Celebrating the Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Auto careers and the Pikes Peak Hill Climb

In the world of auto careers and automotive enthusiasts, there’s little we love more than a great race. Races are a great opportunity for those who share the love of vehicles and automotive culture to get together, talk shop, and bond over an exciting communal event. One of the coolest and most unique races is the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Dubbed the “Race to the Clouds,” the event takes place in Pikes Peak, Colorado and began in the early 1900s by businessman Spencer Penrose after the widening of a carriage road into the new the “Pikes Peak Highway.” Automobiles race up a track that’s 20 kilometers long with a 1400 meter climb, navigating over 150 twists and turns.

It always features multiple classes of cars, trucks, motorcycles and quads that compete, and several new classes are put to the test and then discarded every year. The race usually draws around 150 competitors a year. Classes range from electric cars to super stock cars to vintage automobiles to homemade and modified motorcycles. Check out some great behind-the-scenes footage from this year’s race here:

The 2014 Edition

This year’s installment of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb was an interesting one, to say the least, with several records being broken. This year saw spectators being ushered into protective, cornered-off areas from which to watch, attempting to prevent the injuries that have resulted in the past by limiting the interaction the public has with the race.

This year, in the electric car class, driver Greg Tracy managed to shave an insane 38 seconds off the record for the fastest climb, and was dangerously close to snagging the best time for the entire weekend. That’s a pretty impressive feat, considering the wide variety of vehicles attempting the climb – hats off to the automotive technician who works on Tracy’s supercharged ride!

In the vintage automobile class, Swedish racer Ralph Christennson took home the award and the accolades for the fastest time with his bright yellow 1967 GT350 Mustang, a beast of a car that would make any auto mechanic red in the face with jealousy.

automotive training

The fastest time in the race however was awarded to Swiss road racer Romain Dumas who clocked in at 9:05.801, only a few seconds faster than the electric vehicle record set by Greg Tracy. If this is any indication of the future, the gas-guzzling racers better watch their backs around the electric cars!

In a tragic turn for the festival, motorcyclist Bobby Goodin lost his life when his motorcycle failed to slow down after crossing the finish line and became airborne. Goodin was thrown from the bike and paramedics were unable to resuscitate him at the scene. This has sparked a push for even more safety measures to be implemented in future years. When all is said and done, the 2014 race was a reminder that, above all, safety is the most important aspect of what we do.

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