The 90th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado will take place on Aug. 12, 2012, more than a month after it had been postponed due to the Waldo Canyon Fire—now being acknowledged as “the most destructive fire in the state’s history.” The wildfire, which swept through the Colorado Springs area earlier this month, is currently under control, but it had burned through some 29 square miles over the course of nearly three weeks, killing at least two people and incinerating almost 350 homes. As a result, organizers of the Hill Climb—the second-oldest ongoing motorsports competition in the U.S., behind only the Indy 500—had to postpone the event with safety concerns.
All seems to be back on track at this stage, however, and a full five days of hill-climbing heaven are in store for visitors, culminating in the chance to watch an international field of racers tackle one of the most demanding courses in the world. Starting from 9,390 feet up the peak, a wide range of drivers will pilot an equally wide range of vehicles—on both two and four wheels—through 12.42 miles, 156 turns and 4,720 feet of elevation.
And even though the Hill Climb had to be rescheduled, drivers remain eager to test their mettle on the mountain.
“The response by the competitors has been tremendously positive,” said Tom Osborne, president and CEO of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. “And the drivers and racers have been sensitive and compassionate toward our residents and their struggles and loss.
“We will have the majority of the registered competitors here for the event and have positive responses from Nobuhiro Tajima, Jean-Phillipe Dayraut, Roman Dumas, Clint Vahsholtz, Paul Dallenbach, Dave Carapetyan, David Donner, Greg Tracy, and Carlin Dunne … In fact, many of the drivers and racers have indicated their desire to establish a fund to benefit those agencies that have battled the horrendous fire and now support our ability to stage the race.”
(Note: Osborne also announced that the fund would be "established quickly to permit donations from the drivers and racers, their sponsors, and the public that will provide support and sincere gratitude to the men and women of the firefighting agencies who have stepped to the front when their help was most needed." However, details were not yet available when this story was published.)