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Pikes Peak International Hillclimb


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#1 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 03:44

It's this weekend! There's a lot of talk about breaking the 10 minute barrier, which would be cool.

I only found out about it cos Max Papis I guess is driving the "pace car" for the race, whatever that means for a hillclimb.

Here in the USA hillclimbing is almost unheard of, do any of you here follow it?

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#2 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 03:45

Almost forgot:

http://www.ppihc.com/

#3 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 04:04

Pikes Peak is Bad Ass.
Here's an award winning film starring Ari Vantanen (future FIA president?) doing a lap in a Peugeot cica 1989.



#4 fer312t

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 05:04

It's very frustrating this event is not televised... :mad:
Marcus Gronholm being there etc...

#5 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 05:35

I thought this was always 4th of July weekend? I went once when I was about, hmm 11(?) when my dad was stationed at Ft Carson.

#6 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 06:40

If the Prelude to the Dream can be on PPV, I think they could rustle up something that wouldn't lose them money

....

which I could then download for free via bittorrent a couple days later

:p

#7 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 13:31

I thought this was always 4th of July weekend? I went once when I was about, hmm 11(?) when my dad was stationed at Ft Carson.

I went with ne of the off road teams I was with back in the seventys with a Class 7 truck. We didn't do well at all, mostly because the tuneup was so bad the truck was gasping at the top.
Didn't make it any less of a great time though.
One of the last truly Formula Libre type sanctioned events. Anything goes in the engine department.


#8 Pato

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 14:08

Is Rhys Millen there with his Hyundai Genesis?

#9 IMHO

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 15:29

Yes.

Check the link above that OfficeLinebacker was kind enough to provide.
Lots of photos there too.

Edited by IMHO, 18 July 2009 - 15:35.


#10 cheapracer

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 16:30

I have dreamed of competing there since I was a kid, still hope to, maybe 2010 even if it's just a bike.

#11 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 18 July 2009 - 16:52

There were some epic climbs, especially in the years when there was a special class to promote rally cars coming in.

I think it's awesome that it's almost impossible to find a good tune since there is something like 30% less oxygen in the air at the finish than at the start.

#12 IMHO

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 04:49

After practice comments from Eriksson and Gronholm make me doubt they can beat the monster. Gronholm is waiting for parts like shorter first and second gears for the race, Eriksson had a big crash in practice too. Experience and set-up means a lot. If anyone can break the record, my money is on Nobuhiro-San. He seems confident.

#13 IMHO

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 07:53

Just had a chance to check out the practice times. The experienced Tajima has been several seconds faster than the rookie Gronholm in all the sections and sessions, Eriksson nowhere near. Another fast guy has been Dallenbach in the Open Wheel, very close to the times of the Monster.

#14 Mary Popsins

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 08:17


Not on telly?

:confused:

#15 Mark A

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 08:39

Just had a chance to check out the practice times. The experienced Tajima has been several seconds faster than the rookie Gronholm in all the sections and sessions, Eriksson nowhere near. Another fast guy has been Dallenbach in the Open Wheel, very close to the times of the Monster.


looks like Eriksson had a small issue on Thursday.

Posted Image
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Edited by Mark A, 19 July 2009 - 08:40.


#16 Mark A

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 08:46

Just been looking through all the pics, some interesting ones from Wednesday.

Posted Image

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#17 pingu666

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 14:58

there was a midweek motorsport special, partly on pikes peak. those fords have 530hp in rallycross trim, theyve uped the boost and got about 800hp :D

#18 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 15:46

Just had a chance to check out the practice times. The experienced Tajima has been several seconds faster than the rookie Gronholm in all the sections and sessions, Eriksson nowhere near. Another fast guy has been Dallenbach in the Open Wheel, very close to the times of the Monster.


I think that's Wally (one time NASCAR driver and current NASCAR announcer)'s little brudder.

Real shame it won't be televised. It'll be fun to catch whatever highlights we can.

Clearly it's a big deal within the motorsport communite.

Also, re: 800HP---don't you mean at the start? By my reading at the summit they're working with about 240HP less, unless the boost can somehow be increased depending on atmospheric density.

#19 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 16:39

Also, re: 800HP---don't you mean at the start? By my reading at the summit they're working with about 240HP less, unless the boost can somehow be increased depending on atmospheric density.

I'm pretty sure that constant HP.
My boss has a new Cessna 172 with a turbo and he has constant HP from 0-12,000' feet.


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#20 pingu666

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 17:00

depends on the turbo i guess, they probably drop abit when going slow, due to lacking some ram air

#21 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 18:10

I'm pretty sure that constant HP.
My boss has a new Cessna 172 with a turbo and he has constant HP from 0-12,000' feet.

Oh OK, the PPIH site says the cars lose about 30% of their HP by the time they reach the top.

#22 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 23:34

Japan's Nobuhiro Tajima won his fourth consecutive Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, but a loose track kept him from achieving his goal of breaking the 10-minute mark.

Tajima finished with a time of 10:15.368 — a few seconds faster than his winning time from a year ago. But it was well short of the record of 10:01.408 he set in 2007.

AP

#23 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 14:00

I'm pretty sure that constant HP.
My boss has a new Cessna 172 with a turbo and he has constant HP from 0-12,000' feet.

Just watching an interview with Gronholm and he admits that his team didn't get the right setup or tune or whatever to account for the altitude. He says it's particularly difficult to get it right with a turbo.

#24 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 14:18

Just watching an interview with Gronholm and he admits that his team didn't get the right setup or tune or whatever to account for the altitude. He says it's particularly difficult to get it right with a turbo.


Hmmmm...
Made me look into it.
Here's the diff...

"In the automotive world, boost refers to the increase in pressure that is generated by the turbocharger in the intake manifold that exceeds normal atmospheric pressure. Atmospheric pressure is approximately 14.5 psi or 1.0 bar, and anything above this level is considered to be boost. The level of boost may be shown on a pressure gauge, usually in bar, psi or possibly kPa. This is representative of the extra air pressure that is achieved over what would be achieved without the forced induction. Manifold pressure should not be confused with the volume of air that a turbo can flow.

In contrast, the instruments on aircraft engines measure absolute pressure in inches of mercury. Absolute pressure is the amount of pressure above a total vacuum. The ICAO standard atmospheric pressure is 29.92 inches (760 mm) of mercury at sea level. Most modern aviation turbochargers are not designed to increase manifold pressures above this level, as aircraft engines are commonly air-cooled and excessive pressures increase the risk of overheating, pre-ignition, and detonation. Instead, the turbo is only designed to hold a pressure in the intake manifold equal to sea-level pressure as the altitude increases and air pressure drops. This is called turbo-normalizing."

So, an aircraft turbo keeps constant pressure,adjusting itself, while the automotive version is fixed pressure, with the pressure set by the wastegate.

Edited by whitewaterMkII, 20 July 2009 - 14:19.


#25 Youichi

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 15:09

Hmmmm...
Made me look into it.
Here's the diff...

"In the automotive world, boost refers to the increase in pressure that is generated by the turbocharger in the intake manifold that exceeds normal atmospheric pressure. Atmospheric pressure is approximately 14.5 psi or 1.0 bar, and anything above this level is considered to be boost. The level of boost may be shown on a pressure gauge, usually in bar, psi or possibly kPa. This is representative of the extra air pressure that is achieved over what would be achieved without the forced induction. Manifold pressure should not be confused with the volume of air that a turbo can flow.

In contrast, the instruments on aircraft engines measure absolute pressure in inches of mercury. Absolute pressure is the amount of pressure above a total vacuum. The ICAO standard atmospheric pressure is 29.92 inches (760 mm) of mercury at sea level. Most modern aviation turbochargers are not designed to increase manifold pressures above this level, as aircraft engines are commonly air-cooled and excessive pressures increase the risk of overheating, pre-ignition, and detonation. Instead, the turbo is only designed to hold a pressure in the intake manifold equal to sea-level pressure as the altitude increases and air pressure drops. This is called turbo-normalizing."

So, an aircraft turbo keeps constant pressure,adjusting itself, while the automotive version is fixed pressure, with the pressure set by the wastegate.


Right, so the car-turbo keeps 1.0 bar (or whatever) boost above atmospheric pressure, but as the pressure drops, as you climb the mountain, the absolute amount of air entering the engine drops.

Which would lead one to fit an electronically controlled wastegate, allowing you to increase the relative amount of boost, so that the engine still sees the same absolute amount of air entering it ?

This presumably would need tuning, and isn't something that could be got right on the first attempt. It would also have effects on cooling, as the air passing through the radiators/intercoolers is lessened by the altitude also. Sounds like a fun engineering exercise :)




#26 GBarclay

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 20:17

Been ten years at least since I last worked the hillclimb. Had a blast this last week, even though I got about 20 hrs sleep in 7 days.

I'll post a full report later this week, but highlights
- I'll bet the Swede's head home with a whole new respect for the mountain. It certainly was not as easy as they thought it was going to be (saw several early week interviews where they thought 10 minutes was going to be a piece of cake). Erikson (sp?) made mistakes I'd expect from a rally rookie, not a rally crosser on the mountain for the first time. Glad to hear them already talking about returning
- Monster was never really in with a chance as the top section never got any moisture in the days leading up to the event. The dirt needs moisture to be packed down by the early running cars. Hope Team Suzuki returns in 2010
- We did get moisture during race day which meant most records were out of reach, Pikes Peak open cars ran most of the climb in rain and/or sleet
- Mike Ryan in the Freightliner is rightfully one of the fan favorites, and is really impressive
- The closest potential class battle, Pikes Peak Open (not open wheeler) was spoiled by both cars having problems (one with electrics, one with boost). And the weather did not help matters
- pretty serious bike crash which required flight for life
- cool to see the RS200 on the hill, especially after engine trouble requiring a new head from the UK.
- disappointing that the hillclimb does not get the coverage it really deserves

While disappointed with our 2nd place finish, and pretty jaded in general, I was reminded of what the spirit of the hillclimb really is about while waiting at the start line for the cars to come off the mountain. A tradition at the event is for the fastest car to lead the parade down the mountain, followed by the bikes, followed by the other race vehicles. At the pit area, one old man was waiting on his son to come off the mountain on the bike. I had seen these guys struggle all week, and work hard just to make the start. Both father and son broke down in tears, the accomplishment of just finishing the race, and what they had just achieved was too over-whelming for them. Really stirring stuff.

While the old timers think it is heresy, I am of the opinion now that the City of Colorado Springs needs to finish paving the road all the way, and soon. This will open the hillclimb to a whole new breed of racers, and I'll bet we would see prototypes, Porsche Cup cars, Indy Cars, Open wheel specials and the like attack the hill for the first time. Of course that does not appease the guys with decals "asphault is for sissies, dirt is for racing", or "real men dont need guardrails"

congrats to all participants

#27 rage2

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 23:51

Right, so the car-turbo keeps 1.0 bar (or whatever) boost above atmospheric pressure, but as the pressure drops, as you climb the mountain, the absolute amount of air entering the engine drops.

Which would lead one to fit an electronically controlled wastegate, allowing you to increase the relative amount of boost, so that the engine still sees the same absolute amount of air entering it ?

This presumably would need tuning, and isn't something that could be got right on the first attempt. It would also have effects on cooling, as the air passing through the radiators/intercoolers is lessened by the altitude also. Sounds like a fun engineering exercise :)

Most modern turbo cars do this already. I live at 3700ft elevation and turbo cars are as fast here as sea level, while NA cars lose 15-20% power. An issue on turbo cars is that as you go up in elevation, boost builds later in the powerband (less air/combustion/exhaust to drive the turbine off boost) so you get more "lag" so it's necessary to size the right turbo where you can actually spool the thing at your peak powerband while providing enough boost at the desired elevations. When you go higher in elevation, the turbo will need to spin faster to maintain the boost after which it'll start to run out of it's peak efficiency range, where you start to lose peak power. So the tricky part here is choosing the right turbo and engine size to generate enough grunt to spool the pretty big turbo for your powerband, and generate enough boost for Pikes Peak elevation, something like 9500-14000, where the air is REALLY thin (about 1/2 of sea level at the top).

The reason why even turbo cars "lose" power at pikes peak is because unlike street cars that run at 91 octane, they're running pretty high octane race fuel, which allows them to run ridiculously high boost pressures. On a street car, even though the turbo can make more boost for more power, it's hitting octane limits. With race fuel, there's no need to limit boost at the lower elevations, so it pretty much runs as much boost as the turbo can pump out at the start. The turbo runs out of steam as it goes up in elevation, and won't be able to provide more boost, thus, even turbo cars lose power going up Pikes peak.

Hope that makes sense.

Edited by rage2, 20 July 2009 - 23:52.


#28 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:42

The reason why even turbo cars "lose" power at pikes peak is because unlike street cars that run at 91 octane, they're running pretty high octane race fuel, which allows them to run ridiculously high boost pressures. On a street car, even though the turbo can make more boost for more power, it's hitting octane limits. With race fuel, there's no need to limit boost at the lower elevations, so it pretty much runs as much boost as the turbo can pump out at the start. The turbo runs out of steam as it goes up in elevation, and won't be able to provide more boost, thus, even turbo cars lose power going up Pikes peak.

Hope that makes sense.


Yup.
Also talked to some of my tuner buds about this, although since they run dragsters, they are more aligned with super charging rather than turbo charging. One of them pointed out that the reason why you can't use a 'normalized turbo' as is used on aircraft is because aircraft run steady RPM, no shifting in an airplane, disregarding the pitch control of the propeller. One of these guys said that breaking the 10 minute mark will require a 'perfect' storm. As GBarclay pointed out, just a slight difference in track conditions costs seconds. Drag tuners read air, and that is a huge factor in their opinion on how any charged engine runs, be it turbo or super. It's going to take take perfect air and track conditions to break the ten minute mark, and conditions change radically in a short period at that altitude.


#29 pingu666

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 04:02

i think you might be able to up the power more, but you would need a very clever management system, and a very good anti lag system

#30 Pikku Pakkanen

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Posted 05 August 2009 - 22:40

Here's Marcus Grönholm's version of Climb Dance:




They had a lot of cameras there. :)



#31 whitewaterMkII

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 00:46

Nice vid.
Thanks.
Did anyone catch an interview with Grönholm on his impressions of the hill and whether he wants to try it again?

Edited by whitewaterMkII, 06 August 2009 - 00:53.


#32 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 01:04

Here's Marcus Grönholm's version of Climb Dance:




They had a lot of cameras there. :)


Ari Vatanen, eat your heart out!

Seriously, so many cameras, so little coverage! Shame.