Much of the below press release surrounds the car side of the race, but there is a little bit of motorcycle news, as well as the announcement of live broadcasting for the first time and for the next 10 years.
Begin Press Release:
The Broadmoor PPIHC News & Notes
NEW FOR 2017 – Ticket sales have moved online! To expedite entry to the event, and improve traffic flow, tickets will NOT be sold at the Gateway.
Click here to purchase practice day tickets, Race Day tickets and camping permits.
- Tickets can be purchased throughout Race Week at the various locations listed on the Race Week Schedule.
- PPIHC may limit the number of tickets sold to the 2017 event.
- Spectators are not guaranteed a parking spot if specific locations are full.
- Parking at the spectator viewing areas is on a first come, first served basis.
PPIHC News & Notes by Mike Moran
- Local Hero Seeks 7th Triumph–David Donner has won six times on Pikes Peak, an Overall winner three times, once in the Unlimited Class, once in Time Attack 2, and most recently in Time Attack 1 in the 100th Anniversary race last year. He is part of an elite group that has won on gravel, gravel/asphalt, and all-asphalt course surfaces. He has also been top qualifier six times and is a multiple record holder, including the current Time Attack 2 record of 10:26.896 set in 2015, driving a 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S. He will drive his 2013 Porsche GT3R this year in the Time Attack 1 Class, seeking back-to-back wins. The Donner family, including David’s father, Robert “Bob” Donner, Jr, his older brother, Robert “Bobby” Donner, III was inducted into the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Hall of Fame in 2016. David is president of Osprey, Inc. in Colorado Springs, and head of Donner Motorsport.
- First Female Entered for 2017–French driver Laure Many has entered the Pikes Peak Open Class and is the first woman to register for the 95th Running of the Race to the Clouds. The rookie will be strapped in behind the wheel of her 1980 Porsche 911SC 3. She completed a full campaign in the French Rally Cup from 2015-2017 and recorded a class win in the historic Tour de Corse in 2016. Many has competed in the Monte Carlo Rally four times and has a class win at the Rally of Morocco. This Porsche driver began racing in 2005 and lives in Paris.
- No “Monster” On America’s Mountain This Year: Japan’s Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima, arguably the face of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for a decade, will not be competing in this year’s 95th running of the Race to the Clouds. He has recorded nine victories in the Unlimited Division, including six straight titles from 2006 to 2011. He became the first competitor to crack the elusive 10-minute mark in 2001, with a clocking of 9:51.278 in the Unlimited Division. The popular driver has been awarded the “King of the Mountain” title seven times since 1995, when he became the first Japanese driver to win on Pikes Peak. Due to other business commitments this year, including his involvement in planning the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games, he will not be able to compete. In a recent message, Tajima wrote, “I wish you all the very best for a safe and successful race and shall look forward to seeing you again in 2018 when I will return to reclaim my title – King of the Mountain.”
- Rhys Millen Returns in Time Attack 1 Class: 2016 Electric Modified Class winner and Electric record holder, (8:57.118) Rhys Millen, will return this year with his famed 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe in the Time Attack 1 Class. This will be his 24th year on the mountain after his debut in 1992, when he won the Pikes Peak Open crown and was named Rookie of the Year. The two-time “King of the Mountain” (2012, 2015) has ten division/class victories on Pikes Peak and holds three records.
- Rookie Liam Doran of Great Britain will join a talented field of contenders in the Unlimited Division, driving a 2015 Citroen DS3 on Pikes Peak. Doran started racing at age 14 and won a gold medal in the 2013 X Games, Rally Division, in Los Angeles. He also took the title in the 2013 X Games Germany in the RallyCross Division. He is the son of British rallycross driver, and Lydden Hill race circuit owner, Pat Doran.
- Famed Driver Romain Dumas of France is back to defend his triumph in the Unlimited Division in his 2017 Norma MXX RD Limited, looking for his fourth win at Pikes Peak. Dumas recorded his initial win in 2012, driving a 2012 Porsche GT3R to victory in the Pikes Peak Open Class with a time of 9:46.181, which remains the Class record. Dumas also seized the Unlimited Division crown in 2014 and 2016, turning in the second-fastest time in Pikes Peak history, a sizzling 8:51.445 during the 100th Anniversary race last summer. His 2016 season was extraordinary, as well as historic, when he became the first driver to claim overall victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and on Pikes Peak, not only in the same season, but just one week apart.
- Motorcycle Star Codie Vahsholtz of nearby Woodland Park will attempt to claim his third crown this year in the Pikes Peak Middleweight Division and add to the Vahsholtz family tradition. His grandfather, Leonard Vahsholtz, now retired, won 19 titles. His father, Clint, who won the Super Stock Car Class 16 times between 1996 and 2012 and holds the record for that division (along with three motorcycle crowns, and two Open Wheel victories), is entered in the Pikes Peak Challenge-Open Wheel Division again this year after winning the event in 2016 with a clocking of 9:54.050. Codie won the 2015 Pikes Peak Lightweight Division with a record time of 10:50.421 and the 2013 Pikes Peak 250cc title. He was fourth last year in the Pikes Peak Middleweight Division. The Vahsholtz family has claimed at least one class victory in every edition of the PPIHC since 1993.
- Paving the Way–The Pikes Peak Highway was constructed in 1915 and financed by Spencer Penrose at a cost of $500,000. This dirt road to the Summit of Pikes Peak would host the first Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1916. Drivers and racers embraced the dangers of the gravel surface as part of the challenge each year. In 1948, the City of Colorado Springs took responsibility for maintaining the Pikes Peak Highway through a special-use permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service, the road’s previous caretaker. The road was composed of an entirely dirt surface at that time, and in the 1950s the first 6 miles of the highway were paved, up to about a mile below the Start Line for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The Sierra Club and City of Colorado Springs reached a settlement in February 1999 that would lead to the paving of the remaining 13 miles. The first mile of paving was installed in 2002 and the project was completed weeks after the 89th Running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2011. Many Pikes Peak Hill Climb competitors speculated that paving the road would put an end to the race. However, the race was conducted in 2012 and has continued since, recording speeds and times never thought possible. The first Pikes Peak Champion was 22-year old Rea Lentz from Washington, driving a Romano Demon Special, powered by a Curtiss 420-hp V8 aircraft engine. It was the smallest car entered and he was the youngest driver. He beat Ralph Mulford and Barney Oldfield with a time of 20:55.600 and won the first Penrose Trophy. The young adventurer took his trophy, his $2,000 in winnings, and his auto, and never returned to Pikes Peak. It took 95 years for a driver to finish the course at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in less than 10 minutes. The once-elusive 10-minute mark was first broken by Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima in 2011 with a time of 9:51.278, before the course was completely paved.
- Live Race Broadcast–The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, has announced a long-term partnership with Matchsports, a joint effort that will see the ‘Race to the Clouds’ broadcast live for the next decade, starting with the race’s 95th running on Sunday, June 25, 2017. Despite the PPIHC’s 100-year history, this prestigious event has been previously broadcast on a delayed basis. The uniquely challenging environment on Pikes Peak, until now, thwarted all attempts to produce the high-quality live broadcast that the race and its fans deserve. After a long and exhaustive search to ﬁnd the right broadcast partner, the PPIHC began working closely with SBI Media (Matchsports’ Swiss Parent). Those involved in this partnership have spent the past 12 months developing a solution to the technical challenges Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain presents so live coverage can include the entire race course from start to ﬁnish. The first year of the partnership will see the PPIHC live-streamed using revolutionary production techniques. Beyond that, the long-term goal of attracting an additional partner in a major TV network to assist in sharing the race with new audiences will be pursued. The 95th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be the first event on Matchsports’ IPTV global calendar.
- Durable Durelle–Motorcycle ace Davey Durelle of Elizabeth, Colorado owns a total of 17 wins on the Peak since 1996, including the crown in the 2016 Pikes Peak Lightweight Division with a clocking of 10:55.288 on his 2009 Aprilia SXV, which he will ride this year in the same division, going for yet another triumph on America’s Mountain. Durelle got his first motorcycle at age ten, rode in his first race at age eleven, and won his first short-track race in 1978. On Pikes Peak, he won the 750cc Class eight times between 1996 and 2009 and won the 500cc Class four consecutive times, 2002-2005. Durelle, recently inducted to the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame, is the winningest motorcycle competitor in PPIHC history with 17 class victories, 6 titles of King of the Mountain, 8 motorcycle division/class records and one motorcycle course record to his name. He owns Durelle Racing in Elizabeth, a firm specializing in motorcycle parts and supplies.
- That’s Why It’s Called “International”–The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will greet competitors this year from France, Russia, Belgium, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Germany, Brazil, Italy and the United Kingdom.
- Pikes Peak Royalty—The list of Pikes Peak champions through the years includes the likes of famed competitors such as the Unser’s Louis, Bobby, Al Sr. & Jr., Louie and Robby; Indianapolis 500 champions including Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones and Rick Mears; World Rally legends Sébastien Loeb, Nobuhiro “Monster: Tajima, Rod & Rhys Millen, Michelle Mouton, Ari Vatanen, Walter Röhrl and Per Eklund; 24 Hours of Le Mans champion Romain Dumas and hometown heroes from the state of Colorado David & Bobby Donner III and Paul & Wally Dallenbach Jr.