Race organizers announced the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be held Aug. 12 after raging wildfires in Colorado forced the race to be moved from its original date. The entire week’s schedule of events will run Aug. 7-12.

“With the help and support of the City of Colorado Springs, the U.S. Forest Service, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, and the numerous agencies dedicated to the safety of the public and the competitors, we are thrilled to be able to make this announcement,” says Tom Osborne, chairman of the PPIHC and president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation. “America’s Mountain and Colorado Springs are ready to welcome everyone to the nation’s second-oldest motor sports event.”

The 90th Pikes Peak Hill Climb was originally supposed to be held July 8 but fires spreading through Colorado’s Waldo Canyon forced the race to be postponed as the safety of the people of nearby Colorado Springs became the priority.

The fire started June 23 about four miles northwest of Colorado Springs and soon spread to cover an area of almost 18,000 acres. Over 36,000 people were forced to leave their homes in Colorado Springs and neighboring communities. The fires claimed 17 lives and destroyed nearly 350 homes. The flames are now over 80% contained and firefighters continue to work on the blaze.

It will take some time for the community to rebuild and recover from the estimated $110 million in damage, but Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach says the city is committed to running the Hill Climb.

“The City of Colorado Springs is thrilled that the 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is back on track,” says Bach. “We are committed to dedicate the needed resources to make this year’s Hill Climb the best ever.  As we have said throughout this community crisis – Colorado Springs is open for business!”

Event organizers reached out to all 211 registered racers and their crews as well as local hotels and other agencies before selecting the Aug. 12 date. A special fund has been set up to provide support to the firefighting agencies helping to contain the fire.

“The response by the competitors has been tremendously positive, and the drivers and racers have been sensitive and compassionate toward our residents and their struggles and loss,” says Osborne. We will have the majority of the registered competitors here for the event and have positive responses from Nobuhiro Tajima, Jean-Phillipe Dayraut, Romain Dumas, Clint Vahsholtz, Paul Dallenbach, Dave Carapetyan, David Donner, Greg Tracy, and Carlin Dunne, but we will lose some to scheduling conflicts. In fact, many of the drivers and racers have indicated their desire to establish a fund to benefit those agencies that have battled the horrendous fire and now support our ability to stage the race.”

All tickets purchased for the original July 8 race will be honored. Ticket holders will have the option of donating their tickets to support the fund.

[Source: PPICH.com]