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Photo Gallery: Pikes Peak 2013

Submitted by on July 8, 2013

Pike Peak

It’s America’s own Nurburgring Nordschleiffe. Awesome views, run off areas made of fresh air, huge elevation, thinning air at the top, 156 turns and about twelve and a half miles against the clock. It’s one of the sport’s classic events. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

By Andy Hallbery. Photography Robert Kerian

Pike Peak 2013

Pikes Peak, in Colorado Springs, is America’s second oldest motorsport event in the US. This year’s event, the 91st, attracted the Big Guns again, as it had in the late 1980s when World Rally aces, Ari Vatanen, Walter Rohrl and Michele Mouton took on the challenge. This year, the most successful World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb made his debut in the fearsome Peugeot. I won’t spoil the outcome, instead Motorsport Retro will treat you to our day at the classic, and another event we can tick off our to-do list, through the lens of photographer Robert Kerian.

Pike Peak hillclimb

The  views are astonishing, as is the thinning air the higher you climb. The bravery of the drivers goes without saying. Some have been doing it for more than 30 years, the only real change being that what used to be a dirt track has now been mostly laid with asphalt. Still, it’s possible for any accident to end up far, far away from where it began. Crashes at the foot of the peak are met by trees, the higher up you go, there is less to slow the out of control machine down.

Pike Peak fans

The fans too span generations, often driving up the night before, sleeping in the cold under the stars and waiting patiently for the sun to rise. For the teams this usually spelt the end of their shift after a late night. It was now up to the driver.

Pike Peak RS200

As for the cars it’s an eclectic mix of machines, from Loeb’s thoroughbred through to monster trucks and everything in between, wit times and records shaved each year. While a Loeb victory was largely predicted, likely his time was not… Romain Dumas gave it a shot in his hybrid Norma M20FCPP. The Porsche works driver even ran as entry number 911 as a nod to the number of Porsches tackling the climb.

Pike Peak Porsche

The winner? Well it was a Peugeot and it was driven by a World Rally Champion. The many fans were happy. After all, they had seen something very special that will be talked about for years to come.

Loeb Pikes Peak

Here is Ari’s climb form 1997, and Seb’s from 2013. Check out the difference.

Vatanen, largely on dirt 1987.

Loeb on Asphalt 2013

The Lion still roars.

Special thanks to ace motorsport photographer Robert Kerian. http://robertkerian.com/race-cars


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