Pikes Peak International Hill Climb organizers have postponed the 90th running of the event due to the wildfire in Colorado Springs.
Raging fires have destroyed hundreds of houses and forced over 30,000 people to evacuate their homes. Firefighters are continuing efforts to control the blaze but constantly shifting winds are making it difficult to do so.
“Our deepest concern is for the safety of the public and the competitors, and it was obvious that several agencies charged with public safety would not be able to commit the resources and manpower required to ensure those requirements because of the critical need for their resources at this time,” says Tom Osborne, chairman of the board of the PPIHC. ” Our city is in an unprecedented struggle right now and we are deeply sensitive to it.”
Originally scheduled to run on July 8, the race will be moved to later in the summer. Event organizers and local officials say they are determined to run the Hill Climb once the city, and more importantly, the people, are safe.
“This race began in 1916 and it has earned its place among the world’s greatest motor sports events, and it is an important part of the sports heritage of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region,” says Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach. “We are committed to making sure it takes place this year and that we carry on the tradition. We are disappointed, but our first concern is our city, its residents, their homes, businesses and public safety.”
Race organizers expect to announce the new date for the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the next two weeks. All tickets already purchased will be honored.