Colorado Springs, May 14——–A famed and familiar face to racing fans is returning to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26 and another crack at the mountain.
Also coming as a rookie is a woman who learned to drive fast chasing storms in rural Nebraska.
Stephan Verdier, the French RallyCross star and two-time Pikes Peak rally class winner, has entered the Time Attack 4WD field with his 2011 Subaru Impreza WRK STI 123 for the 89th running of the Race To The Clouds.
Verdier won the Rally Class on the Peak in 2005, the last time he came to Colorado Springs, driving a Subaru WRX to the title in a time of 12:17.6.
The 42-year-old Long Beach resident has been involved with racing since he was 17 in France. He’s a top Formula Drift star and has competed in the X-Games in the SuperRally event. He’s also been a precision stunt driver for commercials and movies during his sparkling career, as well as a professional skier.
Verdier will be up against Time Attack 4WD vet David Kern of Centennial, Colorado, who was third last year and second in 2008.
The division also will include two rookies who will get attention. Spain’s Carlos Martinez De Campos brings a 2005 Subaru STi to the Time Attack 4WD division. In October, he was 17th overall in the famed Carrera Panamericana in Mexico.
Christy Carlson, a 30-year-old driver from Papillion, Nebraska, will pilot her 2002 Subaru WRX in the field in her first try on the Peak. She’s a meteorologist and storm chaser, whose passion for severe weather and climate studies led to a Bachelor’s in Meteorology/Climatology from the University of Nebraska, then on to getting a Masters in Professional Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.
The SCCA solo and Rally cross driver learned how to drive fast chasing tornadoes and is currently working full-time for the Air Force Weather Agency and pursuing a Ph.D. in Meteorology/Climatology through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which began in 1916, is America’s second oldest motor sports race behind the Indy 500. The race is staged on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns. It begins at 9,390 feet and ends at the famous mountain’s 14,110 foot summit above Colorado Springs.
A featured event along with the race, is the popular “Fan Fest,” which takes place on Friday evening, June 24, in downtown Colorado Springs, with more than 30,000 fans on hand to meet the competitors, see the autos and motorcycles, and enjoy music, food and entertainment.
Ticket prices begin at $40.00, with a Family Four-Pack available at $125.00 and VIP admission priced at $80.00. Tickets, limited camping permits and all other race information is available at www.ppihc.com