The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, has concluded its 101st running, but tales of triumph continue to emerge, particularly the story of Hayden Bradley. An 18-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida, Bradley stood out as the youngest competitor in the 2023 Pikes Peak field, but his performance transcended his age. Starting in his teenage years, Bradley quickly made a name for himself in the Lucas Oil Formula Car Series, competing at various tracks like Homestead-Miami, Sebring, Road America, and Circuit of the Americas. His racing success didn’t stop there, as he moved to the World Racing League’s GP-2 Class, finishing fourth at the 24-Hour Enduro at Sebring International Raceway.
In 2023, with 54 races of experience, Bradley was invited to the illustrious Race to the Clouds, competing in the Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama division. His choice of vehicle, the 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman Clubsport GT4, was a perfect blend of balance and performance, bearing the legendary Yokohama ADVAN livery. This racecar, coupled with his personal connection to his race number, 727 (the area code of his hometown), showcased his pride and commitment to his racing heritage.
First introduced to the 12.42-mile course during an early June test session, Bradley was faced with various challenges such as high altitude, different weather conditions, and the staggering 156 turns of Pikes Peak. His mindset quickly shifted to adapt and learn, understanding the gravity of the Hill Climb experience. Guided by Jeff Zwart, PPIHC Hall of Famer and division mentor, Bradley’s driving prowess and adaptability caught everyone’s attention. Jeff’s coaching, focusing on the unique ecosystem of the mountain and its ever-changing nature, prepared Bradley for the ultimate test of risk versus reward. The connection between the racer and his coach led to continuous improvement and overcoming new challenges each day.
On race day, Bradley’s dedication and hard work culminated in holding the Champion flag at the summit. The victory was more than a personal achievement; it was a shared success with his sponsors, mentors, and everyone who invested in his journey. In an event steeped in tradition and prestige, Hayden Bradley’s debut victory at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb stands as a testament to his talent, determination, and the excellence of the Porsche 718 Cayman Clubsport GT4. His triumph is not just a highlight of this year’s event but a shining example for aspiring racers, proving that with the right combination of mentorship, effort, and exceptional engineering, one can conquer even the most daunting challenges in motorsport.
Sources: The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb