Reaching to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado is one of the most challenging drives in the world. Measuring 12.4 miles from start to finish, the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb ascends nearly 10,000 ft into the air with an average grade of seven percent up to the 14,115-ft summit.
Jeff Zwart is a legend at Pikes Peak. He has won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb seven times and holds the street car record for the climb. This video shows his 2013 run up the mountain in a specially prepared Hill Climb Edition of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Although Zwart’s third place finish in his class this year may not seem impressive compared to his numerous past wins, his video shows the immense difficulty of the ascent. The hairpin turns test the Porsche’s grip and Zwart shows his nerves of steel as he zips along the narrow roads with the sheer cliffs only a few feet away.
The winner this year was French driver Sebastian Loeb in the Unlimited Class with his Peugeot 208 T16, who shattered the previous overall record of 9:46 min with his astonishing time of 8:13 min.
Zwart’s 911 GT3 falls into the two-wheel-drive time-attack class, which is limited to production-based vehicles. Zwart’s time of 10:13 min -- good for 10th place overall -- means that his average speed was approximately 70 mph, a shocking pace considering the high altitude and the tight turns present throughout the climb.
Check out the video below to see Zwart’s run up the mountain.