COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In the 100th running of the “Race to the Clouds” on June 26, young Lori Unser will look to add to her famous family’s outstanding record in the revered, annual event.
With 156 turns in 12.42-miles, nearly 5,000 feet of elevation gain, a range of different surfaces and a high-intensity format, there is nothing in motorsports like the challenge of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC).
Unser, who raced to victory in World Racing League (WRL) on board the No. 701 Hagerty Porsche Cayman in March, will move to a different Porsche platform as she climbs on board the No. 92 Hagerty/Yokohama/Mobil 1/Pep Boys Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport to compete in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy division.
Her debut will mark the fourth generation of the Unser family to compete on the mountain that includes sections like “Devil’s Playground” and “Bottomless Pit.”
The Unser name is nearly synonymous with the Pikes Peak event, with the family having first competed in 1926 with Louis and Joe Unser. Louis set a course record in 1934 and the Unsers added more success as Al Sr., Robert W. (Bobby), Al Jr. and Robb Unser all took to the challenge.
An Unser claimed victory every year from 1958 to 1962, with Bobby setting new records and a fast time of 13:19:100 in an Arciero Bros Racing Lotus 23 in 1964.
In 1997, both Louis and Bobby were inducted into the Pikes Peak Hall of Fame and most recently, Al Sr. joined them in 2020.
While Unser is the only female in her division this year, she’s not the first female Unser to take on Pikes Peak.
Jeri Unser — daughter of Bobby and his wife Norma — took rookie of the year in 1998 before winning the electric car division in 2003.
“Pikes Peak is a completely different race than anything I’ve ever done and I could not be more excited to make the most of this opportunity,” said Unser, who regularly races in WRL competition with Round 3 Racing. “Of course it is a really special place for our family, and I am really grateful to have the chance to compete there this month. I know I will be learning so much in a short period of time, but I hope all the preparation and tips from my family pay off!”