The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is widely considered one of the most challenging races in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Throughout the length of its 12.42 miles, drivers are tasked with navigating their way around a total of 156 turns as well as 4,720 feet of elevation change, all while doing their best to keep their cars safely away from the side of the mountain.
Scion Racing drivers Andrew Comrie-Picard and Takeshi Aizawa took on the Race to the Clouds in the time attack class behind the wheel of their usual cars (the Scion Racing Rally xD and the GReddy Racing Scion tC, respectively), while Ken Gushi was once again piloting the Lexus ISF CCS-R in the exhibition class. Joining them for his first ever run up Pikes Peak was Evasive Motorsports driver Robert Walker, who competed in the unlimited class with the Evasive Motorsports Scion FR-S.
Each of the teams and drivers arrived in Colorado Springs, CO several days before the race, giving them enough time to both get through tech inspection and slip a few practice runs under their belts. Robert, in his introductory brush with the mountain, submitted a time of 4:56.390 running through the 5.16 mile practice course. Takeshi, impressively, followed closely behind with a time of 5:00.450, while ACP rounded out the group with a time of 5:25.407.
All three drivers were able to best their times during the day 2 practice session, thanks in no small part to the familiarity with the course they acquired the previous day. Most notably, Robert dramatically increased his time to 4:35.505, while Takeshi submitted a time of 4:45.356, and ACP followed extremely closely behind at 4:45.605. The second day was also Ken Gushi’s first chance to get a crack at the mountain, and he didn’t disappoint with his 4:27.248 time.
Practice and qualifying continued through the remainder of the week, giving each of the competitors a chance to feel out the subtleties of each corner. Weather conditions were ideal leading up to the race, which allowed for an easier time learning the course, but ultimately made the day of main event something of a surprise.
The unlimited class headed out first on Sunday’s race day, and Robert Walker was there with them to lead the Scion Racing charge. In just his first trip up Pikes Peak, Robert impressed us with a final time of 10:59.744. And, perhaps just as impressively, the run was also the very first time any car built upon the ZN6 chassis of the FR-S has ever successfully completed the hill climb.
While you wouldn’t be able to guess it from the picture, rain and snow had begun to fall by the time the time attack class began to ascend the mountain. Pikes Peak is already a dangerous event in dry weather, and adding in wet surfaces only further serve to add to that reputation. Unfazed, ACP battled through a broken 3rd gear to submit a time of 12:39.891 – the fastest of any FWD car on the hill.
Takeshi Aizawa, who is probably most recognizable as Ken Gushi’s spotter in Formula Drift, likewise overcame severe weather conditions to make it to the summit. Unlike many of the other drivers taking on Pikes Peak, Takeshi doesn’t have the luxury of getting significant seat time with his car. As a professional fabricator, he instead spends much of his time building performance parts in GReddy’s garage. Regardless, his official time of 13:20.045 up PPIHC shows that he’s still a driver at heart.
And finally, Ken Gushi topped the exhibition class by setting a time of 12:03.085 in the Lexus IS F CCS-R. While we admittedly prefer seeing him behind the wheel of the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S, we couldn’t think of anyone else better to take the reins of the car for Pikes Peak.
All said, we were just glad to see our guys make it to the top and represent Scion Racing at Pikes Peak. We’re busy sorting through all the footage we got from the teams and drivers at PPIHC, but stay tuned for our video from the event coming soon!