Raceway gears up for busy summer
Last updated 5/26/2021 at 9:29am
With summer creeping up, many are hoping to return to the traditional pastimes – picnics, sports events, vacations and so forth. Since many of those activities were postponed or canceled last summer, there's a lot of anticipation to see what will happen. Fortunately for racing fans, the Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR) did not shut down entirely. In fact, according to PPIR Director of Communications Chelsy Offutt, the racetrack weathered the situation better than most.
"PPIR was very fortunate during the pandemic as we are a large, outdoor, open-air venue, which provided a number of flexibilities to be able to run safe, socially distant events like drive-in concerts and our motorsports events like Track Attack and Off the Street Drags," Offutt explained. "We have very creative and proactive leadership, which helped us pivot with all of the COVID outdoor venue event changes, among other things. The key was to be flexible, and the city of Fountain (specifically Fountain Fire and Police Department), along with El Paso County, have all been wonderful to work with for us to understand what we were and were not able to execute."
With lessened restrictions and things looking good on the vaccine front, PPIR is looking forward to holding their regular summer roster of events.
"Thankfully, April's mandate has no current restrictions on the attendance size of outdoor venues so we are hopeful to be able to hold our events at their previous (and larger) attendance numbers," Offutt said. "Between clients renting the facility for events, and our own music and motorsport festivals, we have something happening nearly every weekend this summer."
Among the many fun events, PPIR is hosting two events for the first time this year: the first annual SLUSH Motorsport Festival on May 29-30, and the Spartan, Inc. Obstacle Course Race on June 19-20. The SLUSH Motorsport Festival will include a car show and various events for racing fans as well as drivers (including drag racing and roll racing, open laps and drifting demonstrations), along with music and fireworks. The Spartan, Inc. Obstacle Course Race consists of a 10K and 5K race with obstacles that competitors have to get through to reach the finish line.
PPIR is also bringing back the GRIDLIFE Alpine Horizon Music and Motorsports Festival for its third year on July 23-25, and the annual Hot Rod Rock & Rumble event on Aug. 27-29. The GRIDLIFE event will hold multiple off-road racing events over three days (including a Nightshift Drift event, and a track day), with live music shows at night. Hot Rod Rock & Rumble will have it usual mix of drag racing, music (including the Delta Bombers, the Octanes, the Reckless Ones and the Atomic Drifters) as well as events like the retro Miss Rock & Rumble pinup contest. Events for kids will include the Junior Rockabilly Contest (ages 12 and under).
"We're hopeful that families and friends will look to PPIR for fun, safe ways to reconnect and enjoy multi-day events such as August's Hot Rod Rock & Rumble," Offutt said.
To learn more about PPIR's upcoming events, go to their website, ppir.com.