The event was founded by Spencer Penrose (who also built the original Pikes Peak Highway itself) and first held in August 1916 – making it the second-oldest American motor sport event after the Indianapolis 500, which dates back to May 1911.
The mountain’s biggest drop is 1700ft (518m) at the aptly named Bottomless Pit.
The hillclimb is held on a public toll road on a mountain (named after Zebulon Pike) near Colorado Springs; the course is 12.42 miles long and features 156 corners.
The start line is at an altitude of 9390ft (2862m) with the finish at 14,110ft (4301m), an overall vertical rise of 4720ft (1439m) at an average gradient of 7 per cent.
Sébastien Loeb’s 2013 benchmark (8min 13.878sec) remains the fastest Pikes Peak climb, at an average speed of 87mph. Next comes fellow Frenchman Romain Dumas, with 8min 51.445sec in 2016.
Despite its clear dangers, only six competitors have lost their lives at the event – most recently motorcyclist Carl Sorensen in 2015.
The event features up to 130 entrants including categories for motorcycles, sidecars, semi-trucks, electric vehicles and huge-winged open-wheelers.
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