The 10-minute barrier stood for a long time, like a carrot dangling in front of those competing in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. In the Unlimited Class, it taunted Rod Millen and Monster Tajima for years, letting them get within seconds ever since Millen posted a 10:04 in 1994. Finally, in 2011, Monster finally broke through with a 9:51 run in his extreme Suzuki SX4. What’s most significant about this record is that he broke the barrier before the course was paved.
Yesterday, the race up Americaís Mountain officially began! It marked the first official Pikes Peak International Hill Climb practice and qualifying session where the competitors had an opportunity to record their times via the official timing body and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the teamsí vehicles. As valuable tuning and tinkering time wears thin, weíve now entered crunch time, just four days away from the main event. Many of the competitors have participated in sanctioned (and private) but officially untimed practice sessions over the past month, but yesterday marked the first mandatory practice day.
With race day just around the corner, everyone is gearing up for the big event this weekend. Monday was the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) Tech Inspection Day at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Open to the public, inspections began at 8 am and the last few cars and bikes rolled in by 5 pm. Being the first official fan day of the event, it provided the general public a perfect opportunity to take photos and get autographs from their favorite racers.