2023 PPIHC Race to the Clouds Summary - Engine Builder Magazine

2023 PPIHC Race to the Clouds Summary

Colorado Springs, Colorado — The 101st Running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo has wrapped up for 2023, but the stories of feats and achievements on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain continue to be told. Drivers in six divisions stepped up to podium finishes while seven race records were toppled.

Unlimited Division

The UK’s Robin Shute, now residing in Long Beach, CA, sent his 2018 Wolf TSC-FS to the summit in a sizzling 08:40.080, claiming first in the Unlimited division and earning his fourth King of the Mountain crown.

Dan Novembre of Colorado Springs, made his 15th run to the summit to claim a division second place in his 2013 Wolf GB08S TC Special in 09:27.611.

Duncan Cowper, also representing Great Britain, and a talented PPIHC rookie, captured third in the 2009 Cowper Dax Rush Pikes Peak Special with an impressive sub-10-minute run of 09:57.072.

Pikes Peak Open Division

Romain Dumas of Azier, Switzerland, four-time King of the Mountain and overall course record holder, grabbed top honors in the Pikes Peak Open division in the purpose-built 2023 Ford Performance SuperVan 4.2 with a sub-eight run of 08:47.682. His time beat the 2019 record set by Peter Cunningham, setting a new mark in the Pikes Peak Open division. The PPIHC overall course record set by Dumas in 2018 in the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak, a blistering 07:57.148, still reigns.

France’s Raphael Astier joined Dumas on the podium claiming second place in the sleek 2018 Alpine A110 GT4 Evo in 09:17.412.

James Clay of Dublin, VA took third in the #36 1995 BMW M3 just three seconds behind Astier with a 09:20.433.

Time Attack 1 Division

David Donohue of West Chester, PA returned to Pikes Peak in his 2019 Porsche GT2 RS Clubsport. He not only won the division, but bested the former record set in 2020 by David Donner. Donohue would step to the top of the podium with his record time of 09:18.053 – a prestigious win for Brumos. As the fastest Porsche on the mountain, Donohue also received the Bergmeister Award, given by Porsche of Colorado Springs and Fred Veitch. The award also allowed the winner to designate a cause or charity of their choice to direct the $1,000 cash award. Donohue graciously awarded the funds to the newly established 43 Institute Foundation in honor of the late Ken Block.

Racer, film maker, driver coach, and PPIHC Hall of Famer, Jeff Zwart of Aspen, CO drove his 2019 Porsche 935/19 to second place in 09:46.131.

Acura’s James Robinson of Raymond, OH captured third in his 2022 NSX in 10:11.950.

Open Wheel Division

Codie Vahsholtz of Woodland Park, CO piloting the 2013 Ford Open Vahsholtz Custom, clocked a new Open Wheel division record, besting his father Clint’s record set in 2020 – in the same racecar. Codie’s time was 09:19.192.

Sylas Montgomery, a PPIHC newcomer, grabbed second place in the throwback 2007 MFG Road Course Sprint Car – a build harkening back to the early sprint car designs on Pikes Peak. His time was 09:55.993. As the fastest rookie, overall, Montgomery was also awarded 2023 PPIHC Rookie of the Year.

Back on the mountain for the first time since 2015, “Texas Dave” Carapetyan of Dale, Texas proved he hadn’t forgotten one of those 156 turns, taking third place in the 2023 Sierra Alpha in 10:04.665.

Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama Division

In a tight race, the spec-Porsche division welcomed three PPIHC rookies to the podium. The difference in their finish times spanned only five seconds. Hayden Bradley, an eighteen year old up-and-coming driver from St. Petersburg, FL took the win with a time of 10:48.387 in the 2020 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

Nuno Caetano traveled from Lisbon, Portugal to the summit of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain to claim a division second place finish in his 2020 Porsche Cayman Clubsport in 10:50.741.

Third place went to Hutton McKenna of Norwalk, CA for his clocking of 10:55.746 behind the wheel of his 2023 Porsche GT4.

Exhibition Division

Tanner Foust of Newport Beach, CA was tapped by Radford to take their Ant Anstead/Jenson Button build to the summit for the 101st running. Foust’s division win in the 2023 Radford Type 62-2 put him in first in the eclectic Exhibition division with a time of 09:37.326.

Randy Pobst, racing out of Atlanta, GA took second in the 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid bringing a loyal fan base to cheer him on to a finish time of 09:54.901. Pobst’s clocking was a new Electric Modified Car record.

Rhys Millen of Huntington Beach, CA, racing the bright yellow, Pennzoil-liveried 2023 BMW M8 claimed third while setting a new Production Car record of 10:12.024. This topped his former production record set in 2019 in the equally impressive Bentley Continental GT.

Notable Highlights

In his diesel-fueled Exhibition division entry, the #20 Radical SR Diesel, Frenchman, Gregoire Blachon, racing out of Nashville, TN, roared to the summit in 10:25.071, smashing Scott Birdsall’s 2020 record of 11:24.065.

Kathryn Mead of Austin, TX edged the time set by Vanina Ickx in 2018 – 10:54.901 – with her 4th place finish in the Time Attack 1 division, marking her as the fastest woman to race a car on Pikes Peak. Mead’s time of 10:53.074 gave her the distinction. Only Germany’s Lucy Glockner aboard her BMW motorcycle in 2019, notching a sub-10-minute run of 09:58.878, has been faster. Notably, Mead also earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2020.

Gardner Nichols, a PPIHC Rookie from Basalt, CO set the initial record for the Electric Production Truck/Van entry, racing his 2022 Rivian R1T in the Exhibition division to a finish time of 11:23.983.

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