If you are familiar with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, you know that unfriendly weather is a very real hazard for the legendary event. The Race to the Clouds takes place in Colorado Springs, with this famous stretch of road offering 156 turns over the course of 12.42 miles. The elevation at the starting line is 9,390 feet while the finish line sits at 14,110 feet, leading to nearly a mile of elevation increase during the run.
As you might expect, racing up a mountain in Colorado can lead to unfortunate conditions, but the weather for the 2022 running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb was the worst that I have ever seen. From bottom to top, a cold, misty rain cut visibility down to almost nothing, making for a particularly treacherous race.
While there were some sections with clearer skies, the majority of the track was in dense fog that made it hard for the drivers to get a good look at their approach to the corners. This led to slower times than in past years for the whole field.
Kevin Wesley turned in a time of 11:50.848 with his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody, good for 5th in the Exhibition class out of 14 and 29th overall out of 71 total entries. Of those 71, 63 finished the run up the hill, with Robin Shute winning the event for the second year in a row with his 2018 Wolf TSC-FS open wheel race car in the Unlimited class.
In addition to finishing 5th in the Exhibition class, Wesley’s Dodge Charger was the best-finishing rear-drive car in that class, with four all-wheel-drive vehicles finishing ahead of him – including 2nd place overall finisher David Donner in his 2022 Porsche 911 Turbo S.
In the video below, you can watch Kevin Wesley and his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye in the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb from the in-car camera, including interview footage with Wesley. The fact that he was able to drive through the fog, on the slick track, so efficiently is nothing short of remarkable. In the video, more often than not, we cannot see the upcoming turn, yet he handles them all perfectly with his 800+ horsepower, rear-wheel-drive Dodge Charger.