The legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the longest-running automobile competitions in the United States. Held in the Rocky Mountains since 1916, this motorsport landmark has undergone many changes over the past century, but remains one of the most challenging events in the world.
Affectionately known as "the race to the clouds", this hill climb features a 19.93 km long course with 156 turns, starting at an altitude of 2,865 metres and finishing approximately 1,440 metres higher. The machineries, bodies and nerves are put to the test. The changing air pressure significantly influences engine power throughout the climb whilst the drivers often have to deal with a particularly dusty road, changing weather conditions, changing angles of the sun, blind curves and the ever-present threat of the ravine!
Always ready to take on the toughest challenges, the Alpine and Signatech teams will tackle Pikes Peak on Sunday, 25 June, with an Alpine A110 GT4 Evo. The car has undergone extensive development work to master the subtleties of this iconic climb and features imposing aerodynamic appendages to keep it stuck to the ground.
In conjunction with Alpine's design office, Signatech engineers and technicians under the guidance of Lionel Chevalier (Signatech technical director) and François Letort (projet manager) have focused on aerodynamics and the engine to meet the stated challenges. To underline the links with the road car while demonstrating all the inherent qualities of the A110's chassis on American soil, the A-arrowed brand has also chosen to enter the Time Attack 1 category. As such, the Alpine A110 GT4 Evo will remain in two-wheel drive mode in a field where it will be alongside more atypical prototypes with different philosophies, such as those entered in the Unlimited category.
Alpine will rely on the experience of Raphaël Astier in its maiden Pikes Peak appearance. Winner of the 2022 FIA R-GT Cup with the Alpine A110 Rally, the Frenchman has four previous Pikes Peak starts to his name. In his third participation, he set the record for his class - already in Time Attack 1 - by completing the climb in 9:23.721s. On the strength of this promising initiatory course, Raphaël Astier now embarks on this new journey, which Alpine is approaching, as always, with humility and an irrepressible thirst for learning in the face of the eight other prestigious brands that it will face in Time Attack.
See you in the upcoming weeks to learn more about our band of racers’ American dream, fully echoing the brand's genes!
"Pikes Peak is a legendary race that I have always dreamed about, and I am thrilled to return there for the fifth time in my career. It is an honour to be part of this adventure initiated by Alpine and Signatech after two years of competition with the Alpine A110 Rally. I am extremely proud to be the driver chosen for this programme and I look forward to bringing all my experience and knowledge to the brand's first-ever Pikes Peak participation. While winning the overall classification is not the target, I am confident our A110 GT4 Evo will perform well in its class, and I can't wait to see what we can achieve in this first attempt!"
Philippe Sinault, Managing Director of Signatech
"Pikes Peak is one of the most important events in motorsport. All of us have been amazed by the iconic footage of this ascent, and this dream naturally found its way into our teams after watching a documentary on Pikes Peak during a sleepless-night while we were testing in Spain. We are racers, and this challenge is ultra-attractive. We know all too well that this is a very different, specific exercise on a highly atypical course, somewhere between a hill climb and a special stage. But this only makes the sporting and technical challenge even more motivating. Above all, we want to put the Alpine name on this event, and this first-ever participation will allow us to see where we stand compared to the fierce competition in our category. While we are not aiming for the overall win, we know that we can count on the versatile and high-performance A110 GT4 Evo, adapted to the specificities of the event. We are also fortunate to have the support of our long-standing partners Michelin, as well as one of our finest ambassadors, Raphaël Astier, who has a wealth of experience to contribute to this project. We are delighted he has agreed to join us to continue the adventure after his international title with Alpine. This commitment also allows us to consolidate Alpine's position as a brand having a vast motorsport footprint, including the three Formula 1 Grands Prix and the 1000 Miles of Sebring in the United States."