The 96th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) is coming up, and this year will present some well known competitors, as well as some rookies to keep an eye on. The hill climb event put on by Gran Turismo will take place on June 24th in one of the World’s most infamous hill climb races, Pikes Peak in Colorado as drivers race to the 14,115 foot summit. PPIHC Executive Director Megan Leatham said, “The fans of this historic race will really embrace the competitive field for the 96th Running of the Race to the Clouds. We have many of the legends of the race on board along with a roster of rookies from the USA and many nations that will generate incredible interest.”
Some of the experienced drivers and visitors of Pikes Peak include Clint Vahsholtz, who is a 23-time champion; Paul Dallenbach as an 8-time winner, veteran Layne Schranz who is making an unbelievable 25th appearance, David Schmidt II, also a 25-time veteran, and Spencer Steele who managed three wins over during his 17 consecutive year attendance.
The long list of veteran and professional drivers is pretty lengthy, but there will be some first time rookies to keep an eye out for. Among them is Simone Faggioli, who has won the FIA European Hill Climb Championship ten times. This makes him one of the best in hill climb competition Worldwide, and will be an absolute threat behind the wheel. As if the European hill climb stuff wasn’t enough, he’s also has 12 Italian Hill Climb Championships under his belt since 2002.
Fabien Boudubad will also be attending, and has placed 2nd in the 2016 FIA European Hill Climb Championship Masters event. He’s also the CEO and owner of Tectri SA in Court Switzerland which specializes in cost effective manufacturing of turned and milled plastic and metal parts.
Gabriel Ene is a Romanian Shark Racing team driver and won the most recent 2017 Romanian Hill Climb Championship 2-wheel drive crown, which just so happens to be the most important title in his racing career bag.
Another first time visitor of Pikes Peak is Vanina Ickx, a Belgian driver who has experience in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as class wins at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in both 2009 and 2010.
You could say that calling them “rookies” isn’t exactly fair, as each competitor has quite a bit of experience up their sleeve in terms of hill climb experience. Every year vehicles and drivers are pushed to the max, and we expect this year to be no different! For more information on drivers, vehicles, or history, visit the PPIHC.