This year the big news about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is about who isn't showing up. Sebastien Loeb, fresh off his record setting run last year, hasn't bothered coming back (and probably won't unless someone breaks his record). The Millen family is also noticeably absent. Rhys and Rod have been driving here for the past couple of decades but it looks like Rhys is focusing his efforts on Global RallyCross.

Last year Pikes Peak added a fourth practice day on Tuesday to allow drivers to get more time on the mountain. It's an optional practice day, but most drivers show up.

Today, both Time Attack divisions (1 and 2) as well as Unlimited division drove the lower third of the mountain. Pikes Peak Open, Open Wheel, Electric Production, Electric Modified, Exhibition and Vintage all practiced on the middle section, and bikes power sports did the top section.

At the bottom of the hill, Romain Dumas opened up the account marking his third year on the mountain, trying to become the overall champion after narrowly missing out to Rhys Millen two years ago. He was by far the fastest in the Unlimited Division in his 2013 Norma, more than 24 seconds ahead of Piero Nappi in a 2010 Picchio. Also on the lower slopes, Jeff Zwart topped the Time Attack 1 group with the second fastest time of the day overall, putting him 24 seconds ahead of Vincent Beltoise. Of the two men who finished ahead of Zwart last year, Paul Dallenbach has switched to the Open Wheel Challenge class and David Donner isn't racing.

Monster Tajima, former record holder for the mountain, brought his E-Runner out for the third year, and while he won the Electric division last year, he'll have his hands full with the pair of Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III racecars, both of which ran about 7 seconds faster.

Tomorrow, qualifying will start (the bottom section is used for qualifying), with each of the groups running the same sections of the mountain as today. Meanwhile, you can get ready by checking out the full list of competitors and all of the first day's practice results for the lower section, middle section and upper section. FYI, the latter two groups of competitors aren't sorted by name, only race number, so you'll want to keep that competitor list handy.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      BipDBo
      • 5 Months Ago
      There does not seem to be nearly the degree of over-the top down force wings as there has been in years past. I'd bet that this is a result of the whole track being paved. The down force given by the crazy big wings is no longer worth the extra weight and drag.
        gsnedders
        • 5 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        I would guess (though I haven't looked at the details of this years cars) that they're following last year's trend of starting to heavily rely on underbody aero — they'll have around the same downforce as the old cars, but with way less drag. Now the whole road is paved you can do far more with the underbody of the car as you don't need to worry about it being damaged on the unpaved sections.
        jonnybimmer
        • 5 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Just one of the several things I miss about the old unpaved track. Huge wings, huge rooster tails, tons of sideways action, and it seems like there's in general less attention for the event then there was in the past. Seems like most of the attention these days goes to the alternative-powered cars (except for Zwart and Monster of course, but then Monster's running electric now as well). Not to say that the event can never be as exciting though. I'm not really a fan of the Millens and I know they're tied up with Hyundai nowadays, but I'd still get giddy if the words "Millen" and "Toyota" were together for next year's event.
      TurboFroggy
      • 5 Months Ago
      Electrics are only 29 seconds behind the all time record holder. Will this be the year that Monster Tajima takes the overall record? Electric motorcycles are already the faster than gas motorcycles up Pike Peak. Look out gassers, we are coming for you... :)
      Peter Mcclements
      • 5 Months Ago
      guys just getting his head right ,,,he,s a TT legened ,,he will give the hill repect then tear it out a new ******* .....lol
      r_dezi
      • 5 Months Ago
      So when will the USA break the Land Speed Record and Pikes Peak again? I hope they do it soon because I'm not getting any younger ...
      jajak
      • 5 Months Ago
      Danny George is going for the fastest Miata time ever on the hill this year should be very interesting to see a Formula Drift driver make a run
        jonnybimmer
        • 5 Months Ago
        @jajak
        "should be very interesting to see a Formula Drift driver make a run" Last time that happened turned out pretty good: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1078429_rhys-millen-powers-genesis-coupe-to-new-pikes-peak-record