Pikes Peak: Ascent to the Clouds on Two Wheels

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Welcome to Pikes Peak: America’s Mountain and home to the thrilling Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This invitational event, also known as the Race to the Clouds, is a historic and challenging race that attracts the best drivers and riders from around the world.

Since its inception in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has captured the hearts of motorsports enthusiasts. Held on the majestic Pikes Peak, also known as America’s Mountain, the race features a 12.42-mile course with 156 turns and a breathtaking climb of 4,720 feet. It’s an exhilarating journey that combines the thrill of speed with the stunning beauty of the surrounding landscape.

The Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent is a highlight of the race, showcasing the skill and bravery of riders as they conquer the challenging course on two wheels. As the race has evolved, electric racers and juiced-up motorcycles have brought new excitement and competition to the event, pushing the limits of what is possible.

Whether you’re a motorsports fan, adventure seeker, or simply love the thrill of competition, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is an event you don’t want to miss. Join us as we embark on an unforgettable journey to the clouds, where riders and drivers test their limits and reach new heights of performance.

Stay tuned for more about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, its rich history, memorable moments, and the future of this iconic race. Lace up your boots and prepare for an adrenaline-packed ride. The ascent to the clouds awaits you!

A Brief History of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb boasts a long and storied history, making it America’s second oldest auto race. The inaugural race took place in 1916 and was founded by the renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, Spencer Penrose.

From its modest beginnings, the event has grown into an internationally renowned spectacle that attracts top drivers and riders from around the world. It has become a true test of skill and determination for both man and machine, captivating motorsports enthusiasts far and wide.

“Pursue knowledge, gain experience, and ‘climb the peak’.”

The race’s rich history is punctuated by memorable moments that have shaped its legacy. One such instance was when Rea Lentz achieved an upset victory in a homemade car during the early years. Another iconic moment came in 2013, when Sebastien Loeb shattered records with his awe-inspiring run, leaving an indelible mark on the race’s history.

Spencer Penrose’s vision has transformed the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb into an event that pushes the boundaries of automotive excellence. Year after year, drivers and riders write new chapters of triumph, showcasing the relentless pursuit of victory on one of America’s most treasured racing courses.

Embracing the Spirit of Innovation

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has always attracted visionaries and pioneers in the automotive industry. By embracing innovative technology and pushing the limits of performance, the race has propelled itself into the future.

From the early days of wooden-spoked wheels to the present era of electric vehicles, the event has embraced the spirit of innovation. Electric racers have emerged, adding new excitement and competition to the race, while continuously challenging the dominance of gasoline-powered cars.

Looking Ahead

As the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb continues to evolve, its storied history serves as a foundation for future breakthroughs and achievements. The race remains a testament to the audacity and determination of those who dare to conquer the mountain’s towering heights.

With advances in technology and the ever-growing popularity of motorsports, the future of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb promises even more exhilarating races, thrilling moments, and record-breaking performances.

“The only way to reach the summit is by aiming high and pushing beyond all limitations.”

Divisions in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Division

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is an exhilarating event that showcases a wide variety of vehicles. With several divisions to compete in, the race offers something for everyone, from fans of high-speed racing to enthusiasts of unique car designs. Let’s take a closer look at the different divisions that make the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb so diverse and exciting.

Unlimited Division

The Unlimited division is the most attention-grabbing division in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It allows for a wide range of vehicles, from purpose-built race cars to highly modified production cars. In this division, competitors are free to push the boundaries of engineering and performance, capturing the essence of pure speed and power.

Time Attack Division

The Time Attack division focuses on production-based vehicles striving for the fastest time. These cars are modified for speed, aerodynamics, and overall performance. The drivers battle against the clock, pushing themselves and their machines to the limit in pursuit of a record-breaking time.

Open Wheel Division

The Open Wheel division showcases a thrilling category of vehicles known for their sleek design and open cockpits. These lightweight, single-seater cars are purpose-built for speed, agility, and maneuverability. The division attracts drivers who possess exceptional skill and bravery, as they navigate the challenging twists and turns of the course.

Pikes Peak GT4 Trophy by Yokohama

The Pikes Peak GT4 Trophy by Yokohama division features production-based sports cars that meet specific regulations set by Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. These cars represent the pinnacle of performance for their respective manufacturers, displaying the perfect blend of power, handling, and aerodynamics.

Exhibition Division

The Exhibition division provides a platform for unique, experimental, and one-of-a-kind vehicles that fall outside the traditional divisions. This division showcases the creativity and innovation of automotive enthusiasts, captivating spectators with their unconventional designs and daring engineering feats.

These divisions contribute to the diversity and excitement of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, making it a must-watch event for motorsport enthusiasts. From the raw power of the Unlimited division to the precision and agility of the Open Wheel division, each division offers a unique spectacle and adds to the thrill of the race. Whether you’re a fan of speed, engineering marvels, or unconventional designs, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has something to offer for everyone.

Get ready to witness the heart-pounding action as drivers and their vehicles conquer the challenging course. Strap in and experience the adrenaline rush of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The Thrill of the Ascent: Riders on Two Wheels

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is not just about four-wheeled vehicles; it is also a thrilling event for motorcycle enthusiasts. The motorcycle division of the race brings together some of the most talented and courageous riders who take on the challenge of the 12.42-mile course on two wheels.

With breathtaking views and hairpin turns, the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent is a true test of skill and bravery. The riders navigate the treacherous terrain, battling gravity and pushing their machines to the limit.

In recent years, the race has witnessed the rise of electric racers and juiced-up motorcycles. These high-performance machines add a new level of excitement and competition to the event. The electric racers, with their instantaneous torque delivery, zoom up the mountain with incredible speed. Meanwhile, the juiced-up motorcycles, modified for optimum performance, provide an adrenaline-pumping spectacle for spectators.

The motorcycle division showcases the sheer skill and bravery of these riders as they defy limits and reach new heights on America’s mountain. They navigate the turns, feeling the rush of wind as they accelerate through each section. The risks are high, but so are the rewards.

“Riding in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a thrilling experience like no other. The combination of the challenging course and the stunning mountain scenery creates an unforgettable ride.” – Mike Hill, professional motorcycle racer

The motorcycle division has become one of the most thrilling aspects of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It attracts riders from all over the world who are eager to test their skills and compete against the best. The camaraderie among the riders is palpable, as they share a passion for the sport and a desire to conquer the mountain.

Riders to Watch

Every year, the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent showcases some of the most talented riders in the world. Here are a few riders to watch out for:

  • Chris Fillmore: A dominant force in the motorcycle division, Fillmore has multiple wins under his belt and consistently sets fast times.
  • Rennie Scaysbrook: Known for his aggressive riding style, Scaysbrook is a fearless competitor who pushes the limits on the challenging course.
  • Lucy Glöckner: Glöckner is a rising star in the motorcycle division, becoming the first woman to win the heavyweight class and setting a new record in the process.

These riders, along with many others, bring excitement and anticipation to the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent, captivating audiences with their incredible skills and daring performances.

Experience the Thrill

If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or simply seeking an adrenaline-fueled experience, the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent is a must-see event. Witness the skill and bravery of the riders as they tackle the challenging course and reach new heights.

Mark your calendars and join us for the upcoming Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to witness the heart-pounding action of the motorcycle division. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

The Evolution of the Race: From Dirt to Asphalt

Pikes Peak Highway Hairpin Turn

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has undergone significant changes over the years. The race originally featured a combination of gravel and paved sections, but as of August 2011, the entire Pikes Peak Highway is fully paved. This shift to a fully paved course has had a dramatic impact on the race, transforming it into a high-speed spectacle.

With the adoption of a fully paved course, competitors can now push the limits of speed on the smooth asphalt. The increased traction and improved road surface allow for faster acceleration and higher cornering speeds, resulting in lower overall times. This evolution has attracted top racers from around the world, eager to test their skills on the fully paved course and challenge existing records.

“The transition to a fully paved course has revolutionized the race, creating an exciting new era of speed and competition.” – Pikes Peak International Hill Climb officials

Since the transition to a fully paved course, numerous records have been shattered. Cars and motorcycles have achieved unprecedented speeds and set new benchmarks for performance. The smooth pavement offers enhanced grip and stability, enabling racers to tackle the demanding twists and turns of the course with greater confidence and precision.

The fully paved course has not only impacted the performance of the vehicles, but also the overall experience for spectators. With increased speeds and tighter competition, the race has become a thrilling spectacle for fans who gather along the course to witness the adrenaline-fueled action.

To showcase the significance of this evolution, take a look at this image of a racer negotiating a hairpin turn on the fully paved Pikes Peak Highway:

The Need for Speed

The switch to a fully paved course has unlocked new levels of speed and excitement at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Racers now have the opportunity to push their vehicles to the limit, aiming for record-breaking times and unforgettable performances.

  • Faster acceleration: The improved traction of the paved surface allows vehicles to launch off the line with greater force, accelerating to high speeds in a shorter time.
  • Higher cornering speeds: The enhanced grip of the pavement enables racers to take turns at higher speeds, maintaining better control and reducing lap times.
  • Improved stability: The smoothness of the asphalt provides a stable platform for vehicles, minimizing the risk of losing control and allowing racers to push harder without compromising safety.
  • Optimized race strategies: With the predictability of the fully paved course, racers can fine-tune their strategies, finding the perfect racing lines and maximizing their speed in each section of the race.

The evolution from a dirt and gravel course to a fully paved highway has truly elevated the level of competition and excitement at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The combination of speed, precision, and skill displayed by the racers is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

European Influence and Record-Breaking Runs

European Racers

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has attracted European racers who have made a significant impact on the race, bringing a new level of competition and excitement.

In 1984, Norwegian Rallycrosser Martin Schanche and French Rally driver Michèle Mouton left their mark on the race, showcasing their exceptional skills and determination. Mouton achieved an overall victory, setting a track record in the process. Her victory and record-breaking run were testaments to her exceptional driving skills and the capabilities of her vehicle.

“The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a true test of skill and courage, and I am honored to have achieved victory and set a new track record. It was an exhilarating experience conquering the challenging course and pushing myself to the limit.” – Michèle Mouton, French Rally driver

The European influence continued with the participation of Finnish former World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen in 1989. Vatanen’s impressive performance resulted in him winning the event in a record-breaking time, further showcasing the capabilities of European racers at Pikes Peak.

Over the years, the race has also witnessed the emergence of electric vehicles, challenging the dominance of gasoline-powered cars. These electric vehicles have steadily been breaking records and impressing spectators with their speed and performance on the demanding course.

“Electric vehicles are the future of motorsports. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb provides the perfect platform to showcase the advancements in technology and the capabilities of electric vehicles. It’s an exciting time for the sport.” – Ari Vatanen, Finnish former World Rally Champion

The participation of European racers, such as Michèle Mouton and Ari Vatanen, and the emergence of electric vehicles have added to the rich history and thrill of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The Rise of Electric Vehicles at Pikes Peak

electric cars at Pikes Peak

Electric vehicles have revolutionized the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, establishing a new era of performance and sustainability. These innovative cars have numerous advantages that make them formidable contenders in the race.

The first advantage is their instant torque delivery. Electric motors provide immediate and seamless acceleration, allowing drivers to unleash their full power right from the start. This instantaneous response gives electric cars a competitive edge, especially on the challenging terrain of Pikes Peak.

Another significant advantage of electric vehicles is their high-altitude performance. Unlike traditional internal combustion engines, which lose power as the air thins at higher elevations, electric motors are unaffected by altitude. This means that electric cars can maintain their full power and performance throughout the entire race, regardless of the altitude.

The rise of electric vehicles at Pikes Peak has not gone unnoticed. In 2018, Romain Dumas made history by setting the overall record for the race in the all-electric Volkswagen I.D. R. He completed the 12.42-mile course with an impressive time of 7 minutes 57.148 seconds, showcasing the potential of electric vehicles in motorsports.

“Electric vehicles have proven their worth at Pikes Peak, demonstrating their unbeatable performance and breaking records in the process. They have truly revolutionized the race.” – Romain Dumas

With their sustainable and high-performance technology, electric vehicles have established themselves as game-changers in motorsports. Their ability to deliver instant torque and maintain high-altitude performance has raised the bar for the entire race. As advancements continue to be made in electric vehicle technology, we can expect even more incredible feats and record-breaking runs at Pikes Peak.

The Impact of Paving the Highway

The decision to pave the Pikes Peak Highway has had a profound impact on the race. The city of Colorado Springs began paving the highway in 2002 after losing a lawsuit related to erosion damage caused by the gravel surface.

This gradual transition from gravel to pavement marked a significant turning point in the history of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The change was met with mixed reactions, as some traditionalists mourned the loss of the challenging dirt sections while others embraced the new opportunities.

By the time the 2011 event rolled around, the entire course had become fully paved, bidding farewell to the last remnants of dirt sections. This transformation brought several notable changes to the race.

One notable impact of the fully paved course is the increased speed of the vehicles. With a smooth and consistent surface, drivers and riders were able to push their machines to the limit, resulting in faster times and thrilling moments on the mountain.

Additionally, the paving of the highway has made the race more accessible to a wider range of vehicles. Previously, the gravel sections posed a significant challenge for certain types of vehicles, limiting participation. However, with the course now fully paved, competitors from different divisions can navigate the entire course with confidence, leading to a higher level of participation and broader representation in the race.

The decision to pave the Pikes Peak Highway has transformed the event into a high-speed spectacle that continues to captivate motorsports enthusiasts worldwide. With increased speeds, improved safety conditions, and a greater level of participation, the fully paved course has breathed new life into the race, attracting even more competitors and fans eager to witness the excitement and drama unfold on America’s mountain.

Memorable Moments and Iconic Records

course records

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has a long history filled with memorable moments and iconic records that have captivated motorsports enthusiasts worldwide. From legendary drivers to record-breaking runs, this race is known for pushing the limits of human and machine.

Legendary Drivers and Record-Breaking Runs

Throughout the years, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has attracted legendary drivers who have left their mark on the race. Bobby Unser’s string of record-breaking runs in the 1950s and 1960s showcased his skill and determination, solidifying his status as one of the greatest drivers in the sport. Sébastien Loeb’s record-shattering run in 2013 was another iconic moment that stunned spectators and set a new benchmark for future competitors.

“The race has been the stage for legendary drivers and incredible feats.”

Continuous Pursuit of Excellence

One of the most remarkable aspects of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the continuous pursuit of excellence. The race’s course records have been broken numerous times as drivers and teams strive to push the boundaries and achieve new levels of performance. Each record-breaking run represents the dedication and determination of the competitors, pushing themselves and their vehicles to the limit.

A Prestigious Hill Climb

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has earned its reputation as one of the most challenging and prestigious hill climbs in the world. The combination of the treacherous course, high elevation, and legendary drivers creates an atmosphere of excitement and anticipation. Every year, fans and participants eagerly await the latest record-breaking run and iconic moment that will etch itself into the event’s rich history.

The Future of the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent

The future of the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent looks promising, with exciting advancements in technology and the growing popularity of electric motorcycles. As technology continues to evolve, electric motorcycles are expected to play a larger role in the race, revolutionizing the way riders approach the challenging course.

Advancements in electric motorcycle technology have already made significant strides in terms of performance and range. These bikes offer instant torque and impressive acceleration, giving riders an edge as they tackle the demanding Pikes Peak course. With further improvements on the horizon, electric motorcycles have the potential to set new records and push the limits of what is possible on two wheels.

“Electric motorcycles bring a new level of excitement to the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent. Their instant torque and silent power delivery provide a unique experience for riders and spectators alike.”

The future holds new challenges and exciting developments for the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent. Riders will continue to test their skills and showcase the capabilities of electric motorcycles, pushing the boundaries of performance and endurance. This ongoing evolution will captivate motorsports enthusiasts around the world and solidify the race’s position as a platform for innovation and progression.

To stay at the forefront of these future developments, riders, teams, and fans must embrace the advancements in electric motorcycle technology. By embracing these changes, we can ensure the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent remains a thrilling and groundbreaking event for years to come.

Key Takeaways:

  • Advancements in technology are paving the way for electric motorcycles to play a larger role in the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent.
  • Electric motorcycles offer instant torque and impressive acceleration, providing a unique experience for riders and spectators.
  • The ongoing evolution of electric motorcycle technology will bring new challenges and exciting developments to the race.
  • Embracing these advancements is crucial to ensuring the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent remains a thrilling and groundbreaking event.

Join the Pikes Peak Community

To stay connected with all the latest news, events, and promotions related to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, be sure to join the Pikes Peak community. By signing up, you will receive updates on race announcements, behind-the-scenes content, and special promotions. Joining the community is a great way to show your support for the race and stay informed about all the exciting developments surrounding the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent.

Whether you’re a motorsports enthusiast or simply curious about this thrilling event, becoming a part of the Pikes Peak community will keep you engaged and informed. Stay up to date with the latest PPIHC news and be the first to know about upcoming events, ticket sales, and exclusive promotions.

As a community member, you’ll gain access to behind-the-scenes content that takes you closer to the action. Get a glimpse into the world of professional racing and discover the incredible stories of the drivers and riders who tackle the challenging course.

Joining the Pikes Peak community is easy and free. Simply visit our website and sign up with your email address to start receiving regular updates and exclusive content. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of this iconic motorsports event. Sign up today and become a valued member of the Pikes Peak community!

Get Your Tickets and Experience the Thrill

Don’t miss out on the action and thrills of the Pikes Peak Motorcycle Ascent. Get your tickets now and experience the excitement firsthand.

In addition to the race itself, there are also fan fest events where you can engage with fellow enthusiasts and get up close to the vehicles and teams. It’s an unforgettable experience that allows you to witness the incredible skill and bravery of the riders as they conquer the challenging course.

Purchase your tickets today and make sure you don’t miss this thrilling event on America’s mountain, Pikes Peak.

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