Bobby has 13 overall and class wins on the mountain, spanning four decades. Add that to the fact that the Unser family lays claim to a stunning 39 titles, and one can understand why Pikes Peak is known to many as “Unser Mountain.” He attributes all the success he has had in his life to Pikes Peak.
Pikes Peak in a lot of ways was our total start. We were young kids, looking at pictures of Pikes Peak in the attic and dreaming.
Al Unser, a PPIHC champion in 1964 and 1965 in Open Wheel, is also one of only three men to have won the Indy 500 four times, including his last in 1987, five days shy of his 48th birthday.
It always tickles me when people ask me how you learn road courses. I look at them and I say “you ever been up Pikes Peak?”
In addition to being one of the most successful and famous racing drivers in history, Mario was the 1969 PPIHC Champion.
I took so many chances all the way up, and at end of Devil’s Playground, I took it so deep, but that’s what you had to do to win. My heart was pounding so bad at the top. After winning, I swore I’d never return. I had to take too many risks to win, everything had to go perfectly, and it was just too dangerous.
Rick Mears is one of three men to win the Indy 500 four times, and was the 1976 PPIHC Champion. He and his brother Roger have a long and storied history on Pikes Peak.
I always enjoyed the switchbacks, and trying to straighten it out as much as possible. I loved the spectators, you’d pitch it right, then left out on the edge, and out of the corner of your eye, you’d see the spectators bailing off the side of the mountain.
Ari is the star of perhaps the most famous Pikes Peak video of all time, “Climb Dance”. He won the Open Division in 1988 with a course record of 10:47.22.
You can raise your arm but you must never lift your foot
Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima
Monster is one of the true legends of the PPIHC. He is a ten time champion, campaigning a variety of quick and innovative cars over the years.
Having been inducted into the Pikes Peak International Hall of Fame in 2016 was a real honor.
Romain has overall wins at the 2010 and 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the 2003 and 2010 24 Hours of Spa, and the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring. In 2016 he won the FIA World Endurance Championship with teammates Marc Lieb and Neel Jani. He has won Pikes Peak in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
When I won Le Mans in 2016, I said “Okay, that’s done. Why not try to do a back-to-back with Pikes Peak? For sure I think it won’t be easy to find someone else to do that.”
Aaron has competed on Pikes Peak several times in recent memory and is a huge proponent of the race. Formerly on Fast ‘n Loud, he now hosts Shifting Gears.
I’m a big proponent of motorsports being a great educational tool for people, particularly younger people. The respect you have to have for yourself, the other competitors, officials, etc. is key. It’s an important part of our culture and something missing these days.
A legend in racing, and particularly Porsche circles, Bruce has a storied history on Pikes Peak.
Bruce competed for his first time at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 1981 in his custom designed Porsche twin-turbo powered open wheeler, finishing second overall. Years later, he set the course record for tandem axle big rigs in 2000, 2001, and in 2002 he crossed the line in 13:57.800 – a record that still stands.
There’s nothing like it in the world. There are other hill climbs, but nothing else like it.
Sead is a regular Time Attack competitor on Pikes Peak, who comes all the way from Canada to race.
It is a humbling experience, especially when you realize you’re just an average dude and people die trying to get to the top.
Rick Knoop is a veteran of LeMans, Pikes Peak, and decades of motorsports accomplishments.
You know that the mountain is always going to win.
Randy is a veteran of many campaigns on Pikes Peak, and has a storied career with over 90 pro wins in various series in a wide array of cars.
There’s a long pull to the corner before the Ski Area, and I carry so much speed I almost overrun the brake zone. Exiting Ski Area, I’m feeling so good I wave to the crowd, hi-fiving out the window net. Next left leads to Rookies Corner, I’m on it.
Next left and I’m floored, heading for the switchback below Glen Cove, waiting for the guardrail to appear to start braking. ‘Cept it never shows. This ain’t that switchback. My tired and fuzzy brain skipped the Sump. Oops.
Paul is one of the few drivers to compete in all three eras of Pikes Peak – dirt, partially paved, and fully paved.
I love this race because it is still a race where someone can draw a dream on a napkin on a grass-roots level and compete against a factory team. Like the Indy 500 used to be in the ‘50s to ‘70s. I was lucky enough to win on dirt, 50% dirt and all paved. We all wish it was still dirt but I am glad I was able to experience it all.
James is the founder and team principal for Honda’s efforts on Pikes Peak, leading an always-impressive team to the summit.
Apparently, increasing engine power ~4 times and cutting 500 lbs. from the race vehicle is very beneficial to your summit time!
Tetsuya has competed on Pikes Peak for Honda in 2015 and 2016. He is a veteran of the GT World Challenge and the Japanese Super GT Series.
In Japan, it is absolutely unthinkable that there could be a race against time in such a place, never mind that the race has been going on for 100 years.
Mike is a veteran of the World Challenge GT Series, NASCAR, the FIA World Endurance Championship, IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Series. He has competed on Pikes Peak multiple times, achieving impressive results.
I don’t think most casual observers of the race realize what an endurance event it is, especially for the crews.
Mike is an eight-time PPIHC veteran on a variety of motorcycles and quads.
You live, eat, and breathe this race if you want to win it.
Fred has not only competed on Pikes Peak six times in his Porsche 996 Turbo, but he’s one of the race’s true ambassadors, and a PPIHC Board Member to boot.
The pit area is adjacent to an elk breeding area. Not that an Elk would cause much damage if hit by a race car. No, that wouldn’t do much
Jeri, part of the legendary Unser clan, and daughter of Bobby, has competed on Pikes Peak three times, setting the electric vehicle record in 2003.
At first, the engineers tried to get me to run without brakes at all, just relying on the regenerative braking it had, but I told them that was not a good idea.
Jeff is one of the best known modern racers associated with Pikes Peak. He has competed in a variety of Porsches over the years, with an impressive record of success.
In 1994, on my first day of practice, three things went through my mind simultaneously. This is Picnic Ground, this is the earliest I have ever gone into 5th gear going into Picnic Ground… AND, this is NOT Picnic Ground!
Rennie is a Pikes Peak motorcycle competitor.
I spotted my old marker, hit the anchors and realized I was in too hot. I was going probably 132 mph, and needed to get it down to about 30 mph.
Rafa is a Pikes Peak motorcycle competitor.
A lot of people do not understand the real reason for doing this sort of thing, but I usually say that a return to the Isle of Man or a climb up Pikes Peak are the things that make life make sense. And all the time I spend traveling the world and getting ready for it is the real trophy. What is best is the journey and not the conquest!
Layne is a second-generation Pikes Peak racer, with an impressive history on the famed mountain, having titles in three divisions over his career.
Right at the post which marks the access road (which is invisible from the highway), I screamed and cranked the wheel to the left, and literally caught air in the Escalade. I didn’t have any idea if there was another gate down there, a car coming the other way, or anything. Thankfully, there was no gate, just a rough road, and after flying down the road, I slammed on the brakes and stopped. It was a little like jumping out of a plane with no chute, and just hoping things would work out.