Video: Marcus Gronholm and Andreas Eriksson race into the clouds at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Gronholm Fire sml (2)
Marcus Grönholm blasts up Pikes Peak with
his rear wheel on fire (Photo: Paul Shippey)

Here are some important facts about the the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb that you need to know:

– The annual Hill Climb in Colorado Springs, Colorado  is the second oldest race in America.

– The race course goes 12.42 miles (straight up) with 156 turns to an elevation of 14,110 feet.

– No one has ever made it to the top of the mountain in under 10 minutes…and that includes this year.

This year Ford Racing sponsored a team
(Olsberg Motor Sports) made up of Marcus Grönholm (two-time World Rally
Championship) and (Andreas Eriksson) four-time Swedish Rally champion
to get the job done.

The two rally car drivers combined with
their new 800 HP Fiesta Rally cars are probably the most talented team
ever assembled to take on the second oldest race in America…only the
Indianapolis 500 is older.

So how did the boys from Sweden and Norway do?

Andreas Eriksson said he was going to take it easy and play it safe
after he crashed in training at over 100 Km per hour on the top part of
the race course.

On race day Eriksson went off the race course
on the lower half at Engineer’s Corner. Engineer’s corner is know as
one of the harder turns to negotiate fast without much practice.

Marcus Grönholm made it to the top of the mountain in a time of 11:28,
but according to reports he first blew-up his turbo charger and
eventually blasted to the top of the mountain with his rear wheel on
fire from a possible stuck brake caliper.

So what’s it like to drive into the clouds at an average speed of about 120 Km per hour with top speeds in excess of 200 Km.

Check out the video below as the boys pre-run the course in the brand
new 355 HP Ford Flex to get a feel for what is is like to racing into
the Colorado Clouds.