2021 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race Wrap Up

The 99th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo was one for the record books, despite the fact that no records would be set. After a week of early morning practice and qualifying sessions on the 12.42-mile course, on Race Day ice coated the last three miles to the summit causing race officials and organizers to shorten the course. Every competitor would run the same course, from the Start Line to 16 Mile, an 8.29 mile journey. A one-hour start time delay allowed equipment and personnel staged at the 14,115’ summit to be moved down to Devils Playground.
“It wasn’t the ideal scenario for the 99th running and we tried our best to get the full course open, but Mother Nature would have none of it,” said Megan Leatham, Executive Director of the event. “Our officials, timers, competitors and volunteers adhered to our shortened course protocol and we made it happen.”
The Acura 2021 TLX Type S Pace car was first to make the trek piloted by “Wheeler Dealer’s” Ant Anstead.
As competitors staged on the grid, flagman, Dave Jordan, displayed the green flag honoring PPIHC chairman of the board, Tom Osborne, who passed away suddenly in March. Tom’s wife, Amy, sent the first car off the line waving the special green flag.
The Exhibition division was the first group to run. Randy Pobst behind the wheel of the 2021 Telsa Model S Plaid easily captured the division win. Nick Robinson and Jordan Guitar, both representing Acura, finished second and third, respectively.
The one-make Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama division was next to tackle the course. Four competitors made the run to 16 Mile with Tanner Foust edging Pikes Peak rookie, Cameron Ingram by 21 seconds. 2020 Rookie of the Year, Kathryn Mead returned and captured third place in the group.
The Time Attack 1 division crown was handed to overall course record holder and Porsche factory driver, Romain Dumas, in the Champion Porsche. Rhys Millen in the eye-popping 2021 Bentley Continental GT3 chased Dumas to a second place finish, and David Donohue took third, with limited practice runs during the week.
Three-time King of the Mountain, Paul Dallenbach, claimed his 10th victory in the Open Wheel division in the 2006 PVA-003 Dallenbach Special. Codie Vahsholtz not only took second place, but received Rookie of the Year honors. Third place went to Dan Novembre of Colorado Springs.
Sixteen drivers in the Pikes Peak Open division vied for top honors with France’s Raphael Astier stepping to the top of the podium. Layne Schranz in the #7 2016 Chevrolet SS claimed second, and James Clay took home third place.
Competitors in the Unlimited division brought some of the best action of the day. 2019 King of the Mountain, Robin Shute of the UK reclaimed the top award with the fastest time of the day in the 2018 Wolf GB08 TSC-LT. Rookie, Don Wickstrum, also known as the Fastest Pastor, crossed the finish line in second place. Canada’s Will Au-Yeung stood on the podium in third place.
Following the final checkered flag, drivers lined up for the descent in the Parade of Champions led by BMW Performance Center driver, Matt Mullins behind the wheel of the 2021 BMW M3 Competition. Fans lined up to congratulate all competitors with a final high-five.
Fred Veitch, Interim Chairman of the Board, expressed thanks to all involved and appreciates their efforts in making the 99th running a success, stating, “We just have an incredibly dedicated group of people on Pikes Peak. From our race officials, staff and volunteers, to our partnerships with Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain, Pike National Forest, the City of Colorado Springs and every one of our sponsors. This race is legendary around the world and we’re already looking forward to bringing the 100th running to race fans everywhere.”
Monday’s award ceremony, presented by Rebellion Timepieces, included a special award from Alcon Brakes. The No Holding Back award, a $10,000 product voucher went to David Hackl for his throwback Audi Quattro – an iconic brand on Pikes Peak harkening back to the mid-1980s when records fell annually to the Audi all-wheel drive machines.
The Donner-Veitch Fastest Porsche Award, went to Romain Dumas. Created by competitors David Donner and Fred Veitch, the concept was to honor Porsche’s past success on Pikes Peak, specifically early wins in the Sports Car division by Robert Donner, Jr in the 1960s.
First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds is held annually on the last Sunday of June on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet, and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet above sea level. The PPIHC’s automobile categories feature a wide variety of vehicles representing multiple forms of motorsport; everything from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles take on America’s Mountain pursuing victory. The 100th Running of this iconic motorsports event will take place in 2022.
Photo Credit:
Larry Chen Photos