The Pikes Peak Hill Climb race first began in 1916. This year was its 90th running, and the first with all paved roads. The track was all dirt when it started, but over the years, the Pikes Peak Highway has slowly been paved, and in 2011 they completed the pavement clear to the top. The second oldest motorsport event in the U.S., it is considered to be the most dangerous. It is 12 miles, with 156 turns, with an elevation change of 4,720 feet and grades of 7%. That said, they completed the race this year in less than 10 minutes.
I first heard about the race when I lived in the area some 20 years ago. It usually is held in late June or early July, but the Waldo Canyon fire caused a delay and it wasn't run until August 12, and I just happened to be in town. Since the Pikes Peak Highway is the race track, you have to be in place early because they close the road at 8am. I wanted to be at the top, mile 16, Devils Playground, since it is the best view.
|Here I am with my place all set up on the side of the hill.|
|This was my viewpoint. I could see a total of eight turns.|
|The race started with the motorcycles, then moved on to quads and specialty vehicles. It even had a category with over 13 entries for all electric cars.|
|I don't think that tire is any good.|
|Boy, did he mess up the front end.|
|It didn't seem like the cars were going that fast, but the average speeds were 60-70 mph. Personally, I wouldn't want to be standing where those spectators were. What if he lost control and hit the guard rail or went over the side?|
|This MDT (medium duty truck, which was also diesel) spun out on the mile 15 turn. But he straightened out and continued on up the hill to finish.|
Jeremy Foley Pikes Peak Hill Climb crash
|This was what the car looked like after. Only the roll cage was still intact. The engine was 20 feet up the hill.|
|You can tell where they left the road by following the debris down the hill.|
|It took over 30 minutes just to get the first occupant up to the top of the hill. It was quite a climb for the rescue team.|
|The wreck delayed the race for almost 2 hours, during which it started raining, then sleeting, and eventually snowing on top of the mountain. You can see the ice pellets collecting on top of my hood.|
|Fancy and I just hung out in the car waiting.|