Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

459 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey all...

Yepperz... Pikes Peak...
Couple of weeks away.....

And I'll be there - obviously....
contesting in a car that is not my own...
I'll be in the regular event, not the Pro Rally portion of it.
all that aside....

I'm a bit nervous about this whole ordeal.
*shudder* *butterflies*

What to expect?

Anything i need to do in preparation?
Do i need to drink loads of water and be hydrated? like Rim? ;)

Any tips?


:) Seriously, any advice is more than appreciated!

You can reply here... or mail me if you wish...
Thanks in advance...

1,194 Posts
If you can arive early and spend some time at the peak. I recomend going up to the top a few days before the event and spending an hour or two at the top seeing how your body deals with the thin air. Then go up to the top as often as you can before the race.

Drinking a lot of water is a very good idea there as is using sun screen (less air to block UV light).

I have not raced up the hill but I have driven it a few times. I think it is good to get an idea how your body will act so you will know that before drawing on it to perform during the race. Some people get headaces or other physical effects at this type of altiude so it is a good idea to go early and see if you are going to have any issues. Also spending some time in the thin air will help you acumate to it.

I am always suprissed how much harder it is to mountain bike or climb at these types of elevation. Be aware you will not have the same endurncae.

So what will you be driving? Have a good time.


125 Posts
Here is some free advice from a many time winner at the hill.
(not me!)

There are some unique things about running so high up.
At higher altitudes, the ambient pressure is lower. The thin
dry air carries away less heat, effects the boiling point of
fluids, and the thin atmosphere effects the driver as well.

The cooling system needs to be good to run full throttle all
the way to the top to be competitive. Many cars will overheat
before they reach the top. You will run full throttle most of the
way, and radiator will not be at peak efficiency.

This reduced cooling applies to engine cooling system, engine oil,
brake fluids and P.S. fluids, etc. The operation of your radiator
cap will change the higher you go.

Be sure to test your cap to make sure it is working well, or run a
higher pressure cap if you are sure your system can handle the
extra pressure. Change you coolant just before the event and run
water and water wetter, with no glycol.

Brake fluid boils more easily, so a higher boiling point brake
fluid might be a good idea. Make sure it is very fresh fluid.
You will be using brakes alot, even though it is up hill.

Water sprayers can work well, as it is pretty dry up there.
Figure you will need twelve minutes of spray time for the
run and plan for it. You need to be in open class to do this.

You could rig something up with a fuel pump and garden
sprayers and a 5 gallon plastic gas can for a tank.
Sorry Jamie you wont be able to use that in your class.

Driver hydration is a problem at altitude. With average
humidity around 20% and you will be resperating alot of water.
2% dehydration in humans has a noticable effect on your

The reduced oxygen in the air will make your cardio
system work harder. The stress of driving will already
have your heart rate up, and the effect of altitude and
the heat inside the car can push you into mountain
sickness. Pay attention to headaches and read about how
to avoid it. Mostly keep drinking lots of water.

Tire pressures will increase going up the hill. The heat
and reduced atmosphere will add together to give you 6-7
psi increase in some cases, so start toward the low end
of your range and figure you'll be higher by the end.

You _can_ drop the ride height down somewhat, but you have
to understand the effects on camber and toe, and if you
are not familiar with alternative set-ups, this might not
be the place to try it.

The little details like tire pressure and compound are much
less important than being able to drive the hill hard the
whole way without slowing down due to brain fade or engine
or brake overheating.

Good Luck

459 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RE: Advice?

thanks guys for the links, advice and kind words...

I'll be driving a Subaru... tho not one you'll find state-side... I guess you'll just have to wait eh?

And i have very little to do with the car prep...
I am sure the tech know all about this event and how to prep the car accordingly... (or i would hope!) :)

i think water, sunscreen... are excellent suggestons... also i will bring a heavier jacket... didnt know about that one...

i will have the week to test with the rest of my group...
so hopefully some of the butterflies will subside....

should be a great time... i am way excited at the opportunity!
just dont want to make any silly mistakes, like improper attire, not enough water... etc...

thanks again all!

3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
4,247 Posts
>Get there early enough to acclimatize - 150+ turns to the
>14,110' Peak, you'll be working the wheel.

Since she's apparently doing the traditional PPIHC competition rather than the ProRally gig, acclimatization is guaranteed. Unless they've changed things a LOT since my two-time-championship-winning Crew Chief days in the 80s, a rookie must attend each of the three test days prior to qualification. The course is split roughly into thirds so assigned run groups get the opportunity to make multiple runs at each section. Subsequent practice days move one to another third of the course. Experienced teams may elect to not practice at all, practice the same section 2 or 3 times or stick with their run group, but rookies must follow their assignment.

Further, registration is usually on Saturday, rookie orientation Sunday and then the pre-dawn trips to the hill begin on Monday, so with tow time it winds up being a nearly two week ordeal where most of one's time is spent at elevation with some exposure to the 14,000 foot level where the cog railway ends.

When practice wraps for the day the speeding ends too. The highway reopens to the public so one may driving their street car to the summit and back keeping in mind the motorhomes, the gawkers and awe-struck flat-landers. It's a great time to make and recheck pace notes in minute detail!

> Don't forget a
>coat for the long wait at the top. It can be 80 at the
>start line, and below 40 at the peak with winds 40+.

Well - good point, but you can always duck into the restaurant/giftshop if you're forgetful. ;-)

Have fun up there - EVERY autosprot fan owes it to himself to attend at least one Pikes Peak Hillclimb. It is so utterly unique it really shouldn't be missed.

Halley ...

1,620 Posts
RE: Advice?

The one thing I heard that some past champions did is to do several trips up the mountain in a rental car to get familiar with the corners
But have someone else drive you down so as not to get disorientated or confused about what the corners look like
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.