Porsche has a long history of racing at Pikes Peak, and equally a long history of winning on the mountain. 2021 returns with some unfinished business after BBi and David Donohue failed to reach the finish line with a flat tire in 2020 en route to what otherwise should have been the overall win. Last year the race was delayed and had a reduced field due to COVID travel restrictions and economic fallout, but this year it seems the world of racing is bouncing back well. BBi is back with a three-car effort, former Le Mans winners Champion Racing are putting their chips on the table with a GT2 RS with huge bonkers aero driven by PPIHC outright record holder Romain Dumas.
You have old-school Pikes Peak standard-bearers like Chris Strauch’s big-power V8 widebody 914 and Andy Kingsley’s 996 Turbo in the field, which are totally awesome, but won’t have any bearing on the fight for overall victory. Just like last year, this could be a knockdown drag-out fight between three Porsches for the overall victory. If the three cars hold together and make it to the top, it’s possible Porsche could have the overall victory. I’m banking on Raph Astier, David Donohue, and Romain Dumas being the ones fighting for that win.
Dumas’ Champion car is the new and interesting one in my eyes. Based on a GT2 RS Clubsport, this race car has some seriously modified aero for the mountain. Just look at this diffuser! It’s so big that they had to tie it in to the wing uprights for extra support! So cool. It won’t have a ton more power than stock, as it’s in the Time Attack 1 category, but the GT2 RS is pretty damn powerful already, and turbocharged cars do well at high altitude, so it’s in with a shot at the class win, if not the overall.
Raph Astier is back in the BBI GT3 Turbocup for the open class. This is a truly next-level car, starting with a GT3 Cup and adding big power from turbochargers. The car used to run in Time Attack 1, and set the record there in 2019, but has since moved up a class to Open. BBI isn’t exactly forthcoming with the modifications to make the new car competitive in Open, but here’s what the company has to say about it:
“Lucy, the OPTIMA Batteries Porsche GT3 ‘TurboCup’ which set the TA1 record in 2019 is back again, this time in the Open Class and is once again being piloted by French rally car driver, Raphael Astier. BBI has improved the OPTIMA ‘Turbocup’ from the 2019 configuration to remain competitive in the new class.”
Meanwhile, Donohue is back in his GT2 RS Clubsport, and ready to take on the mountain a second time. BBI is again mum on the details, but it sounds like the already fast car has been made faster.
Learnings from the 2020 effort have allowed BBI’s team to improve speed and bring more advanced technology to the updated 2021 BBiEVO variant of the GT2 RS Clubsport.
Beyond that, there is the return of the Porsche GT4 Clubsport Yokohama Trophy class, in which a handful of Porsche fanatics get their shot to race up the mountain. Of course, none of them have a chance to win that class, as BBi is preparing a GT4 for pro racer Tanner Faust. That guy is ridiculously rapid, and the GT4 is a fast one. In the last few years the class record has been dominated by Travis Pastrana, so does Tanner have what it takes to set a record for the GT4 class? I think he might.
In any case, there’s a lot of Porsche action up on the mountain this year, and it’s going to be a good one to watch for Porsche fans. The race is going down about a month from today on June 27, so plan accordingly!