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xCONWRATHx

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PostSubject: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:52 pm

This was my first year attending the event, and as such I didn't have much of an idea what to expect. Day one saw 16 hours of driving starting at 4 AM, and I got stuck with Nebraska. Nebraska blows.







Soon after we rolled into Denver, we were greeted by our first sign of elevation.



...And a few minutes later we were greeted by Denver rush hour traffic. Sad



The closer we got to Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak the more scenic the views became.







We finally got into our hotel room at 8 PM on Thursday night. Qualifying started at 5 AM the next day, which meant that we had to be in our spot on the mountain by 3 AM. Sleep becomes not much more than a memory during race week. Day one ended with a view of the sunset from our room.

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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:53 pm

This is a pretty accurate representation of Friday morning. It's not much more than a blur in my memory, my mind doesn't function that early.



We really had no idea what we were doing up that early, not to mention we were completely unfamiliar with the race routine for the morning or where we were supposed to be. Without having scrutinized the course map we decided we would just follow the Mustang in front of us until there was a good place to stop. 3 AM at the 16 mile point, which turned out to be a pretty good spot.



Staging for the morning's qualifying, the classes running this section was Electrics, Open Wheel, Super Stock, Vintage, and Exhibition classes.



Now, I am not accustomed to being awake at 3 AM. I am not accustomed to being awake at 9 AM. On a good day, I might have pants on by 11. This being said, I was not happy to awake so early. Not to mention that it is very windy above the tree line and about 20 degrees colder than at the base. In fact, if there had been a puppy up on that mountain with me, I surely would have punted it over the edge. :mad:



As it got closer to 5 AM the sight of the rising sun and the sound of the cars warming up at the start reversed my mood completely. It also probably helped that I had gone numb from the wind chill, but lets just chuck this one up to the beautiful vistas.





Here I am setting up a shot down towards staging...



...And the resulting picture.



This is my Dad, he likes to pretend he can take pictures.



This is TJ, he doesn't need to pretend.



Once the sun had risen properly, the first car was allowed to go.

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xCONWRATHx

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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:54 pm

Some of the first cars to run that day were the Exhibition and Open Wheel cars.







Next up were the trucks.





This Honda ran into some troubles during the morning's practice, it failed to start up again after it's second run. The driver took it back down by riding the brakes with the car off! No thanks...







After hearing all the revving and roaring from lower down the mountain I was taken completely by surprise when this open wheeled electric wonder came beeping past. Yes, beeping.



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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:54 pm

The Vintage class is definitely the most fun to watch. There is nothing cooler than seeing some classic race cars go balls-out up a mountainside.







This is an event where 'going wide' simply isn't an option.











I spoke with the owner of this Caddy who told me that the list of modifications before next year's event includes replacing every removable body panel with carbon fiber. Ridiculous!







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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:54 pm

After qualifying we headed up to the peak to see what all the fuss is about...





And since I'm a white-boy gangsta with extra thugsauce, we took this picture.



After doing our thing on the peak, we decided to head back to the hotel where we ran into several of these...



This is a mule deer, they're everywhere and aren't bothered by much.

That evening we went downtown to check out the show. Many of the competitors cars were on display. Tajima's Suzuki, and the Monster himself, is really cool to see in person.







Stephan Verdier ran this Crawford prepped STi.



B13 rallycross racer Christy Carlson showed up with her WRX.



This is a Dacia Duster, something that is unfamiliar to the US market. Renault decided to hot rod this one up a bit by installing a VR38 out of the R35 GTR into the rear. Kickass.





Eight months ago this was a pretty standard Audi 1.8t street car. Now, it's a fully race prepped V8 monster!




Unfortunately we didn't spend a whole lot of time downtown, as we were pretty beat and knew we would need all the sleep we could get before the race the next day.
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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:55 pm

We got up at 1 AM on race day, thinking we were being smart and would beat the rush...



...we were wrong.



Shortly after 4 AM we were on our way up the mountain!



We found a spot at 11 mile station and settled in.



The sun finally poked out, four and a half hours before the race start.

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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:55 pm

This year marked what was sad news for many, as it was the last year the event will be held with a dirt section. All 12.42 miles of the hill climb will be paved over by the end of this year.



Although much of the legend of Pikes Peak is centered around the mountains uncommon combination of loose terrain and thousand foot drop offs, I believe future events will be entirely as entertaining, and just as dangerous, as those held in the past. With a 100% asphalt course competitors will no longer have to run cars with compromised setups. Gone are the days of open wheel exhibition class dirt terrors, many believe that the future of competition lies in F1 technology.

Pikes peak is legendary, being one of the oldest races in America, second only to the Daytona 500. Racers have to sprint up the famed mountain starting at the base elevation of 9,390 feet and reaching the summit at 14,110 feet, piloting through 156 corners on a mix of gravel, dirt, and tarmac. The conditions on the mountain are harsh; air temperature can drop by as much as 25 degrees from the base to the summit and the weather can change from sunny to snowing in a matter of minutes. Not to mention that the air at the peak is 30% thinner, making both the car and driver have to fight for each gulp of oxygen.

YouTube - ‪PPIHC Camaro1.mov‬‏

Even though we were easily among the first 50 people up the mountain, many of the corners were already occupied by people who had camped out the night before.



Lots of people kept coming up the mountain later in the morning, many were out of luck and were forced back down the mountain. We decided to post up on the roadside and keep watch out for anything cool. There was nothing cool.



Right around 9 AM they announced that the pace car was on it's way up, so I found a good spot to shoot from. Gotta get low to get the shot! The gravel in your face is just an added bonus.



The pace car was driven by the Paul Walker! I know, I was bummed out too.



This Honda Fit was on the only entrant in the Exhibition class, and finished with a time of 15:46.609



Ikuo Honawa proved that their is a future for competitive electric vehicles in motorsports with a time of 12:20.084.





This is the Nissan's Leaf, I spoke to some of the team who told me that the only modifications to the car were the required safety equipment and to make the suspension more capable. Surprisingly, the car did absolutely fine doing back to back all-out runs during practice without a single recharge! Driver Chad Hord had a final time of 14:33.429



This beautiful Vintage Barracuda finished with a time of 13:20.657, piloted by Jesse Neal.



Bobby Regester and his Super Stock Pontiac Sunfire went off course just before Devil's Playground. Fortunately he crawled out and walked away!



YouTube - ‪Bobby Regester Crash - Pikes Peak 2011‬‏

This Super Stock Chevy Lumina finished with a very respectable 11:22.500





Rhys Millen and the RMR PM580 finished with a time of 10:09.242. Millen was expecting to break the 10 minute mark this year as the conditions on the mountain were absolutely perfect, unfortunately the car was having some issues with the brakes which caused him to fall short of his mark. :rolleyes:



Rod Millen came back to the mountain this year, driving his son's drift car to beat out Jeff Zwart's GT2 RS with a final time, and new 2WD record, of 11:04.912

YouTube - ‪Rhys Millen - Pikes Peak record attempt 2011‬‏

Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima did spectacularly with a final time, and new world record, of 9:51.278 crushing his 2007 record by a full 10 seconds.



YouTube - ‪GoPro HD: Monster Tajima's Record Breaking Run Pikes Peak 2011‬‏

Jim Hodgson finished with 14:52.030



David Kern and his AMS prepped Evo finished with a 4th place class time of 12:12.630, which is amazing considering how their car looked after the race.



YouTube - ‪VIDEO0020.3gp‬‏

Roy Tomkins finished 5th in 2WD with a time of 13:04.231 in his Corolla.



Ralf Christensson finished with a 14:18.881



Formula D drifter Stephan Verdier looked very promising during practice, but entered a corner a full speed on race day, wrecking the car.



YouTube - ‪Pikes Peak 2011 Crash - Zenkai Motorsports‬‏



Douglas Mockett finished with a very respectable 13:01.997 in his Oldsmobile Super 88.



Randy Shcranz and his kit Cobra took first place in the Open class with a respectable 11:55.132



Renault's Dacia Duster piloted by Jean Philippe Dayraut completed it's first ever trip up the mountain with a time of 10:17.707, very impressive for a first timer!



Privateer Valentin Ivanitski finished last in the 4WD Time Attack class with an underwhelming time of 14:48.358. During the practice stages the car was having some overheating issues, even with the cool morning air. This was Valentin's first attempt at summit so I'm hopeful to see him return next year with a fully functional cooling system.



Richard Hockert went off course in his Austin Healey and did not finish, thankfully the car appeared unharmed later in the day.





Kris Antal and his wild turbocharged Celica finished 8th in 2WD.



John Heavey and his '67 911 Targa took 1st place in the low displacement Vintage class with a 14:21.550



Samual Berri and his Ultra 4 Raven finished at 13:48.688, taking 6th place in the Open class.



Kevin Yoder was close on his tail taking 7th with a 14:10.063



This "Ford Ranger" finished in 9th with a time of 14:48.804



Keith Davidson and his Ford Falcon was the fastest of any of the Vintage classes and finished with a 12:44.126





Ralph Murdock and his Vintage Modified Camaro finished with a class win of 12:51.004



Tony Landon (although looking very good!) finished in last with a 13:51.018



John Groendyke and his '49 Cadillac Coupe finished with an impressive 13:11.312! After some weight reduction this Caddy should have a solid lead over the rest of the class.



It's a real shame that the era of dirt has come to an end on Pike's Peak, because power slides like this will no longer be possible!

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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:27 pm

Awesome pics man! I remember seeing your view of denver last year in CO. Its a beautiful place!
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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:44 pm

amazing.
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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:44 pm

looks like fun. im comin with next time lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:11 am

Excellent pictures as always man, looks like it was a blast.
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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:41 pm

Very nice pics. I was wondering why you didnt go higher the first day, the pavement doesnt go up very high from what i remember. Its a scary drive in a minivan.

Looks like you guys had a good time. Very beautiful up there, and surrounding areas.
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PostSubject: Re: Connor's Pikes Peak Adventure   Sun Sep 18, 2011 6:42 pm

This is on my bucket list and has been for some time. Great shots. Id have to agree on teh vintage cars. I couldnt imagine that big caddy coming up the hill
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