designed Polaris RZR-X for the race, hoping to take his Exhibition Powersport category win from last year and make it a double.
This year, the Colorado Springs Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will broadcast live via Internet streaming on RedBull.TV in a 91st Race to the Clouds presentation.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second-oldest motorsports event in the U.S., and the tallest mountain climb in all of world motor climbing events. Racing begins early in the morning on June 30 and runs all day.