Pikes Peak: The ones to watch

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb entry list is best described as 'diverse'. Just consider the two works machines being entered by two Volkswagen Group brands in pursuit of two hill records: the 680hp Volkswgen ID R Pikes Peak, an all-electric prototype built especially for this event, and a production-spec Bentley Bentayga SUV.

Those two machines are far from the weirdest and wildest things that will attempt to conquest the 155 turns of the Colorado hill in the 96th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this weekend though. Here are some of the other notable entries from the 67 cars and 25 bikes due to take part.

The Ghost Chevy Sedan
Built and driven by former NASCAR Sprint Cup title-winning crew chief and team owner Ray Evernham, The Ghost is styled on a 1936 Chevrolet Sedan but is an entirely custom-built machine.

Entered in the Challenge-Exhibition class, Evernham's machine is powered by a Chevy SB2 engine producing more than 850hp, and has aerodynamics akin to an IndyCar.

Enviate Hypercar
The second time Cody Loveland built a car for Pikes Peak it crashed, with his car breaking in half and then burning to the ground. While plotting his hill return, he ended up talking to members of the Sauber F1 team on Facebook, and aerodynamicist Sebastien Lamour offered to design an aero kit for Loveland's new project.

That project was the Enviate Hypercar, a tube-frame racer that weighs 816kg yet produces 2,948kg of downforce, powered by a twin turbo Chevy V8 that produces up to 700bhp. Driven by Paul Gerrard (The American Top Gear's Stig), the car was close to Romain Dumas' Norma on pace last year, before overheating in the closing stages.

Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport by Yokohama
This is a new one-make class for the event, with eight machines and drivers set to take part - including British-born New York resident Till Bechtolsheimer.
But the most notable entrant in the division is X Games motocross legend and title-winning rally driver Travis Pastrana. Given that he's known for doing double backflips on bikes, he's probably not all that worried about the prospect of crashing near the top of a 14,000ft mountain with nothing to stop his fall...

Nissan Leaf
The ID R Pikes Peak isn't the only electric machine on the hill this weekend. Japanese rally driver Fumio Nutahara (a former Production Car World Rally Championship event winner) will enter a new Leaf in the Time Attack division. It's unlikely to trouble the ID R for pace, though...

Ford F1 'old smokey'
No, not that type of F1. Chuckles Garage boss Scott Birdsall's F1 is an old US Ford model dating from 1949. This version has been reworked somewhat: it's now powered by a 5.9-litre turbocharged Cummins engine that produces 1250hp and 200lb ft of torque. Yikes.
Sadly, Birdsall crashed the truck in testing earlier this month, and his participation now seems unlikely. But his machine is too crazy not to mention here...

Lancia Delta S4
In the mid-1980s Pikes Peak was all about souped-up versions of (already terrifying powerful) Group B cars, and several are still run on the hill by privateers. Not many, though, are driven by a Costa Rican - yet that's where Gian Maria Traversone has come from to drive a 1986 Lancia Delta S4. Traversone is a regular competitor in historic races and rallies, and his Delta S4 is in classic Martini colours. We like.

Volkswagen Beetle 2.0 TDI CR Boxeer
Former rally driver Manfred Stohl has more recently spent his time building off-road oddities, including both electric and compressed natural gas-powered rally cars. That said, for his first appearance at Pikes Peak, Stohl is going a little old school: driving a Boxeer-built diesel-powered 250hp 1972 Volkswagen Beetle (or Bug, as the Americans call it).

Ediger Eagle 2
No, not Eddie the Eagle - this is the Ediger Eagle, which will be driven by Jay Stewart. Hopefully it can go up hills better than Eddie can come down them....

Jannarelly-PureDrive Design-1
Even the safety car at Pikes Peak is a bit of an oddity: it's a "retro-futuristic" 310hp sports car designed and developed by a Dubai-based firm. The limited-run machine features 1960s styling and weights 810kg, with prices starting from £67,000. The firm is offering 30 Launch Edition models, and has also developed ten Pikes Peak Edition versions, with feature Ohlins suspension, a carbon fibre aero pack and sports exhaust. Former British Touring Car Championship racer Tom Onslow Cole will drive the car.

Images: Jannarelly via Twitter, Enviate via Facebook, Lancia from Motorsport Images

James Attwood

P.H. O'meter

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