TAG HEUER & THE BROADMOOR PIKES PEAK
USA, Colorado Springs, 25th June 2017
The iconic “Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb,” with TAG Heuer as its Official Timekeeper, was run Sunday June 25th high in the mountains of Colorado. More than 80 drivers took part in the race that was divided into 12 categories of cars, motorcycles, quads and trucks. Romain Dumas finished the race in 9.05.672 minutes taking top honors for the second year in a row. This was his third overall win on the mountain. Congratulations to a true champion!
Among all the races in which TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeper, this competition shares a special bond with the brand. The Pikes Peak race was born in 1916, the same year TAG Heuer launched its first Mikrograph, the first chronograph accurate to 1/100 of a second. These extremely high-quality chronographs were used for sporting events throughout the world and paved the way for TAG Heuer to become the official timekeeper for some of the most legendary events in motor racing history, including the Monaco Grand Prix, the Carrera Panamericana, and the Indy 500. Accuracy in sports timekeeping became TAG Heuer’s legacy and permanently sealed the brand’s tie to motor sports.
Also known as "The Race to the Clouds", the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) achieved legendary status as the second oldest car and motorcycle race in the United States. One of the truly unique features of the race is the change of atmospheric density as the route ascends to the summit of the mountain. The starting line is located at an altitude of 2,862 meters (9,390 feet) where atmospheric density is 71% of the density at sea level. This reduces engine performance proportionally. When drivers reach the summit at 14,115 ft. (4,302.25m), torque will have diminished to 59% of its optimal performance. At this altitude a vehicle’s ability to accelerate has been reduced nearly by half.
Apart from the effects on engines, the altitude of the PPIHC also negatively affects the bodies of the drivers. As oxygen levels decrease during the rapid ascent, mental agility is impaired, reflexes are dulled and muscles begin to cramp. Drivers must choose whether or not to add oxygen masks to an already complex array of gear in an attempt to decrease the headaches, dizziness and weakness that will inhibit their capacity to react quickly on a course with very few safety barriers between the narrow road and steep mountain cliffs.
Since its creation in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has continued to challenge both man and machine. Perhaps more than any other race in the world, it remains worthy of TAG Heuer’s motto - #DontCrackUnderPressure.