Beginners guide to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb 2013

With the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb taking place on Sunday 30 June, here's an evo guide to the legendary event.

Pikes Peak Hill Climb

What is it?

Dubbed The Race to the Clouds, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is an annual up-hill sprint on the 12.4-mile track, climbing 4720ft (1439m) at an average gradient of seven per cent. The summit’s altitude of 14,110ft (4301m) is not only a challenge for the drivers but the cars themselves due to the lower levels of oxygen in the air, which reduces power output.How did the Pikes Peak hill climb come about?

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The second oldest race in North America (after the Indy 500), the Pikes Peak rally was founded in 1916 by Spencer Primrose, a road builder who had just finished widening the road and decided that a competitive event was the logical way of promoting it. Initially the climb consisted of approximately 70 per cent tarmac and 30 per cent gravel, however the remaining gravel sections were tarmacked over prior to the 2011 event. The climb starts on mile seven of the Pikes Peak Highway and continues to the summit. Since the course was completely tarmacked, times have naturally decreased, with the course record of 9:46 being set by Rhys Millen in a Hyundai Genesis Coupe last year. With the exception of the open-wheel class, all records for either motorbikes or cars, were set in 2011 or 2012.

Who takes part?

A variety of competitors from motorcycles, open cockpits, experimental hybrids and trucks to fully fledged works teams with household names, such as Peugeot’s unlimited class 208 T16 entry with nine-time World Rally champion Sébastien Loeb. The climb always takes place in the summer (on June 30 this year), and 170 competitors took part in last year’s event.

Where can I keep up-to-date?

Results updates and radio commentary are available from the official PPIHC event website.

Most Popular


McLaren 765LT 2020 review – latest Long Tail returns to reset the status quo

McLaren’s latest Long Tail fulfills its brief in once again pushing the supercar to the next level, the 765LT just has to prove its magic on the road …
29 Sep 2020
Lexus LC

Lexus LC500 Convertible 2020 review – eccentric cabriolet is as glamorous as it looks

The eccentric LC500 cabriolet is better than a boulevard cruiser and feels every inch the halo product Lexus intended
29 Sep 2020
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT turns up electric SUV to 459bhp

The all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV has gained a hot GT variant, rivalling Tesla’s Model Y Performance
28 Sep 2020
Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera Turbo S 2020 review 

Monster straight-line pace and impressive handling, but the Panamera sweet spot is found elsewhere
26 Sep 2020