From the Salt Flats to the Mile High, Mustangs are incredibly popular no matter what the model year, especially on the racing front. This was infinitely apparent even at the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, where six of the day’s competitors piloted high-performance Mustangs from all over the world. Check out some of the mean Mustangs of the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb below.
From first-generation models to modern race machines, the number of Mustangs compared to other makes and models in the Hill Climb field was more than just noticeable at the June 29th event. Making up 2/3 of the Vintage class and spotlighting in most of the other major race classes accepting of street car models, the mighty Mustang took a stand on Pikes Peak like no other model, conjuring up images of ponies stampeding through the clouds.
The first Mustang driver on course, Ralf Christensson, came all the way from Stokholm, where the renowned rally car driver resides on a normal basis.
Not your typical Mustang stable location, Christensson’s Swedish racing influences seem to have done this bad little 1967 GT350-R some good. It features some incredible equipment, from QA1 and Global West suspension components to a Tesar Engineering race engine. Christensson estimates that his car makes about 600 hp.
After battling a number of issues in past years, such as his car and gear getting stuck in customs a few years back and a nasty crash that caused severe frame and body damage to his car last year, Christensson walked away in 2014 finally a victor on many levels.
Not only did he take first place for the Vintage Class of the Hill Climb, he also broke the lap-time record for a car in the Vintage Class, laying down a time of just 10:46.000 compared to the previous class-best of 12:03.00, and ran the best time for a Mustang on Pikes Peak in the run’s 92 year history. Not a bad day for the Los Vikingos team member.
The next Stang on course was fellow Swede, Magnus Widen’s 1965 GT350 R. Just like his comrade, Widen runs a Tesar Engineering race engine in his classic Mustang. This, of course, helped propel the car up the mountain in 11:56.954, also a notch quicker than the previous class best. Not bad for the rookie PPIHC driver.
Following behind the only two domestic Vintage Class cars was a 2008 Mustang FR500S owned by avid racer Dan Aweida, “The Flying Hawaiian.”
Factory-built for the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge, this bad boy features a 325hp 4.6L engine, a Ford Racing 6-speed transmission with upgraded clutch, Ford Racing/Borla long-tube headers and exhaust system, a coilover suspension with two-way adjustable dampers in the front and rear, BF Goodrich tires and a full Sparco safety system.
Certainly built to race, Aweida’s Mustang sped through the race course, taking third in the Time Attack 2 Division with a lap time of 11:28.679.
Following right behind Aweida was Time Attack 1 Division competitor Magnus Dybeck of Sweden, driving a 1998 Mustang.
Clad in the same yellow and black color scheme as his Swedish teammates’ vintage Mustangs, this fourth-generation Stang proved that not just vintage Stangs with Swedish drivers could do well in the climb.
Competing against some incredibly impressive cars and drivers, Dybeck was able to secure a 13th place finish in his class with a lap time of 11:52.524.
Tearing up the course just two cars later was yet another Mustang, this time a 2008 Mustang owned by Davey Schmidt. One pissed off Ford, this incredible Mustang is going to stay under wraps here until we feature it later on for StangTV, but we will tell you that it features a full tube chassis, a graphics scheme for a good cause and Schmidt had only just gotten the car put together before making the climb to the clouds.
Competing in the Pikes Peak Open Class, Schmidt took seventh in his division with a lap time of 13:13.773.
The last Mustang on the course was a 2008 Shelby GT500 owned by Kash Singh. A veteran of the PPIHC, Singh came back to the event to fulfill a life-long goal- reaching the top of Pikes Peak with him and his car in one piece.
This year, thanks to products like a Borla exhaust and Falken tires, Singh was able to do just that, laying down a lap time of 14:17.352 for a sixth-place finish in the Time Attack 2 Class.
With so many Mustangs on the 14’er on Sunday, we couldn’t help but take notice of a few other Ford-powered race creations as well, including Clint Vahsholtz’s 2013 Open Wheel car, 40-year veteran of the hill climb, Randy Schranz’s Shelby Cobra, and Gas Monkey Garage’s Aaron Kaufman’s 1963 Ford Falcon exhibition car.
The 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was a dream for Ford and Mustang fans alike and with such a presence from the blue-oval this year, we can’t wait to see what the 2015 event brings!
For more photos of the Fords from this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, be sure to check out the StangTV Gallery below.