Hall of Fame – The Pikes Peak Hill Climb Museum To Induct Racing Legends Who Made 100th Anniversary PossibleThursday, Jun. 9 2016
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. (June 7, 2016) – The Hall of Fame Committee of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Brought to you By Gran Turismo has selected four individuals, one dynamic duo and a family as 2016 inductees to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Educational Museum Hall of Fame.
These honorees have left an unforgettable mark on the Race to the Clouds, and their enduring accomplishments are part of the lasting history of one of the world’s most famous motorsports events, celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year.
Their achievements have played a significant role in the preservation and the lasting success of the nation’s second-oldest motorsports event that began in 1916 as a creation of Spencer Penrose, a revered icon in Colorado Springs history, to promote the opening of the Pikes Peak Highway.
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb Educational Museum Hall of Fame is committed to honoring and preserving the achievements of individuals and organizations that have left an indelible mark on the Race to the Clouds. Competitors, organizers, officials, members of the press or volunteers; anyone who shares a passion for speed and competition, a desire to preserve the legacy, and a sense of awe and respect for the race and America’s Mountain is eligible for the Hall of Fame nomination.
Past Pikes Peak Hill Climb Educational Museum Hall of Fame Inductees:
* Al Rogers (1909-1954) – Inducted 1997
* Bobby Unser (1934-Present) – Inducted 1997
* Frank & Kaye Peterson – Inducted 2014
* Jim Reilly (1925-2010) – Inducted 1997
* Louis Unser (1896-1997) – Inducted 1997
* Nick Sanborn (1935-1999) – Inducted 2000
* Spencer Penrose (1865-1939) – Inducted 1997
* Thayer Tutt (1912-1989) – Inducted 1997
2016 Inductees To The Pikes Peak Hill Climb Educational Museum Hall of Fame
One of the most influential men in American motorsports history, J.C. Agajanian was a winning car owner and builder and most notably the most influential race promoter of the 20th century. After seeing the Hill Climb as a diamond in the rough and gaining promotional right to it in the early 60s, Agajanian set out to promote the event across the United States and internationally.
Agajanian – well connected within the motorsports industry and the owner of the 1952 and 1963 Indianapolis 500 winning cars – was able to bring American racing legends including the likes of Mario Andretti and Parnelli Jones to compete in the Race to the Clouds. With household racing names in his field of competitors, Agajanian was able to attract the attention of NBC and develop a broadcasting partnership that would make the race to the summit of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain one of the first nationally televised motorsports events. Agajanian’s contributions to the race took the event to a level of prestige and notoriety that few knew it was capable of, and is the foundation that every promoter since has been blessed with.
Sonny Anderson & Bill Brokaw
Despite motorcycle racing being a key component of the inaugural 1916 Race to the Clouds, two-wheeled racing competition on America’s Mountain never became an annual tradition like the car program until Sonny Anderson and Bill Brokaw took matters into their own hands in 1992.
After only having been included in 12 of the 68 prior annual editions of the Hill Climb, Wally Dallenbach Sr. revived the motorcycle program – last ran in 1982 – in 1991 under the guise of his annual mountain motorcycle ride, the Colorado 500. Dallenbach’s ‘91 race was a great success and set to return the following year until competition was suspended once again when the required number of entries had not been acquired by May 31, 1992. Upon hearing this news, Anderson and Brokaw sprung to action and began forming a partnership with the American Motorcyclist Association to provide insurance coverage for a motorcycle program. In the two months prior to the race, Anderson and Brokaw were able to acquire the necessary insurance coverage and attracted a field of 57 riders to compete in the race.
Thanks to the leadership of Anderson and Brokaw the ’92 race went on without any issues and a strong foundation had been established to make the motorcycle program an annual Hill Climb tradition. This summer will mark the 26th consecutive year of motorcycle racing on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain.
The Donner Family
Three generations of Donner men – Robert Sr., Robert “Bob” Jr., Robert “Bobby” III and David – have made the Donner name synonymous with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb over the past 70 years.
The Donner family’s involvement with the Race to the Clouds began in the 1940s when Robert Sr. worked closely with the chamber of commerce to restore the annual tradition of motorsport on Americas Mountain and renew a sense of normalcy in the Pikes Peak Region following the conclusion of WWII. Robert Sr. would later serve as president of the Hill Climb Association and see his son, Robert “Bob” Jr., build upon his legacy as a pioneer of sports car racing on Pikes Peak. Bob Donner would go on to pilot Porsche’s to class victories in each of the four editions of the Hill Climb he competed in (1959-1962) and like his father would later serve as the race’s president.
The following decades would see Bob’s sons – Robert “Bobby” III and David – follow in their father’s footsteps as Hill Climb racers and the third generation to add to the family’s legacy. Bobby and David wanted nothing more than to become championship Hill Climb competitors but wanted to be more than just drivers to make their dreams reality. While working as a team, the Donner brothers would push the race’s limits by designing and engineering the Donner-Dykstra – an innovative race vehicle utilizing new technologies to tame the Peak. Piloting Donner-Dykstra’s, Bobby and David would go on to claim multiple titles of King of the Mountain and Open Wheel Division victories in addition to later serving as Hill Climb board members and lifelong race supporters.
David is entered in this year’s race in the Time Attack I Class after winning the Time Attack 2 Production Class in 2015.
Making his Pikes Peak International Hill Climb debut in 1981 – the first year of rally car competition on America’s Mountain – New Zealander native, Rod Millen is not only a pioneer of rallying in the Race to the Clouds but is arguably its greatest champion. Throughout Millen’s Pikes Peak career, the Kiwi claimed 10-class victories, five titles of King of the Mountain, and most notably one overall course record. On July 4, 1994 Rod Millen took advantage of near-perfect course conditions to break the overall course record with a breathtaking time of 10:04.060 on Pikes Peak’s traditional dirt racing surface. Rod’s record would stand the test of time and wouldn’t be topped until 2007, when more than 75% of the racing surface had been paved.
While dirt has been replaced with pavement and so much else has changed in the first 100 years of the Hill Climb’s existence, the legend of Rod Millen and his dirt taming skills are and will forever be remembered in PPIHC history.
Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima
Japan’s Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima has made a career of breaking barriers on Pikes Peak. Tajima is one of the few competitors and team owners who had returned to the race annually with purpose-built race cars during the crippling 12-year Pikes Peak Highway paving process, and a goal of becoming the first competitor to break the 10-minute barrier. In 2011, during the final year of dirt being included as a race surface, Tajima accomplished what so many before him had failed to do; the Pikes Peak legend, finished the race in 9:51.278 and became the first competitor to smash the elusive barrier, capturing the title of King of the Mountain while setting a new overall course record. With 10-class victories and seven titles of King of the Mountain since first entering in the Race to the Clouds in 1988, Tajima has recorded two overall course records and four sub-10 minute finishing times, one of which – in 2013 – being the first recorded by an electric vehicle.
Unlike the majority of sports Halls of Fame, Tajima has yet to retire and will compete in this summer’s 100th Anniversary race in the Electric Modified field, searching for his eighth title of King of the Mountain.
Charlie Tutt IV
A business partner by the name of Charles L. Tutt was by the side of Spencer Penrose as he built his empire in the early 1900s. Some six decades later, his grandson, Charlie Tutt IV, became the President of Penrose’s legendary Pikes Peak Hill Climb and in 1980 embarked on a mission to restore its former international prominence. Under Tutt’s leadership the Hill Climb formed a partnership with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) to bring rally racing to America’s Mountain. The addition of rally cars attracted the attention of foreign manufacturers including Audi, Peugeot and legendary rally racers Walter Röhrl, Michèle Mouton, Ari Vatanen, Rod Millen and Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima.
Tutt’s ability to attract international attention through high profile race entries translated to increased spectator numbers and the acquisition of major sponsors. With sponsorship on the rise, Tutt succeeded in pulling the event out of financial struggles while providing stability for the future. Tutt’s contributions to the race paved the way for the creation of the Open Rally Class – now known as the Unlimited Division – in 1981, and created the foundation for the production of Climb Dance, a famous cinéma vérité short film, which featured Finnish rally driver Ari Vatanen setting a record time in the Unlimited Division in a highly modified four-wheel drive, all-wheel steering Peugeot 405 Turbo 16. Tutt will be remembered in the history of the Hill Climb by playing an extraordinary role in keeping the race alive during some challenging times and propelling it to prominence around the world.
ABOUT THE HALL OF FAME
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb Educational Museum Hall of Fame is located in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Experience of The Penrose Heritage Museum (formerly known as the El Pomar Carriage House Museum) across the street from The Broadmoor Hotel at 11 Lake Circle, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80906.
For more information on how to nominate someone for the 2018 class of inductees please contact Mitch Snow, Director of Promotion & Legacy, at Mitch@PPIHC.com.