|Location||Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
|Surface||Tarmac (and historically, dirt)|
|Length||19.99 km (12.42 mi)|
|Lap record||8:13.878 (Sébastien Loeb, Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak, 2013, Unlimited)|
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), also known as The Race to the Clouds, is an annual automobile and motorcycle hillclimb to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado, USA. The track measures 12.42 miles (19.99 km) over 156 turns, climbing 4,720 ft (1,440 m) from the start at Mile 7 on Pikes Peak Highway, to the finish at 14,110 ft (4,300 m), on grades averaging 7.2%. It used to consist of both gravel and paved sections, however as of August 2011, the highway is fully paved and as a result all subsequent runnings will be on asphalt from start to finish.
The race is self sanctioned and has taken place since 1916. It is currently contested by a variety of classes of cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads. There are often numerous new classes tried and discarded year-to-year. On average there are 130 competitors. The PPIHC operates as the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb Educational Museum to organize the annual motorsports event.
The event was part of the AAA and USAC IndyCar championship from 1946 to 1970.
In 1984 the first European racers took part in the PPIHC with Norwegian Rallycrosser Martin Schanche (Ford Escort Mk3 4x4) and French Rally driver Michèle Mouton (Audi Sport quattro), thereby starting a new era for European teams in the almost unknown American hillclimb. While Schanche failed to set a new track record, due to a flat right front tire, Mouton (together with her World Rally Championship co-driver Fabrizia Pons from Italy) won the Open Rally category, but also failed to break the current overall track record.
In 1989, an award-winning short film about the 1988 event was released by French director Jean-Louis Mourey. The film, titled Climb Dance, captured the efforts of Finnish former World Rally Champion Ari Vatanen, as he won the event in a record-breaking time with his turbocharged Peugeot 405 Turbo-16.
The City of Colorado Springs began to pave the highway in 2002 after losing a lawsuit against the Sierra Club, which sued on account of erosion damage to streams, reservoirs, vegetation and wetlands downstream from the 1.5 million tons of road gravel deposited over several decades. The local authority paved approximately 10% of the route each year after the order. The 2011 event was the last race with dirt sections, comprising approximately 25% of the course.
Hill Climb champion Rod Millen warned at the time that paving the road would put an end to the race. However, the 2012 race saw over 170 racer registrations by December 2011, compared with 46 at the same time in 2011.
The 2012 race saw numerous unusual occurrences, namely a larger field than ever before and the longest race day in the race's known history. The 2012 90th running of the race was the first time the race has been run on all asphalt and saw the toppling of several records, notably the overall record, being set by first Romain Dumas in the Open Division only to be overturned later in the day by Rhys Millen, son of the famed Rod Millen, in the Time Attack Division. Nobuhiro Tajima, the 2011 winner and at the time overall record holder, running in the Electric Division saw a surprising upset when his car caught fire in the lower portion of the course causing a DNF. One of the unusual highlights, and proof that asphalt has changed the race; Mike Ryan spun his big rig in a hairpin in a section called the "W"s, slamming into the guard rail, he then managed to execute a three point turn and continued on course, at which point he broke his old record by 5 seconds. Jeremy Foley flew off the road at Devil's Playground and totaled his Mitsubishi Lancer. The race also saw the first ever motorcycle to achieve a sub 10 minute time with Carlin Dunne in the 1205 Division riding a Ducati pulling out a 9:52.819 (only a bit over a second slower than the 2011 overall record).
Due to the race's postponement, weather also caused issues. Towards the end of the raceday, freezing rain and snow closed in on the summit, causing a race stoppage and the eventual relocation of the finish line to Glen Cove.
2013 saw the nine-minute barrier shattered by WRC legend Sébastien Loeb, with a time of 8:13.878, while Rhys Millen ended up second with 9:02.192, beating his own record by more than 44 seconds.Jean-Philippe Dayrault finished third with a time of 9:42.740, and Paul Dallenbach fourth with a time of 9:46.001, making it four drivers to beat the record set only the previous year.
2015 was the first time in the history of the race that an electric car won in all classes. Second place was earned by an electric car, too. Already in 2014, electric cars were at the places 2 and 3. In an interview with the winning driver, Rhys Millen, he said that he had lost power to the car's rear motor pack before the halfway point, and had expected his run to be 30 seconds faster.
Electric Car Division
Time Attack Division
Pikes Peak Challenge Car Division
Pikes Peak Lightweight Division
Pikes Peak Middleweight Division
Pikes Peak Heavyweight Division (Formerly known as Pikes Peak Open Motorcycle in 2013)
Pikes Peak Electric Motorcycle Division
Pikes Peak Challenge Motorcycle Division
|Current 4-Wheel Division & Class Records|
|Electric||Modified||2016||Rhys Millen||e0 PP100||8:57.118|
|Production||2016||Blake Fuller||Tesla Model S||11:48.264|
|Pikes Peak Challenge||Exhibition||2015||Tetsuya Yamano||Honda Electric SH-AWD with Precision All-Wheel Steer||10:23.829|
|PVA Dallenbach Special
2013 Ford Open
|Pikes Peak Open||2012
|2012 Porsche GT3 R
2017 Acura TLX GT
|Vintage||2014||Ralf Christensson||1967 Ford Mustang GT350||10:46.000|
|Time Attack||Time Attack 1||2013||Paul Dallenbach||Hyundai Genesis Coupe||9:46.001|
|Time Attack 2 Production||2015
|2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S
2017 Acura NSX
|Unlimited||2013||Sébastien Loeb||Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak||8:13.878|
New Records for 2016 listed in red.
|Current 2-Wheel Division & Class Records|
|Pikes Peak Lightweight||2015
|2006 KTM SMR
2009 Aprilia SXV450
|Pikes Peak Middleweight||2014
|2013 Ducati Streetfighter
2016 Husqvarna Supermoto
|Pikes Peak Heavyweight (Open)
Pikes Peak Heavyweight
|2013 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R
2017 KTM Super Duke 1290 R
|Electric Motorcycle||Modified||2013||Carlin Dunne||2013 Lightning Motorcycle LS-218 electric Superbike||10:00.694|
|Production||2014||Jeff Clark||2013 Zero FX||11:59.814|
|Pikes Peak Challenge Motorcycle||Exhibition Powersport||2016||Jeremy Toye||2016 Victory Project 156||10:19.777|
|Pikes Peak 250cc||2013||Codie Vahsholtz||1996 Kawasaki KX 250||11:24.792|
|Quad||2016||Cyril Combes||2011 Suzuki KTM JF Prototype||11:05.664|
|Sidecar||2016||John Wood||1999 Shelbourne Superlite F2||11:26.644|
|Vintage||2012||Marc LaNoue||1969 Triumph Bonneville||12:39.782|
New Records for 2016 listed in red.
From Open Wheel Class, Unlimited Division (formerly 'Open Rally'), and Pikes Peak Open Class unless otherwise indicated.
|1981||Bud Hoffpauir||Wells Coyote Special Roadster||13:10.100|
|1982||John Buffum||Audi Quattro||12:20.520|
|1983||John Buffum||Audi Quattro||12:27.910|
|1984||Bill Brister||1981 Wells Coyote||11:44.490|
|1985||Michèle Mouton||Audi Sport Quattro E2||11:25.390|
|1986||Bobby Unser||Audi Sport Quattro E2||11:09.220|
|1987||Walter Röhrl||Audi Sport Quattro E2||10:47.850|
|1988||Ari Vatanen||Peugeot 405 Turbo 16||10:47.220|
|1989||Robby Unser||Peugeot 405 Turbo 16||10:48.340|
|1991||David Donner||Donner-Dykstra Chevy||11:12.420|
|1992||Nobuhiro Tajima||Suzuki Swift||12:51.630|
|1993||Paul Dallenbach||Davis Chevrolet||10:43.630|
|1994||Rod Millen||Toyota Celica AWD Turbo||10:04.060|
|1995||Nobuhiro Tajima||Suzuki Escudo||7:53.000*|
|1996||Rod Millen||Toyota Celica||10:13.640|
|1997||Rod Millen||Toyota Celica||10:04.540|
|1998||Rod Millen||Toyota Tacoma||10:07.700|
|1999||Rod Millen||Toyota Tacoma||10:11.150|
|2000||Per Eklund||Saab 9-3||11:21.580|
|2001||Yutaka Awazuhara||Suzuki Vitara||11:01.770|
|2002||Per Eklund||Saab 9-3||11:13.200|
|2003||Paul Dallenbach||2000 PVA-01||11:34.700|
|2004||Stig Blomqvist||Ford RS200E||5:16.800*|
|2005||Koichi Horiuchi||Mitsubishi FTO||11:34.570|
|2006||Nobuhiro Tajima||Suzuki Sport||7:38.900*|
|2007||Nobuhiro Tajima||Suzuki XL7||10:01.408|
|2008||Nobuhiro Tajima||Suzuki Sport Co. Ltd. XL7||10:18.250|
|2009||Nobuhiro Tajima||Suzuki SX4||10:15.368|
|2010||Nobuhiro Tajima||Suzuki SX4||10:11.490|
|2011||Nobuhiro Tajima||Suzuki SX4||9:51.278|
|2012||David Donner||Palatov D4PPS||10:04.652|
|2013||Sébastien Loeb||Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak||8:13.878|
|2014||Romain Dumas||Norma M20 RD||9:05.801|
|2015||Rhys Millen||eO PP03**||9:07.222|
|2016||Romain Dumas||Norma M20 RD||8:51.445|
|2017||Romain Dumas||Norma M20 RD||9:05.672|
**Electric modified class