Nearly every rally or Walter Röhrl Fan in the world knows the history of Pikes Peak and the Audi Quattro S1. This Year ist he 30th anniversary. The Australian David Rowe pay tribute to Walter, because he started with the Audi Quattro S1E2 on the legendary Pikes Peak.
But he’s not alone. David Hackl started also for Audi with his modification Audi Quattro A1. Last Year we although worked together here in Colorado. I remember myself on last Year. The Quattro broke down on the Summit because of an engine damage. David knew this was it.
Long story short, let me introduce you to the Race and everything around it. The Week in front of the Race is full of testing and qualifying. The Racetrack is segmented in 3 Parts and the vehicles were spread on it. The first section starts onthe Bottom and goes to Glan Cove. This ist he spot were they measure the qualification Time. They should be fast on it because it’s the spot were they determine the starting position. The Middle Section is transferred till Devil’s Playground. Everybody who knows the racetrack knows, how dangerous this area could be. The last Section starts from Devil’s Playground and goes all the way up to the Summit.
Thursday till Friday is testing time, so for more powerful pictures to get, we start every day very early, 2.00am we get out of bed and stand at the Photo spots at latest 5.30.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make my accreditation before Tuesday because I arrived late at Night on Monday in Colorado. But the good thing is, I spent a lot of time on the Bottom Section with David Hackl and his great Team members. The Bottom Section is not the worst place to be if you think about that this is not a usual Racetrack. The vehicles pass you often with 130 mi /h and you’re way closer to the usual viewer.
So far so good. The next days started with the higher sections. At first, I started between the middle and bottom section for the unlimited class. The other days I spent on Devil’s Playground. By the way, if you think it‘s easy to work on 3900m over the sea – it’s not. I touched my borders with carrying my equipment, running from point to point and I needed to let them go without making pictures oft hem (once in a while). My Puls was over 200 sometimes and I felt blurry because oft the rare air. The only think what you can do in this situation is sit down, hydrate yourself and make a small break. The good thing about this situation is, you had time to enjoy the view.
Usually, at an event like this, the race day is the highlight – but at Pikes Peak is everything different. Now, you’re asking yourself „what the hell?“ – but let me tell you. Here at Pikes Peak, the race for the bikes is starting at 8 o’clock in the morning, the cars on 10 a.m. On this time you’re already at 2863-4302m over the sea and there’s just one road, which you’re sharing with the racing cars.
So every viewer needs to be on his given station at 6 a.m. During the Race, you’re not able to change your position, unless you’re walking down there. So for me, it meant this time, I keep my position on the Start so I was able to follow the whole thing around it too.
On the Paddock, you’re able to catch every vehicle and there’s nearly no border to cross but on the starting position, it’s totally different. The safety for the drivers and viewers is always coming on first.
On the early afternoon, David started although. His qualifying time wasn’t the best at the hole starting field (founded by problems with his car).
In the End, his Time was 11 minutes and 46 seconds and he cracked his mark. A Time below 12 minutes. It meant Salvation after the dramatic scenes last Year.
Even if Pikes Peak is a pretty good race to shoot, the best moments and pictures happen on the End. The Fans rushing on the race track and celebrate the Drivers. It’s the best way for Photographers to catch the whole facet of emotions. Joy and happiness, but although tears and frustration.
Long story short. Pikes Peak is one of the best things since sliced bread and this year luckily without hard accidents.
More Pictures…. –> Here