The 89th installment of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb opens this weekend, which means that now seems like an appropriate time to provide a preview of what is arguably the world’s most famous hill climbing competition.
Represented by drivers and racers from ten different countries - France, Italy, Japan, Spain, New Zealand, Sweden, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain and the USA - the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will feature 194 different racers, all of which are looking to win their respective classes and break some records in the process.
The festivities start on June 24th in downtown Colorado with the Fan Fest, a free event that is expected to gather about 35,000 fans from 5:00-10:00 pm. As part of the festivities, fans will get the chance to see all the participants with their racers, as well as enjoy live music, motorcycle jumps, the Denver Broncos cheerleaders, and, of course, a chili cook-off.
Even Hollywood star and car aficionado, Paul Walker, will be on-hand for the event as he was tapped to be the driver of the Porsche 911 Pace Car. Riding shotgun beside Walker for the ceremonial lap will be Colorado Springs, Mayor Steve Bach.
Check out our preview of the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb after the jump.
In the weeks leading up to the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, one team that’s entering the ’Unlimited Class’ of the event is shooting for the stars, bent on being the first team to break the 10-minute hill climb mark.
The Dallenbach Racing Team, together with its partner, Banks Power, is in the final stages of their preparation for Pikes Peak with their 1,307-horsepower machine, the "DallenBach Special". The car that boasts of the eye-popping output also carries 1,206 lb/ft of torque, providing it with enough power to have as good a chance as anybody in breaking the 10:01 record set by Nobuhiro Tajima.
In Part 2 of the two-part video filmed by Banks Power, the Dallenbach Special is put through the paces by Paul Dallenbach through a series of test runs done on the Pikes Peak course. There’s some added commentary featuring Dallenbach and Gale Banks on the video, too, providing us with an inside look at the testing being done on the car leading up to the car being unleashed on June 26.
Last year, Rhys Millen was set on breaking the 10:01.408 record set by Nobuhiro Tajima and his Suzuki XL7 Hill Climb Special in the "Race to the Clouds." Unfortunately, Millen did not succeed, but he is back again and more determined than ever to break the 10-minute barrier at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with his Red Bull-sponsored Hyundai Genesis RMR PM580. This vehicle has undergone some modifications and upgrades and, with the new tarmac portions of the course, Millen is well on his way to achieving his goal.
However, Rhys Millen isn’t the only Millen in the bunch hoping to break records. Rod Millen will also be on hand at the event, ready to break the record set by his son in the Time Attack 2WD class. Rod will actually be driving an updated version of the Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe that Rhys set the class record in two years ago. Rod Millen is already a Pikes Peak pro with five overall race wins and eight class wins, but we can only imagine that having a son who currently holds a record in an event his father has dominated in the past can only bring about some healthy competition between the two.
Here’s to great success for both Millen men as they attempt to break records at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb!
The 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is fast approaching - June 26th if you didn’t know! – which means that we’re going to be having plenty of time to talk about the cars that are scheduled to compete in the world famous race.
Of all the classes that are a part of the hill climb, the Unlimited Class is one of the most exciting, if only for the insane fact that it features cars that have one sole purpose in life: to break the 10-minute mark up to the top of Pikes Peak. Last year, only three racers entered the Unlimited Class, one of which being Paul Dallenbach.
This year, the Dallenbach Racing Team is – no pun intended – back for another go to break 10 minutes up the mountain, only this time they’ve got some help from Banks Power. Together, the two have prepared a car that now comes with a staggering 1,307 horsepower and 1,206 lb/ft of torque, a ridiculous spike in output from last year’s model, which came with “only” 745 horsepower and 650 lb/ft of torque.
The insane addition of juice to Dallenbach’s racer gives it as good a chance as anybody of finally breaking the sub 10-minute mark. If there’s a car that can do it, we figure that it’s going to be this 1,300-horsepower rocket.
When Renault said that it was going to take a stab at running Pikes Peak in 2011 AND use a Dacia Duster to run the competition, a lot of people, shall we say, scoffed at that idea.
As it turns out, Renault was actually serious about the whole thing because the first photos of the Dacia Duster Pikes Peak have gone live. It seems a little ambitious for Renault to try to compete in one of the most famous - or infamous - hill climbing competitions in the world, especially considering when they’re using their low-cost, Romanian-based brand for the whole competition.
But this isn’t your ordinary Dacia Duster. While details are still limited, there are whispers going around that this particular Duster will carry a Nissan GT-R-sourced V8 engine that produces a staggering 850 horsepower. Last we checked, that’s a load of power, especially for a car that’s been stripped down to weigh just a little less than 900 kg (1,984 lbs).
The car is set to compete on June 26, 2011 at Pikes Peak, Colorado and will be piloted by Jean-Philippe Dayraut. We don’t know how competitive it’s going to be against the Imprezas of the competition, but there’s plenty of power under this Duster’s hood. And if you’ve got that covered, you stand a very good chance of being competitive.
While filming an Audi commercial featuring the new "driverless" VW/Audi car named Shelly, an Aerospatiale helicopter crashed near the summit of the famed Pikes Peak Highway. The pilot, Jim Dirker, was severely injured, but is said to be in fair condition. The other three crew members were hurt, but are in stable condition and will be able to leave the hospital later today.
In an official statement the company said: "Audi is saddened by the helicopter incident that took place this morning near the summit of Pikes Peak. Today’s film crew was shooting a test run of the “Autonomous Audi TTS Pikes Peak,” a joint program involving Audi, the Electronic Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, and Stanford University. The goal of the project involves ascending Pikes Peak autonomously without a driver behind the wheel to demonstrate the capabilities of advanced driver assistance systems and GPS. The car was not involved in the incident."
"Further information on the helicopter incident will be released by the National Transportation Safety Board and local law enforcement officials. All research activities on Pikes Peak have been suspended. The research project will continue at a later date."
On June 27, 2010, Rhys Millen attempted to beat the current "Unlimited Class" World Record of 10:01.408 at the 88th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the "Race to the Clouds." And today Hyundai unveiled a new video of the record attempt. For 10 years, it has been Rhys’ dream to break the 10-minute barrier and this year he hoped to capture the elusive record and return it to the Millen name.
Millen tried to defeat a record of 10:01.41 set by Nobuhiro Tajima in 2007 with his Suzuki XL7 Hill Climb Special. Prior to Tajima’s race, the record was held by Rod Millen, Rhys’ father, for a total of 13 years before it was overtaken.
The Genesis PM580 super racer comes with a modified 4.1-liter Hyundai Lambda V6 engine with an HKS turbocharger, an intercooler, and an exhaust system that produces a total of 775 horsepower and 750 lb/ft of torque.
Check out Rhys Millen’s attempt of bringing back the record to the Millen name in the video above.
There is one racing event that takes place in June every year with cars equipped with massive amounts of power and professional racing drivers. We are talking about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It gathers the most media attention of any hill climb race, but it’s not the only one west of the Mississippi.
Run for more than three decades, the Virginia City Hill Climb, which is not anywhere close to Virginia, is a dangerous 5.2-mile hill climb race that starts in Silver City, Nevada, and takes drivers along Highway 341 North into Virginia City.
During the race, the route is closed with the assistance of local law enforcement to avoid any accidents with locals or trucks.
The route consists of more than twenty turns and multiple long straightaways and is basically in the desert. The route takes drivers on a 1,200-foot change in elevation and is usually missing guardrails on the outside of high-speed turns. There is gravel on the shoulder, blind corners, and narrow passages. This is a true adrenaline rush from the word go.
Rhys Millen may have gotten all of the attention as he prepared for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, but even after four months of intense preparation and training, Millen’s best efforts were still for naught as long-time Pikes Peak annihilator Nobuhiro "Monster Tajima once again proved to be too much for the rest of the field, winning this year’s Pikes Peak hill climb in the Unlimited class - his fifth in a row, no less - with a time of 10:11.490 on board his modified Suzuki SX4.
Coming in second and still a good 30 seconds behind Tajima’s time was Paul Dallenbach, who finished with a time of 10:39.534. And for his efforts, Millen, after struggling with mechanical issues, still managed to finish the climb in third place with a time of 11:06.208, almost a full minute off of Tajima’s winning time.
As for Tajima, despite winning his fifth straight Pikes Peak hill climb, the dominant Japanese was more upset that he wasn’t able to break the 10:01.408 record time he did back in 2007.
"I’m very disappointed," Tajima said. "I thought I was faster, and it was a very good run. The car and everything worked well."
We don’t know whether to congratulate Mr. Tajima or feel bad for him. While he did finish in first place, apparently, it still wasn’t good enough for him. But hey, a win’s a win, right?
The World Drifting Champion Rhys Millen recently raced his new highly modified RMR poweredHyundai Genesis coupe up the 12.4 mile hill climb course that consists of over 150 turns, many of which have no safety barrier and the consequences of running wide is a quick trip down the side of the mountain. However the multi disciplined driver had no prooblem tckling the hill, and broke the record for a 2WD Time Attack production based car in his 17th attempt conquering Pikes Peak, reaching the finish line in 12 minutes and 9.39 seconds.