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Old 04-25-2014, 01:15 PM   #1
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Default Pikes Peak 2014, major changes

Hey guys, i'm sure you've seen my past threads.. i've been going to this event for the past 4 years now. It has been the most kickass automotive experiences of my life. Last year I got to watch loeb rip up the hairpins leading to the devils playground, nobody else near me and no more than 15 feet from the car. I still get chills thinking about it.

However, I have some terrible news for 2014. New regulations will cram spectators like cattle into 6 regulated areas consisting of about 1.5 miles instead of letting them spread out all over the 14 mile road.

Hill Climb overhauls rules for spectators with safety in mind

It looks like they will have chain linked fences keeping viewers in, and not allowing you to go closer than 50ft to the road. This is a HUGE change from prior years. This is of course due to idiot spectators hanging out on the OUTSIDE of turns, standing in the road, and generally making terrible decisions. It's a real bummer for those of us who were always safety conscious, yet still liked the freedom of being able to hike up the road while the race was ongoing. I hiked about 8 miles uphill last year while watching the race. I started at the old ski resort and ended up at the devils playground. There was always a sense of freedom exploring this awesome mountain while the cars raced up it, always a drive to find a better corner to spectate at, or just change it up. Now you will go up there, park, and be stuck in the SAME fenced off spot for 10 friggin hours, it sounds horrible.

I don't think I will be going this year..

/discuss

Edit: no more experiences like this, i guess. From last year, jeremy foley almost going off the road coming out of an apex! That's a good 1' ditch hes on the edge of! We were literally the only ones who saw this, because we were hiking up the mountain when he came by.



Had a good inside corner and a ton of dudes were dragging knees right past us!

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Last edited by Fireindc; 04-25-2014 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 04-27-2014, 05:45 PM   #2
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Heh, guess nobody cares. Not that I would expect you to understand if you have not been to the event before. Any CO guys that have spectated the event before have any input?

Let's spice this up. This is a prime example of WHY they are changing the rules:



So, do we allow this to continue, similar to european racing events?

or

Do we go all American on its ***, fence everyone in, add tv screens and vendors, and bring in cops from out of state to give citations to anyone who attempts to leave the designated spectator area for the duration of the 10 hour race?

Maybe that will add some perspective to why I'm personally upset. :(

On one hand every time I've been to this event there were people crossing the road at terrible times, people hanging out on the outside apex of high speed turns, DRUNK ******** trying to touch the cars as the come by and causing a ruckus with the police, etc. On the other hand the freedom of being able to watch this race from any location was the best part, if you were smart than you could do this without putting anyone in danger.

So there is absolutely a safety issue here, and I'm not against addressing safety at all. If i were in their position I would:

1) ban alcohol
2) get more people to patrol the mountain, i'd volunteer for one. Ban people from spectating in certain locations, and enforce that (outside of apexes, areas too close to the road, etc.), and generally beef up on their safety.

Last edited by Fireindc; 04-27-2014 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:25 PM   #3
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If people don't like the changes then, like you, they won't go and the pendulum may swing back the other way after the organizers feel the pinch.
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Old 04-27-2014, 10:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
If people don't like the changes then, like you, they won't go and the pendulum may swing back the other way after the organizers feel the pinch.
This is true, however they also LOWERED the spectator cap to just 4,000 people (for reference last year there was 20,000+ spread across the entire mountain), so they will probably still fill that pretty easily.

Their plan is to bring in vendors and make money that way instead. It might work, it might fail entirely.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:28 AM   #5
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My interest level went way down when they paved the rest of the course.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:16 AM   #6
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My interest level went way down when they paved the rest of the course.
This. No dirt, no care.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
This. No dirt, no care.
While I do agree, that change was nowhere near this level for a spectator. It's pretty awesome to see some motorcycles actually pushing it up the hill for a change, they were limited pretty much to dirtbikes/sm/adventure before - now we get all kinds of awesome superbikes coming up it.

However, now that we are all watching it from behind some fat drunk guy, behind a fence, 50 feet away from the road, packed into a crowd it will lose the thrill.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:26 AM   #8
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I understand that. If it were something I attended personally, I might feel the same. But as a race fan, the treacherous dirt climb was what made it unique. Now it's just another closed road time trial.

It's still really cool, but there are thousands of cool race events around the world and I can't care about all of them.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:28 AM   #9
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The sad thing is that the safety pendulum will never swing back. Who dare to dial back "safety" which can be used against them in any future lawsuit.
The only way to dial back safety is to kill the event and restart it in disguise.

I don't see Pikes Peaks as anything different than a faster WRC stage (OK, higher percentage of huge drops), and there is no problem dealing with 300k semi-drunk people on the Swedish winter stages.
There are designated spectator areas on the stages but also marshals and responsible spectators (alerting about cars) along the stages.

I think they should rebuild the mountain to have full size runoff areas as well (or walls+fences)...
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:39 AM   #10
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The sad thing is that the safety pendulum will never swing back. Who dare to dial back "safety" which can be used against them in any future lawsuit.
The only way to dial back safety is to kill the event and restart it in disguise.

I don't see Pikes Peaks as anything different than a faster WRC stage (OK, higher percentage of huge drops), and there is no problem dealing with 300k semi-drunk people on the Swedish winter stages.
There are designated spectator areas on the stages but also marshals and responsible spectators (alerting about cars) along the stages.

I think they should rebuild the mountain to have full size runoff areas as well (or walls+fences)...
Good point, i don't see increased safety regulations being "pulled back". I do hope they smarten up and implement at least a dozen more "spectator" areas, so that we can at least spread the crowds out and have a better choice for viewing.

As for rebuilding the mountain for driver safety, i disagree. You don't race pikes peak like it's a road course, you race it like pikes peak. It DEMANDS respect.

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Old 04-28-2014, 12:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
As for rebuilding the mountain for driver safety, i disagree. You don't race pikes peak like it's a road course, you race it like pikes peak. It DEMANDS respect
Sarcasm seldom workshop in text (even with smilies).
Flattening the mountain and making it a Nascar track would be equally unrealistic :'(
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:29 PM   #12
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Sarcasm seldom workshop in text (even with smilies).
Flattening the mountain and making it a Nascar track would be equally unrealistic :'(
LOL, I should have known. Personally for me, as a US resident, this race WAS the closest thing I could realistically get to a European rally event. Now it's being turned into some kind of carnival with TV's, vendors, and grandstands. :(.
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Old 04-29-2014, 11:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
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While I do agree, that change was nowhere near this level for a spectator. It's pretty awesome to see some motorcycles actually pushing it up the hill for a change, they were limited pretty much to dirtbikes/sm/adventure before - now we get all kinds of awesome superbikes coming up it.

However, now that we are all watching it from behind some fat drunk guy, behind a fence, 50 feet away from the road, packed into a crowd it will lose the thrill.
Yes.

This is the last straw for me. Past years have included cops who basically impeded traffic of the mountain for no reason, dumbasses as shown in that video, etc. It was fairly aggravating already, no there's just no incentive to go. I think they are trying to make this into a big TV event rather than a spectator event. Which will kill it.

Basically, people suck. Some moron got himself killed some years back walking across the track. Poor driver never got in a car again, even though it was 100% not his fault. Front wing basically cut the spectator in half.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:09 PM   #14
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Basically, people suck. Some moron got himself killed some years back walking across the track. Poor driver never got in a car again, even though it was 100% not his fault. Front wing basically cut the spectator in half.
At pikes peak? I actually never heard about that.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:23 PM   #15
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At pikes peak? I actually never heard about that.
Yep near the top, I think close to the finish line.

Also had fun laughing/preparing my mini-trauma kit for the fools who were sitting right of turn one by the startline I think last year. Mike Ryan always puts on a show because he's awesome like that, and boy did they scatter when what basically amounts to the NASCAR-esqe version of a class 7/8 truck with the diesel from hell in it got happy tail while heading right for them. They way those unlimited cars come off the line, no way everyone would get out of the way in time.

Other fun memory is the rider about 4 years ago who got his rear tire just into the dirt about 1/3rd of the way up the hill, got it righted but went right across the road and took a header into a pile of rocks at the edge of our parking lot. We fans were jumping about trying to get cell service to call 911 because for a solid 5 minutes no race officials of any kind were there. The possible catastrophic neck injury was so obvious we did not dare try to move him. Which sucked because he was face down and definitely not with us. Dude actually recovered 100% OK which shocked the hell out of us. In that case us foolish fans were more on the ball than the race staff.

Best thing that could happen to PPHC would be if a good experienced vintage racing org. took it over, or it became a WRC stage Saturday and then the rest on Sunday. Wont happen.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:51 PM   #16
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Thanks for sharing Derek. I've seen a few wrecks over the last 3 years I've been going, but nothing insane like that.

Do you plan on going back with the spectator changes? On one hand I still REALLY want to see the cars and the race, on the other hand I don't want to make the drive up there just to be crammed in with everyone else behind a fence.

They are also doing the "airstrip" attack thing, basically a texas mile type event up in co spgs airport from what I can tell, should be awesome.
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Old 05-01-2014, 11:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireindc View Post
Thanks for sharing Derek. I've seen a few wrecks over the last 3 years I've been going, but nothing insane like that.

Do you plan on going back with the spectator changes? On one hand I still REALLY want to see the cars and the race, on the other hand I don't want to make the drive up there just to be crammed in with everyone else behind a fence.

They are also doing the "airstrip" attack thing, basically a texas mile type event up in co spgs airport from what I can tell, should be awesome.
The mile sounds awesome indeed. I'm half-planning on going to the hill climb by Canyon on mothers day weekend, friends brother is racing it on a bike. Plus Canyon is always a good time.

But I wont be on the hill this year. If I cant get close to the action I'd rather watch it on TV or something. And I am so cheap that I wont pay for anything unless its incredible value.
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Old 06-27-2014, 11:30 AM   #18
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I'm out at the Airstrip Attack with the shop, stop by if anyone is out here.



Pikes Peak 2014, major changes-forumrunner_20140627_082929.png



Pikes Peak 2014, major changes-forumrunner_20140627_082957.png
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:51 PM   #19
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The freightliner my company helped build went for a tumble in practice the other day :(
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:27 PM   #20
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That sucks.

I'm glad we're still able to do this at sno drift.


I feel like it's only a matter of time until some idiot ruins it for everyone though.
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