Also known as “The Race to the Clouds”, The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), is the second oldest car and motorcycle race in the United States, which runs to the Pikes Peak summit in Colorado on the last Sunday in June.
The race has become legendary thanks to the fact that the best drivers from the world of rally racing have taken on the challenge and contributed to its history: in the era when Audi and Peugeot were vying for the title, Audi’s Michèle Mouton, Bobby Unser and Walter Röhrl and Peugeot’s Ari Vatanen all held records, and more recently, with Sébastien Loeb who smashed the time record in 2013.
In 2016, nearly 100 participants are set to take part in the race, divided into around a dozen categories of cars, motorcycles, quads and trucks. The “Unlimited” category is always the most spectacular with its +1000-HP supercars!
Created in 1916 by Spencer Penrose, it is the only race in the world still worthy of the #DontCrackUnderPressure tagline thanks to its breathtaking stats: the track measures 19.99 kilometres over 156 turns, climbing an impressive 1440 metres from the start line at Mile 7 (2862 m) to the finish at the summit at an altitude of 4300 metres. It is one of the hardest races in the world – tough on the drivers and on their vehicles: the high altitudes slow down the drivers’ reflexes, straining their brains and cramping their muscles, while the engines can lose up to 30% of their power.
Not forgetting that the drivers are racing with limited protection barriers. With hardly any guard rails, the slightest miscalculation on a turn could see them plummeting into a ravine. And, at the track’s summit, this is some 600 metres. The Pikes Peak has therefore become legendary for its spectacular crashes.