Today marks the 96th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, also known as the “Race to the Clouds”.
It’s race day for this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The day we’ll see the highly-anticipated Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak compete for glory, challenging the current EV record of 8:57.118 minutes. This could also be the day Romain Dumas, professional racing driver, usurps the overall record of 8:13.878 minutes held by Sebastian Loeb since 2013. However, while we will cover the results, we also wanted to take the opportunity to address another part of the race. It isn’t just bespoke, purpose-built racers taking part. It isn’t just huge names and manufacturers either. What’s surprising is the variety of cars tackling the climb. There are cars you’ve never heard of, and cars you’d never expect taking on the climb.
So, as the green flag drops and the official runs begin, let’s count through some of the interesting, fun and odd cars taking part in this year’s Race to the Clouds.
5) Bentley Bentayga
Wait, a Bentley competing in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb? And a Bentayga, at that? Yes, its true, but this isn’t just any Bentayga. It has a 600 horsepower W12 engine, as well as adaptive air suspension and active anti-roll control. Bentley also stripped out 300 kilograms of interior trim for the event. New Zealand driver Rhys Millen will drive the Bentayga in the Exhibition class.
4) 2017 Gillet Vertigo
Gillet is another ‘bespoke’ manufacturer, this time based in Belgium. Their Vertigo sports car is an ultra-lightweight model weighing in at under just over a ton. This one is a bit odd because it’s not exactly a household name. This certainly isn’t the only car competing in the hill climb which bears that designation however. This Vertigo is driven by Belgian racing driver Vanina Ickx in the Time Attack class.
3) 2018 Nissan LEAF
Sure, the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak may grab all the headlines. It’s a bespoke electric race car aiming to smash the previous record set in 2016. However, interestingly, there is a production-based electric car taking part in the race: a 2018 Nissan LEAF. This one is driven by Fumio Nutahara in the Time Attack class.
2) 1936 Chevrolet Sedan
A 1930’s Chevrolet making its way up the hill climb? Yep, a classic hot rod will charge toward the summit of Pikes Peak in this year’s event. NASCAR crew chief and Hall of Fame inductee Ray Evernham will pilot a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan up the hill climb in the Exhibition class. “The Ghost”, as its named, is powered by an 850 horsepower Chevroley SB2 engine.
1) 1972 Boxeer VW Bug 2.0 TDI
While our 1971 Super Beetle won’t take part in this year’s hill climb, there is an old bug competing. This 2.0-liter diesel powered 1972 bug will make its way up the Pikes Peak course in the hands of Austrian driver Manfred Stohl. He’s competing in the Pikes Peak Open class.
Check out our video below from Pikes Peak Fan Fest! Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more Pikes Peak coverage, including results! Watch TFLcar and TFLnow for more videos from Pikes Peak!