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The Pikes Peak Rally: June 23, 2024!

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The Pikes Peak Rally: June 23, 2024!

The Pikes Peak Rally

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), also known as the Pikes Peak Rally or "The Race to the Clouds," is a legendary motorsport event held annually in Colorado. 


Tickets & Permits to Camp:
https://ppihc.org/tickets-camping-permits


A brief overview:

History: the race was first held in 1916, making it one of the oldest motorsport events in the United States. The founder was Spencer Penrose, a prominent local businessman and philanthropist, who initiated the event to promote tourism in the Pikes Peak region of the great state of Colorado.

The Course: is situated on Pikes Peak, a prominent mountain in the Rocky Mountains, near Colorado Springs. The race covers a distance of approximately 12.42 miles (19.99 kilometers).

Elevation Gain: starting at 9,390 feet (2,862 meters) and finishing at the summit at 14,115 feet (4,302 meters), the course includes an elevation gain of 4,725 feet (1,440 meters).

Turns: the course features 156 turns, presenting a significant challenge to drivers due to the combination of sharp hairpins and sweeping curves.


Surface: historically, the course was primarily gravel. However, between 2002 and 2011, it transitioned to a fully paved surface. This changed the dynamics of the race significantly, affecting both vehicle setup and driving techniques.

Competition: the event includes a wide range of vehicle categories, such as motorcycles, cars, trucks, electric vehicles, and semi-trucks.


Notable Competitors: many famous drivers and riders from various motorsport disciplines have participated, including rally legends, road racers, and motorsport icons like Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, Ari Vatanen, and Sebastien Loeb.

Records: as of recent years, the overall course record is held by Romain Dumas, who set a time of 7:57.148 in 2018 driving the Volkswagen I.D. R, an all-electric prototype race car. Electric vehicles have gained prominence at Pikes Peak due to their ability to maintain performance at high elevations where internal combustion engines can struggle.

Challenges

Altitude Effects: the high elevation poses significant challenges, including reduced oxygen levels which can affect both engine performance and driver endurance.

Weather: as is common in the mountains, the weather on Pikes Peak can be highly unpredictable, with potential for rapid changes in conditions including rain, snow, and fog, adding to the difficulty of the race.

Cultural Impact: the Pikes Peak Hill Climb has been featured in various films, documentaries, and video games, highlighting its status in motorsport culture.

Innovation: The event has been a proving ground for automotive innovation, particularly in areas like aerodynamics, tire technology, and electric propulsion.

Safety: due to the inherent dangers of racing on a mountain road, the PPIHC has strict safety regulations and protocols to protect both competitors and spectators. Despite these measures, the race has seen its share of accidents, some of which have been fatal, underscoring the perilous nature of the competition.


The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb remains one of the most challenging and prestigious hill climb events in the world, drawing competitors and fans from around the globe to witness the thrilling ascent to the summit. Drive on!


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