Monday starts the week with a mid-day tech inspection, but Tuesday through Friday feature practice and qualifying sessions that begin at 5 a.m., necessitating wake up calls well before 3 in the morning to ensure they are on the mountain and ready to run. The days don’t end after practice as the teams continue to tweak their settings for optimum performance, sometimes even hitting up local dynos for last minute tunes that can last well into the night. Yeah, those other racing series really have it easy!
It takes a different breed of racer to tackle this mountain. You must be prepared to push yourself mentally and physically to overcome challenges not found on regular racing circuits. Focus must be on the road ahead and not the alpine trees or the sheer drops just feet away. As the heart races traversing the switchbacks, air is constantly disappearing making the physical exertion that much more challenging.
The alarms were set for the wee hours of the morning. Not that it mattered, though. Sleep was hard to come by with so much anticipation coursing through our veins of what we were about to witness after daybreak. After a long week of early mornings, late nights, a fan fest downtown and two days of high horsepower beasts tearing up the airport, it was finally time for one of the most storied races in North America: the 92nd running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.