Published on June 11th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Honda aims to improve safety for Pike’s Peak 2015
PPIHC, or Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb. It’s an annual event that has evolved in so many ways over the years it’s been run, and from year to year there are minor changes in the course and surface that mean that new records cannot be compared to those of old. Times have been getting quicker and quicker as the years go on and cars become more advanced, and the organizers took it upon themselves to pave the route from the bottom all the way to the peak.
It’s an event that’s steeped in close to a century of history. When the trail was most, if not all, gravel and dirt, rally manufacturers came out to showcase some of the fastest machines they had ever created. It was also the days when privateers could have just as good a chance as those factory backed teams- backyard engineering of sorts.
While speed and precision are the main show, part and parcel of the event is the danger associated with it. There’s even one section towards the peak called the “Devil’s Playground”- and just a year or two ago, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution went off the track and tumbled down the mountainside. Thankfully both occupants made it out with hardly a scratch.
Honda aims to improve precision this year, and they have a vested interest as not only are some of their cars being put on show, but some of their bikes as well. The safety comes in the form soft barriers and fences that aim to stop cars and riders alike from taking the plunge off the edge should they lose control.
Will we ever see the likes of Climb Dance again? Maybe not. Pike’s Peak is so heavily covered in tarmac now that it’s become an entirely different game. Sebastien Loeb showed up last year and demolished any records set prior, owed in part to the new tarmac surface, as well as the excellent engineering behind his car. Pike’s Peak will continue to evolve and get safer as the years go on, that goes without saying, but perhaps it’s lost a little bit of that edge-of-your-seat charm.