Competitors from coast to coast converged on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain for the 101st Running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo in June. Robert Robles of La Habra, CA brought his 2020 Toyota Supra to gauge how it would perform in the Time Attack 1 division. An experienced racer, Robles was eager to begin memorizing the 156 turns on the 12.42 mile course, recalling, “The first time I heard about Pikes Peak was when I was 12 years old playing the original Gran Turismo game on my PlayStation 1.”

Racing Highlights

Robles described some of his career achievements prior to Pikes Peak, “We were the first to win BimmerChallenge 2022, TRD Series 2022, and the Global Time Attack Finals 2022 in the same year, with the same car and driver.” He also holds the A90 Supra lap record at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Race Week Prep

“Since the day we picked up our 2020 Supra from the Toyota dealership, I said we would modify and upgrade it to still be daily-drivable and handle well on track days. Never would I have thought we would be turning it into a Pikes Peak car. While competing and winning various Time Attack events which led to our car’s evolution from V1 to V3 over the past three years, turning it into what we call V4, for Pikes Peak, was not that hard. The MK5 Supra overall is a great platform for beginners, but has incredible potential to be turned into a competitive vehicle for racing,” shared Robles.

First Time at Fan Fest

Showcasing the #87 Supra at Fan Fest to 35,000 fans was all part of the PPIHC experience. Robles offered advice for other first-time drivers, “Just cross the line, and as much as you’re anticipating the actual driving, remember to enjoy every second of it both in the car and out of it as well.”

Pleasantly Surprised

“You know the old saying, ‘Never meet your heroes,'” exclaimed Robles, “well, that definitely doesn’t apply to our experience of the event. I was surprised at how helpful and supportive the PPIHC staff, the other competitors, and teams were.”

Robles wrapped up his rookie run with a 6th place finish in the Time Attack 1 division, a strong showing in the field of 11 drivers. His time was also impressive, 10:59.725. When asked what makes racing on Pikes Peak different than racing anywhere else, he replied, “Besides the course itself, there is no other event I can think of where competitors from any background or level of support can compete against each other. Whether a team built their car in their driveway, garage or a low-budget shop, or they have an unlimited budget and corporate manufacturer support, we all come together and try to conquer this mountain.”

Future Plans

With a great run in the books in 2023, Robles is already looking to the 102nd Running in 2024, and shared, “If we can get the same love and support from our partners and sponsors, we’ll 100% be there to run the sub-10 minute run we know we can do.”


Three Things For Fans To Know:

“I moved to the United States from the Philippines when I was 4 years old, and I didn’t know how to speak English.”

“I was on the cover of Model Aviation magazine when I was 9 years old for flying an RC turbine jet at Florida Jets.”

“If I’m not racing or going to car events on the weekend, I’ll be playing 18-36 holes of golf – both Saturday and Sunday.”

Any Pikes Peak Heroes: “I would have to say Millen for the Pikes Peak Celica, and Paul Dallenbach for his Dallenbach Specials.”


Any mentors this year? “Our good friend Larry Chen was an invaluable advisor with tips and pointers in preparation and during the week.”

Any pre-race rituals? “I recently started a new pre-race ritual of playing a game of catch with one of the guys just to stay loose, relaxed, and get the nerves firing.”

What is your favorite corner? “There are so many good turns to choose from, but if I had to choose one, it would have to be 16 Mile. Seeing all the spectators lined up against the mountain as I approached that corner was such a nice feeling. It gave me a burst of energy after completing all the switchbacks and got me pumped up for Devils Playground and the rest of the top section.”

What corner challenged you most? “The steep double apex and decreasing radius of Tin Barn. Not only is it mostly blind, it’s one of those turns which has that look to it that makes you want to push it faster, but then it suddenly gets very tight. Once it tightens up if you slow down too much the steepness of the turn punishes you by losing more speed than what you probably were thinking, and trying to accelerate up and out of it is even harder.”


Favorite track? “For track layout, it has to be Sonoma Raceway. For memories and nostalgia, it has to be Buttonwillow Raceway which is what I consider our home track.”

Daily driver? “The Supra used to be my daily driver, but now I’m driving a souped up BMW G82 M4.”

Watch Robert Robles 2023 Post-Race Interview and On-Board Run
Photos by: Larry Chen, Luis Garcia, Charles Zhao, Jason Zindroski
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 (20 km) course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet (1,440 m), and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet (4,302 m) above sea level. The PPIHC’s six race divisions feature a wide variety of vehicles – from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles. The current race record was set in 2018 by Romain Dumas and Volkswagen in the all-electric I.D. R Pikes Peak – 07:57.148.