Per won at Pikes Peak 2000

Itís splendid times for Per Eklund! On 4th of July, Per participated for the first time ever in the famous mountain race Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. The race is not only the second oldest race in the states, it is also the worlds toughest and highest placed mountain race. And Per won!

This year approximately 160 drivers competed in 17 classed. In the Open Class that Per drew, original appearance is demanded but underneath the there are no restrictions to follow.

Perís car was a specially built Saab 9-3 Viggen, with a 750 hp engine and 4-wheelfrive. The Saab will remain in the states until the end of this year to be displayed in a couple of motor exhibitions and showrooms.

In spite of altering bedding, blinding sunshine and partly no braces to prevent from falling, Per made incredible 203 km/h! Per not just won Pikes Peak Open Class, he also scored a new record; 11 min and 21 sec. The score was so good Per ended up on second place as a total. Thatīs all right for a first try!

What is Pikes Peak?

Ever since 1916 there has been racing up a more than 20 km steep mountain road in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. The start is situated 2 865 m above sea level and the goal is placed on the peek at 4311 m altitude.

The actual racetrack is a roadblock that climbs and curls along the mountainside without so much as a railing or verge to protect from several hundred meters of free fall. Or as Per expresses it himself: ďOne thong is sure, if you drive off the road you will certainly not be blocking the way for the ones behind you.

The racetrack demands a lot from you. There are 156 curves, here and there ascending with 10%. The terrain and the nature of the ground is constantly shifting; from asphalt surface to gravel and now and then flat pieces of pure rock, sometimes covered with ice. Also the weather during the 20 km from start to goal can alter from bright sunshine to fog or snowfall. As if this wasnít enough the air on the top is so thin that some of the drivers need to use tubs of oxygen when driving.

No wonder they call it the toughest mountain race worldwide!

Click on the pictures for a larger photo!