Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg Business
Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg Business

Epic Scenes From the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, an Auto Race Straight Up a Mountain

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has given rabid auto fans and the most daring racers in the country cliff-edge thrills since 1916. This year's 99th edition was no different. More than 40,000 people gathered on the Colorado mountain this past weekend to watch 130 high-powered cars and motorcycles run the 12.42-mile course straight up the side of the mountain. Contestants hit speeds of 150 mph on the way up—with not even a guard rail to shield them along the way.
Race to the Clouds
Race to the Clouds

On Sunday's race morning, Rhys Millen became the first man to win the race with an electric racer. He set a new record time for battery-powered cars of 9:07.222 to cover the route.

Photographer: Stephen Sullivan/Revvolution.com/The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Lean In
Lean In

The Pikes Peak races include categories for motorcycles, cars, electrics, and even semi-trucks.

Photographer: Nathan Leach-Proffer/Revvolution.com/The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Blast the Trees
Blast the Trees

The route is divided into three sections, with the first starting in the mountains below the tree line. The other sections fall just at and then above the trees, in a landscape littered with boulders and scrub.

Photographer: Ryan Randels/Revvolution.com/The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Man + Machine
Man + Machine

The course is nearly 13 miles long—with 156 turns along the way—reaching heights more than 14,000 feet above sea level.

Photographer: Nathan Leach-Proffer/Revvolution.com/The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Cruising
Cruising

The race has taken place since 1916 and is the third-oldest motorsport event in the Western Hemisphere, behind the Indianapolis 500 and the Isle of Man races.

Photographer: Corey Davis/Revvolution.com/The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Topping 100
Topping 100

The fastest cars in the race cover its length in fewer than 9 minutes, averaging speeds well above 100 mph. A big tail fin, AWD, and turbo boosters help them hit such fast speeds.

Photographer: Corey Davis/Revvolution.com/The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Razor's Edge
Razor's Edge

The main motorcycle category is the Pikes Peak 250 Class, which is fast and highly competitive. The bikes are factory-built, with a two-stroke and four-stroke single or twin-cylinder engine.

Photographer: Randels Media Group/Revvolution.com/The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
NSX Prototype
NSX Prototype

The pace car for this year's race was the Acura NSX prototype, the predecessor to the much-anticipated NSX production model Acura will sell later this year.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg Business
Hybrid Stunner
Hybrid Stunner

The new NSX uses a 6-cylinder turbocharged engine with three hybrid motors on board to push the car forward. Expect it to compete against the likes of the Audi R8 when it goes on sale.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg Business
Feel the Rush
Feel the Rush

Spectators camp overnight to get spots along the course, since much of it is closed off and empty for racers during race day.

Photographer: Ryan Randels/Revvolution.com/The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Finally!
Finally!

Spectators and media often use oxygen to supplement their breathing if they stay at the top of the mountain for long. Its high altitude can cause headaches, nausea, and vertigo for the uninitiated.

Photographer: James Harris/Revvolution.com/The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb