The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the most esteemed motorsports events of the year. And as a leader in motorsports on both two and four wheels, Pirelli was of course present at this year’s event over the weekend, achieving success in both fields in the unique race up Pikes Peak hill in Colorado, which is the highest summit in the Southern front of the Rocky Mountains.
Rhys Millen (Bentley) set a new Pikes Peak SUV record time of 10:49.902 in the 2018 Bentley Bentayga, equipped with Pirelli P Zero road tires.
On Pirelli P Zero slick tires Acura achieved three new course records and three podium finishes as follows:
- PPC-Pikes Peak Open Class Course Record by Peter Cunningham in a 2018 Acura TLX GT: 9:27.352
- Hybrid Powertrain Course Record by James Robinson in a 2017 Acura NSX: 10:02.448
- Front Wheel Drive Course Record by Nick Robinson in a 2018 Acura TLX A-Spec: 10:48.094
The same P Zero slicks were used by Simone Faggioli to set a time of 8:37.230 in a 2018 Norma M20 SF PKP: this was the third best time ever with a combustion engine recorded in the history of the Pikes Peak event, which has been running since 1916. And this was the top overall time with a combustion engine at this year’s event.
Pikes Peak, the second oldest annual motorsports race in the United States, was also the occasion for Pirelli to present its completely renovated Pirelli Hillclimb rubber range. It includes a wet tire, a Cinturato, and three slick tires: Ultrasoft, Supersoft and Soft. And this really was the ultimate combination used by drivers utilizing Pirelli to take home their respective successes at Pikes Peak.
Also known as the ‘The Race to the Clouds,’ Pikes Peak represents a very important technical challenge for the tires above all.
“The biggest challenge tires face is from the vast temperature changes participants experience during the course of the race at different elevations. At the start of the race, the average temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit, while at the top of the hillclimb it can be 32 degrees Fahrenheit or it can snow at the highest point (14,110 feet), like it did for the race on Sunday. Another difficulty comes from the bumpy asphalt, in part due to the tracks created from clearing the snow which can ruin it. Therefore it is necessary to develop a tire which guarantees grip both in high temperatures at the start and in lower temperatures as the drivers ascend the hill; as well as maximum driveability on uneven asphalt. And, considering the new records and success this year, this is exactly what Pirelli tires have done,” said Terenzio Testoni, Pirelli Off road Activity Manager.
Moving onto two wheels, Pirelli also attained the following results: a clean sweep of the Heavyweight Class on Pirelli tires, with Carlin Dunne (Ducati) in first place, then Rennie Scaysbrook (KTM) and Codie Vahsholtz (Ducati) in second and third on the podium respectively; plus a new Middleweight Class record by Chris Fillmore (KTM), who smashed the record by more than 30 seconds with a time of 10:04.38 to take the title on the iconic Pirelli DIABLO SUPERBIKE (SC1 front, SC0 rear) tires.