The organizers of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb have been forced to postpone the event, as wildfires in Colorado will make it too dangerous to hold the famous race. Officials from Pikes Peak and the U.S. Forest Service determined that because the future paths of the wildfires in Colorado are so unpredictable, it wouldn’t be safe to hold the race as scheduled on July 8.
Wildfires have been ravaging Colorado for over a week, and competitors for Pikes Peak were scheduled to arrive this weekend before a week of testing, qualifying, and practice runs. The organizers were expecting 211 competitors from 16 countries. But the Forest Service warned that extreme conditions and difficulty predicting how the destructive fires might spread would prevent access to the course, which finishes 14,110 feet up a mountain.
Rather than simply cancel the event, Pikes Peak chairman of the board Tom Osborne hopes to reschedule the race later this summer. He said he will endeavor to make sure all news agencies, competitors, sponsors, and vendors are able to fulfill their planned activities.
“The 90th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be run,” Osborne said in a statement. “We are disappointed, but our first concern is our city, its residents, their homes, businesses and public safety.”
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb was first run in 1916, making it the second longest-standing auto racing event in the U.S., after the Indianapolis 500. This year’s race was to be the first run completely on paved roads; through last year, the course was partially composed of dirt and gravel. The 12.42-mile route consists of 156 turns. It starts at 9390 feet of elevation, and ends up 14,110 feet.
Source: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb