Planned Drive Ruined by Hooliganism!
1am: woke up
2am: went for a two hour drive to Colorado Springs
4am...ish: discovered that a bunch of other people had the same idea, and a fun drive up a beautiful mountain was ruined by near stand-still traffic. The road was so crowded I decided to pull off and wait it out. These people were coming out from all over, too! Some guys I sat with claimed to be from Austria, and another nearby group sounded like they were from Ukraine or something.
830am: some of these people started to get a bit more enthusiastic about going for a drive than I. Maniacs! Just look what they did to the road!
At least I had this small window of a view to look at while I patiently waited for them to tire:
7pm ish: the maniacs decided they were finished just as it started to snow/rain. Just my luck. I spent the next hour or so waiting for everyone to clear the mountain before I could leave. Ugh.
10pm: got back home, covered my sun-burned face and arms in aloe, then went to sleep. One of the longest days of the year, wasted.
Yeah, well, we'll see who has the last laugh. I got pictures of most of the hooligans and will be turning them into the authorities. In order of appearance:
Pikes peak International Hill Climb
100th Anniversary (94th running)
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
I guess this guy was just getting a feel for the track. He wasn't on it too hard, and then reported over the radio the road conditions for the bikers. There was ice near the summit at the start, so officials tried to clear that up before sending the racers out.
Acura was the main sponsor after Gran Turismo. This was the first of their three pace cars, which was followed up by... some sedan and SUV, I don't know or care what computer part number they were named after.
I'm not huge on bikes, so I didn't capture them all. Also, excuse the zoomed-out images. It's my first time taking action shots with this camera, so I was playing it safe. And to pile on one more excuse, the best spot for spectating, Devil's Playground, was full before I got there. So I don't really have any variety in angles here... next year I'll leave earlier.
Doo do-doo. There is an awful lot of just sitting and waiting at PPIHC. Between red flags and gaps between the drivers, it was a very long day.
This guy was being red-flagged as he rounded this corner, but he ignored the marshall and kept on it. From what I heard over the radio, the rider before him hit a guardrail.
Safety car goes up, followed shortly after by an ambulance, then a medical chopper. I believe the rider was flown to the hospital. The flagged rider is sent back down the mountain to try again.
These guys were insane to watch! The balls on that "monkey"!
This was my view for the day. George's Corner at Cove Creek. No ground-level spectating allowed here, unfortunately.
There were I think three overtakings today.
As clear a sign as any that the days of Pikes Peak being a rally course are gone.
Rhys Millen making his EV record-setting run.
All-electric NSX making its climb. It was almost hilarious watching any electric vehicle drive past - and there were a lot, including bikes - because on a count of no engine noise, they all had to use these sirens that sounded like cheap car alarms just so marshals, other drivers, etc could hear them coming.
Open-wheelers was another class I wasn't much interested in, so I didn't take many photos of them.
Mr. Escudo himself, Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima in an EV. I think he placed third or so; definitely not King of the Mountain anymore.
I didn't notice this until after I got home and started looking through the photos... but this guy's door is open!
This E30 was one of the coolest cars there, imo.
I passed a crew member after the race and a noob question escaped before I could stop it... "der, is the body completely carbon fiber?" That gray a- and c-pillar area was pretty much the only stock part of the body. The rest was carbon, some off the shelf aftermarket, some custom built. It is insane what you can do to a street car these days though. I've found that there are aftermarket carbon replacements for every removable exterior panel of my RSX, plus the roof skin, inner door panels, and rear hatch "privacy cover."
Okay, this open-wheeler I loved. I don't know if it's just the wheels, or what, but it just looks pretty sweet.
I've mentioned in another feature that the old NSX is my greatest dream car. A large enough part of its appeal is the look of the thing, and when the final design of the new model was released in the magazines (this car was like the LFA with all of its concept changes, it was a bit ridiculous), I really wasn't feeling it at all. And then to combine the looks with the fact that it was to be not only a hybrid but all-wheel drive, I was just not a fan of what Acura had come up with. It's been growing on me, though, and I think seeing four of them in person this day did the most to bring me around. I still feel that it doesn't look enough like the original. It looks almost nothing like it, actually. And to go from something so pure and analog to a machine absolutely loaded with technology almost seems wrong. But the car finally has the power it deserves, and from the videos I've seen it looks incredibly capable. When I think about how the NA1 basically took the best of what mechanical technology was available at the time and did extraordinary things with it, this new car carries that same kind of philosophy in 2017. The supercar market is all about high technology right now, just look at the P1, 918, and La Ferrari. Even the GT-R, which is probably safe to look at as a direct competitor, is more about utilizing computers over mechanics to enable it to take on cars far outside its price range. I don't yet love the new NSX, but I definitely respect and appreciate it.
There is a part of me that is itching to build a small pickup. Colorado, H3T, Tacoma, Ranger... a small old Japanese truck. So many I really dig, and then I wouldn't even be able to decide where to take it: lift it and go off roading or do something more like this Colorado right here, and slam it to the ground with an emphasis on grip? There's no denying having a truck around would have its occasional practical uses as well...
See what I mean about playing it safe with the zoom? Almost lost him.
Dat diffuser tho...
And the best livery of the day goes to...
So nice, I had to shoot her twice. Yeah... she was one of the many cars red-flagged and sent back to the bottom. Don't know why I took another photo (...because female driving Viper?), but there you have it.
Ferrari Films presents...
The noise this thing produced, I thought an uber-loud sports bike was coming up. I was pleasantly surprised.
The daddy. Wow, this was a thing to behold for me.
I remember this car from the 2010 race when there were still two long dirt sections.
Aside from this being the 100th Anniversary, Aaron Kaufman and his Falcon were one of the main reasons I wanted to attend. I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but I am a fan of Fast N' Loud.
The only semi there, and I think the only diesel. A car failure ahead of him meant he recieved a red flag pretty close to the summit. On his second run, I believe I heard over the radio that he slid off and got a DNF. One hell of a truck though.
Got the red flag here. Don't know why he shut the car off; it must have been carbureted because he had a hard time starting it back up at this altitude.
Sorry, I dont know why these last few cars came out all blurry...
Went looking for the merchandise stand. I was disappointed for the second time. No t-shirt
It's okay dude, I'm with the press... with my Galaxy cam.
The view from well below the start line.
And then there's this sexy devil, mmmm....