Although Acura’s new NSX pace car is taking up most of the spotlight at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, another NSX will we racing up the mountain, and this one is almost old enough to wear classic car plates.
Driver James Robinson will be piloting a 1991 Acura NSX to the top of the mountain in the Open Class. The car was originally built as a Le Mans racer back in 1991, but it was rescued and re-purposed as a Pikes Peak car.
The classic NSX weighs in at 2,500 lbs. and makes about 500 horsepower at sea level. Robinson estimates that the car is making around 400 horsepower at the start and around 350 horsepower at the 14,110 foot peak. Because the engine is turbocharged, Robinson said that the lack of horsepower at altitude can be compensated for through an increase in boost.
The NSX has been racing at Pikes Peak for four years. For Robinson, it’s his fifth year at the hill climb. His first was in 2001, when the road to the top was still partially gravel. The entire route is now paved, but Robinson said that the surface constantly changes from year to year and the paved road has increased speeds up the mountain, which adds new challenges.
Robinson qualified third in the Open class for the race and said that his practice sessions have been going well.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb takes place on June 28 and is a world-renowned sporting event that features 156 corners and harrowing exposure to shear dropoffs with no safety guardrails before reaching the summit. The ‘Race to the Clouds’ dates back to 1916, making it the second-oldest motorsport event in the U.S. behind the Indy 500. Live timing and scoring of this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is available online.
TFLcar will be providing complete coverage of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, so stay tuned for more news and updates from the event.
Check out the full video of Robinson’s practice run up Pikes Peak in this TFLcar video: