This Sunday, June 25th, is the running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. For the first time in several years, there will be a free live webcast with a full battery of former racers and on air talent to give you the play-by-play.
The 10-year contract with Matchsports sounds more promising than some of the past attempts to webcast the event. It appears Matchsports specializes in live broadcast from remote and rugged areas, which Pikes Peak qualifies as despite there being fresh donuts and a gift center at the summit.
From a broadcasting standpoint, there is a lot of cable to run if you want 22 cameras on the course, onboard footage, live timing supplied to multiple announcers, and communication between everyone and (weather permitting) a helicopter crew.
I am a little bummed out that I myself will be racing in Utah with MotoAmerica that day and will miss seeing the event, but I would always prefer racing to watching racing.
Also, there will be a rebroadcast of the “Race to the Clouds” at another date. Still, I encourage people to go to www.ppihc.com and in the “Race Week” tab of the menu there is an option for “Live Broadcast.” A simple email sign up and you are in.
The show begins at 7:30am this Sunday (Mountain Time Zone) with the pre-race coverage. The event takes most of the day though, so those choosing to sleep in won’t miss too much. But remember, in order to outrun the afternoon rain and snow storms that strike up there, they will launch racers up the mountain as soon as the road is deemed safe.
Last year that meant wet conditions early on, which dried as the sun got higher, before rain, light hail, then snow came in at the very end. This isn’t your typical race, so it won’t be your typical broadcast. There is no way to know when the story of the day will take place. This year, racers will run in the order they qualify overall, meaning you won’t be able to watch your favorite class at a certain time; the jumble will make live scoring very interesting.
Revel in it.