Pikes Peak International Raceway’s inaugural PPIR Fall Bash exceeded expectations, with motorsports enthusiasts flocking to the tracks and making it a day to remember. Boasting a turnout of well over a thousand tickets sold, the venue buzzed with the energy of a crowd excited to witness and partake in a medley of motorsports events. Reminiscent of similar past events such as Alpine Horizon Festival, but at an even more grassroots scale, PPIR Fall Bash truly embodied the spirit of motorsports celebration. From drift clinics to track sprints and vintage oval racing, the Fall Bash made sure every attendee got their fill of tire screeches, engine roars, and an unforgettable atmosphere. A food truck dished out delicious burgers and ice cream, complementing the lively beats from a DJ performing out of a modified vintage RV. These elements added to the festive atmosphere, ensuring that whether attendees were there to race, spectate, or simply soak in the ambiance, there was something for everyone.

The weather couldn’t have been more cooperative for most of the day. The morning saw sunny skies and pleasant warmth, setting the tone for the day’s activities. However, the early afternoon brought with it some winds and a touch of light rain, which might have been a cause for concern for any other event. Instead, it worked to our advantage, cooling the air and creating an ambiance that spared us from the harsh afternoon heat. Although the clouds did lead to an earlier twilight, it added a dramatic backdrop to the evening’s drift events.

One notable presence was Feras Qartoumy, known locally for taking the track record at PPIR with his twin-turbo Corvette. The day marked the debut testing of his recently assembled Corvette drift car. This was a build that flew under the radar as uncomplicated and stealthy compared to other drift cars there, but it unmistakably shares the DNA of its track-focused sibling. Feras’s first laps with it sideways were a relative success, serving to test and tune each aspect of the car for future upgrades.

For those looking for eye candy beyond the racetrack’s bounds, the car show had plenty to offer. A stunning blue Toyota Corolla hatchback, complete with a widebody kit, roof-mounted cargo, and pristine white wheels, took home the coveted ‘Best in Show’ award. Its exquisite design and detailing made it an instant favorite, capturing both photographs and admiration throughout the day.

As for the track sprints, which I had the pleasure of participating in, the experience was nothing short of exhilarating. The layout diverged from the traditional infield, taking us through an access road and introducing a fast-paced chicane before returning onto the main course. This new addition challenged the vehicles’ suspension and grip, and how well they handled the candy-striped curbs, making for some exciting moments and truly testing the mettle of the drivers. Though not a competitive event, timing devices were setup so that drivers could see their times and observe their improvements after each attempt. Lap times for this distinct course hovered around the 40-second mark, with skilled drivers pushing just below that threshold.

Photo by Chris Colten

While we don’t yet have any official feedback from the event, the general sentiment was overwhelmingly positive. The murmurs of the crowd, the laughter shared among friends, and the wide-eyed excitement of younger attendees painted a picture of success for PPIR’s first-ever Fall Bash.

Looking forward, while there wasn’t a specific announcement regarding future events, whispers of another gathering before winter’s first snow had many hoping and planning their next visit to the tracks. Until then, Colorado’s motorsports enthusiasts will have the memories of a fantastic day to tide them over.