Robin Shute claimed the honor of overall fastest time in the 97th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, an event marred by a tragic accident and inclement weather that interrupted the action. After a series of red flags for incidents — including one for the fatal crash of fastest motorcycle qualifier Carlin Dunne — severe weather affected various parts of the 12.42-mile, 156-turn public toll road which climbs from the start at 9,390 ft. to a power-robbing 14,115 ft. summit.
The upper section was eventually rendered off limits when lightning strikes knocked out timing equipment at the top of the mountain. That forced race officials to move the finish line to Glen Cove (11,440 ft. elevation) with about half of the field still to make their runs.
Shute’s run of 9m12.476s in his Unlimited class Wolf TSC (pictured, top), powered by a 650 hp, 2.1-liter Honda Performance Development K20, led the 48 entries to complete the full run. Shute admitted that the time “wasn’t what we wanted,” having targeted a run under nine minutes. That would still have been well off the 7m57.148s record set last year by Romain Dumas with Volkswagen’s all-electric ID.R prototype that rewrote the record book for the fully paved road to the summit (the 2011 race was the last to include dirt sections of the course), but it held up as the best anyone could manage this year.
Raphael Astier was second overall and first in Time Attack 1 with his BBAutosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Turbo, at 9m23.721s, while Peter Cunningham placed third overall and repeated as Pikes Peak Open class champion with his Acura TLX GT (pictured below) at 9m24.433s.
Paul Dallenbach won his seventh class title at Pikes Peak by topping the Open Wheel division with a time of 9m44.630s in his PVA Dallenbach Special.
Rennie Scaysbrook won the Heavyweight motorcycle division and ranked seventh overall with a time of 9m44.963s, although the celebration was cut short by the fatal crash of defending class champ Dunne shortly thereafter, just a few yards short of the finish line.
Rhys Millen broke the production car record in his Bentley Continental GT (pictured above) with a time of 10m18.488s, while Travis Pastrana scored his second consecutive victory in the Porsche Trophy by Yokohama, setting an 11m24.287s in his Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport (pictured below). As Pastrana relates in the following video, along with the crazy weather, he had to dodge some errant sheep as well…