For the second practice day of the 2012 Pikes Peak Hill Climb I turned my attention to the Unlimited and Time Attack classes that should set the fastest times on the mountain come race day. You can see all of the photos from the practice session over at Autoblog.com.
After being delayed by wildfires earlier this year the Pikes Peak Hill Climb has finally begun. The first practice session was highlighted by Monster Tajima’s all-new electric race car. You can see photos of the car and more over at Autoblog.com.
The summit of Pikes Peak can be a harsh environment, even in June. It’s also not necessarily the best place to take photos at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, especially considering the scenery available on the rest of the mountain. So why would I spend 10 hours dealing the thin air at 14,000 feet, near-freezing temperatures and 40 mph winds for ten hours? To capture history.
It was inevitable that the ten minute barrier would eventually be broken at Pikes Peak, and with the extra pavement added this year, it was almost certain that one of the top contenders in the Unlimited Class would break the mark. Reigning king of the mountain Monster Tajima was up to the task, smashing his own previous record with a time of 9:51.278. I was there to witness him cross the finish line, with camera in hand to capture the historic event. It was worth it.
Pikes Peak will be completely paved over next year, and since I’ll be on the summit for race day, this was the last time I’ll ever photograph the cars on dirt. Such a shame, as the dirt adds such a wonderful element to photographing the cars go up the mountain. I made the most of it, catching the cars come up around a turn with the sunrise in the background, and hanging out on the inside of a hairpin to see (some) drivers skillfully drift through the turn. The pavement might make for fast times, but the dirt will surely be missed.
See all of the photos from Practice Day 3 over at Autoblog.com.
Day two at Pikes Peak. Last year this section (the upper third) was still dirt, and it was strange to see the cars charge up the hill on the new pavement. The scenery isn’t quite as special as the middle section, but there was still some good photos in the making. The sun hitting off the rocks near the bottomless pit between mile 16 and 17 was pretty spectacular for just a few minutes. You can see all the photos from today over at Autoblog.com.
SpeedHunters.com’s Linhbergh Nguyen catches me adjusting settings to compensate for the ever-changing light during the first practice session at Pikes Peak…
Last year I missed out on the first practice session at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, and after seeing fellow photographer Linhberg Nguyen’s photos on SpeedHunters.com, I made sure to be up on the mountain bright and early for the opening day.
If you stand in the right spot as the sun comes up, the sky and surrounding area turn all sorts of amazing colors, and there’s a 2-3 minute window where everything looks simply epic. There’s nothing else like it in motorsports. My favorite photo of the day was Monster Tajima tearing up the mountain with a beautiful Colorado sunrise in the background.
Visit Autoblog.com for the entire set of photos.