100th Pikes Peak Hill Climb brings bad weather, heartbreak

Hill climb? Remember to. When Europeans invested the weekend driving up a nobleman’s driveway at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we in ‘Murica bought down and filthy with the 100th running up Pikes Peak. In a reversal of stereotypes, it is we who have understated. The “hill” climb ascends just one of the tallest peaks in the Rockies, to a finish line that’s 14,115 ft earlier mentioned sea level. To get there, it normally takes 156 turns in excess of 12.42 miles, some of which just look like paved sky, because they have have no guardrails concerning the asphalt’s edge and sheer dropoffs.

In truth, the Pikes Peak Intercontinental Hill Climb is even more mature than 100 a long time. The to start with celebration took position in 1916, but in 1917-19 and 1942-45, the so-named Race to the Clouds was place on hiatus because of to a few of earth wars. This year’s event was marked by damp climate that dashed the hopes of a number of teams’ attempts to break new records.

David Donner’s Porsche 911 Turbo S Lightweight Deal, for instance, was extensively predicted to reclaim the output car record this 12 months. Donner is a 3-time PPIHC champ, and set the 2014 production motor vehicle history in a 991-era Turbo S.  A Bentley Continental GT piloted by Rhys Millen beat it in 2019, so Porsche was keen on using it back. Donner broke the production qualifying time earlier in the 7 days, but even the seasoned professional could not place his expertise to tarmac due to humidity-laden surfaces and very low-visibility from thick fog on race day. The end result was 10:34.053, over 15 seconds slower than Millen’s 10:18.488, nonetheless excellent adequate to land the class’s leading location and 2nd total.

Acura arrived in Colorado to conduct its much-touted motorsports debut of the 2023 Integra. Although the entry-amount sports sedan, outfitted with a inventory motor but modified with a slew of HPD goodies, arrived in ninth in the production course, Acura did not go household emptyhanded. A 2022 NSX Kind S driven by Nick Robinson took the category’s third spot. Using next was Daijiro Yoshihara with a Tesla Product S. In the latest years, electric powered autos have grow to be a force to be reckoned with, particularly since they are immune to superior altitudes that negatively influence internal combustion cars and trucks.

Lousy conditions sent newcomer Levi Shirley’s Extremely 4 buggy off class. Fortunately, it was around the lower sections, in which there’s nevertheless a considerable sum of runoff previous the pavement’s conclusion. Incredibly, Shirley landed wheels down in the video clip earlier mentioned, and only ongoing driving as a result of the pea soup haze.

Another Porsche disappointment came from Ken Block’s substantially talked about, custom, 1,400-horsepower 911. Sadly, a blown engine brought on the 2,200-pound AWD equipment to miss out on qualifying.

The UK’s Robin Shute took leading honors in general with his Honda-driven TSC Wolf in the unlimited class. But to give a feeling of how substantially climate influenced the proceedings, his 10:09.525 time was almost a comprehensive moment slower than his 2019-winning time of 9:12.476. 

Previous but not least, a nostalgia-fueled entrant arrived in the form of Rod Millen’s Toyota Tacoma. The famous equipment won the PPIHC in 1998 and 1999, and the 750-horsepower “truck” was introduced out of retirement to race once again. This calendar year, it clocked a 11:06.152, almost a moment off its 1999-successful 10:11.15 time (which took spot right before the class was fully paved). 

In most races, motorists face off from just about every other. But at Pikes Peak, the competitors is only the mountain, and there is a declaring that goes, “The mountain decides.” This yr, it resolved to rain on the parades of file demanding hopefuls.