The legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the major rallying events that started back in 1916. The race takes place every year in the Colorado (USA) mountains. It is to rallying, what Le Mans is to prototype racing.
The course starts at an elevation of 2 862 m (9,390 ft.) and ends up at 4 300 m (14,110 ft.). It's 19.98 Km (12.42 miles) long and is composed of 156 turns. It's also a mixture of gravel and pavement with the paved part 9.65 Km (6 miles) long.
The so called "Race to The Clouds" features numerous categories that include quads, bikes, sidecars, open wheels and even trucks! Of course the most popular category is the Unlimited, in which competitors usally bring cars exclusively built for the event, with power figures sometimes up to 1000 Hp. The Suzuki XL7 Pikes Peak competitor shown in the picture above belongs to the unlimited category, it is driven by Nobuhiro Tajima who by the way holds the absolute course record of 10:01.408. This record braking run was achieved in the 2007 edition of the race. Tagima "Monster" brought a lot of interesting Pikes Peak competitors like the so familiar to Gran Turismo players (including me), the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Version or the 2009 edition winner: the Suzuki SX4 Pikes Peak Version.
The Pikes Peak race with its blind turns, sometimes with no barriers, offers true rallying experience and shows how much risk takers the participants are. (And i'm pretty sure that some people have big problems with that.. Do you have somebody in mind?)
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb has attracted plenty of professional rally drivers over the years like legendary Porsche test driver Walter Röhrl who won the 1987 edition on his Audi Quattro S1 or Ari Vatanen who won the 1988 edition with the Peugeot 405 T16 Pikes Peak Version..
Here's a short video of the record holder Suzuki XL7 Pikes Peak Version driven by Nobuhiro "Monster" Tagima in action:
I am still looking for an on board video, i will add it to this post as soon as possible.
The goal of this post was to speak about one of my favourite motorsport events of the year, so i hope those who did not know about this epic race liked the article. Of course i advise you to visit the PPIHC official website to have acces to more information about the race.
Thanks for reading, i am waiting for your comments!