Thursday, June 30, 2011

VIDEO: Watch the Exciting Pike's Peak Record Breaking Run..You're Right There!

I will freely admit that I am infatuated with this event. For sheer thrills and terror, nothing comes close. The very idea of hurtling up a 14,000 foot mountain sideways with 1000+ foot drop-offs at nearly every turn really gets the adrenaline pumping. The king of the hill in recent years is Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima. Take a ride on the roof with Monster Tajima in the GoPro sponsored Suzuki Sx4 as he breaks his own personal record at Pikes Peak with a time of 9:51 and becomes the first person to break the 10 minute barrier over the 12.2 mile course, reaching speeds of nearly 150 miles per hour in a 1000 horsepower twin turbo charged all wheel drive specially built Suzuki.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), also known as The Race to the Clouds, is an annual automobile and motorcycle hillclimb to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado, a distance of 19.99 km (12.42 miles) over 156 turns, climbing 1,439 meters (4,721 ft) from the start at Mile 7 on Pikes Peak Highway at 2,862 meters (9,390 ft) on grades averaging 7% over both gravel and paved sections.

It has taken place since 1916 and is currently contested by a variety of classes of Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles and Quads. There are often numerous new classes tried and discarded year-to-year.

On average there are 150 competitors. The oldest current class is the Open Wheel division which has been run since 1916 and has been won by such names as Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, and Robby Unser (the current class record holder, achieving 10:05.85 min in 1994).

There was also one driver who had less than a "Monster" run up the mountain. Bobby Regester raced his modified Pontiac Sunfire to victory at Pikes Peak in the past, but this time he made a small miscalculation and literally drove off the mountain. It is one of the scariest crashes you'll ever see.
Pikes Peak rewards fearless driving and punishes it in dramatic fashion.

Climbing a narrow path at speeds exceeding 100 mph along the edge of the mountain tests the limits of both car and driver. Regester, despite having a lot of experience driving the mountain, reached the limit of one or both and suffered by crashing down Pikes Peak.

In an example of just how dangerous this can be he lucked out enough to hit a rock, which stopped him from flying over the next crest. Somehow, he walked away from the crash.

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