The ninety-eighth running of The Broadmoor Pikes Maximum International Hill Climb (PPIHC), also referred to as “The Race to the Clouds, ” is an invitational automobile hill climb up to the summit of Pikes Maximum – America’s Mountain in Manitou, Colorado. This year the event was held upon Sunday, August 30th. Forty-four automobiles raced to the summit of the fourteen, 115 ft. mountain, containing 156 turns and totaling a range of 12. 42 miles.
While the annual running of this occasion was postponed due to the COVID outbreak, it wasn’t going to put a stop to the particular race altogether. With limits upon attendance, only competitors, pit team, safety personnel, and media had been allowed on the mountain. Even though the global competitor count was down this season, competitors traveled from all over the world hoping of setting new class information.
2 of those hopeful competitors were Gregoire Blachon (Boxeer TDI), from Knoxville, TN, and Scott Birdsall ( Chuckles Garage ) from Santa Rosa, CALIFORNIA, who were both after the same report. The rivalry between the two began during the practice sessions this year, yet which team would set the brand new Diesel Record? That record have been previously set by Factory Mercedes-Benz back in 2015, with an elapsed moments of 11: 37. 149.
Each teams (Birdsall and Blachon) had been plagued with mechanical issues within the days leading up to the race. Blachon was fighting numerous tuning problems, fluid leaks, and electrical problems. Where as Scott Birdsall had a lot bigger problems on his hands. Birdsall had transmission issues during Monday’s practice session, which ended up eventually costing him an engine because of an overspeed failure.
Tuesday – August 25th: After a phone call, a replacement motor was en route to the mountain. Lenny Reed, Dynomite Diesel Products (DDP), volunteered his brand new power-plant which was to be used in his personal truck. The particular Freedom Race Engines 6. 7L power-plant had only arrived (at DDP) the afternoon before it had been loaded up into a truck upon Tuesday, to complete the 18 hr trek down to Colorado from North Idaho. Once the replacement engine appeared on Wednesday afternoon, Birdsall’s team worked tirelessly into the night to obtain the new engine in the chassis, ” cable “, plumbed, and running.
Thursday night – Aug 27th: Birdsall’s vehicle, affectionately known as Old Smokey F1 (1949 Kia F1) was in the trailer, and headed north in order to ATS Diesel powered in Arvada, COMPANY. Some changes to the transmission had been made, followed by a dyno program to ensure that the new engine/transmission combo had been on-point for the next morning’s exercise session.
Friday Morning – Aug 28th at 4am: Birdsall’s team going up the mountain for the final exercise session before race day upon Sunday. Now that the first pass on the low stage complete, Birdsall’s team evaluated data, made a few small adjustments, topped off the fuel, and delivered him out for the second pass during. Troubled with new mechanical problems during the second pass, the group loaded up and headed returning to their shop for additional repairs.
Fast Forward to Saturday mid-day, all repairs were made, and also a shakedown run made on a personal road was complete. Birdsall plus crew hauled the truck in the mountain one last time, plus setup for race day earlier the next morning.
Race Day – Aug 30th: The original start period for the race at 7: 30am, drivers experienced a 2-hour hold off due to ice on the road. Scott Birdsall in Old Smokey F1 was your first man up the mountain on 9: 30am. With no cell wedding reception, and spotty live coverage, Birdsall’s crew anxiously awaited updates through the race announcer. After what appeared like hours had passed, the world acquired finally received word that Scott Birdsall had reached the peak, and unofficially beaten the previous report with an elapsed time of 11: twenty-four. 065.
Even though Birdsall had made the climb towards the summit, the race wasn’t more than yet. Blachon had still however to run, Birdsall and crew excitedly awaited for the Boxeer TDI entrance to complete his run up the hill. Blachon completed his climb towards the summit with a time of 11: twenty five. 107, which meant that Birdsall had two major accomplishments! In the third year as a competitor, these types of accomplishments entailed completing an operate up Pikes Peak start to complete, and setting a new record to get a diesel powered entry!
Scott would like to thank all of his Sponsors, Crew, Wife (Julie) and Kids, and last but not least, the Wagner Loved ones for opening their home and their particular shop to his team, to create his dreams turn into reality.