05.07.2024 Story

A Postcard from… Pikes Peak: Becky Evans attends the ‘Race to the Clouds’

Nothing says “the great outdoors” like the breathtaking landscapes of the U.S. – from the barren deserts in the Southwest to the dense, lush forests of the Northeast. But it would be remiss not to mention the mountain ranges that crisscross the country, especially the craggy peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

Climbing up that hill

In the stretch of the Rockies within the state of Colorado towers Pikes Peak.

As well as colourful wildflowers and wildlife such as elk, mule deer, and bighorn sheep, the mountain is home to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The ‘Race to the Clouds’ is a 20-kilometre hill climb for cars and motorcycles. The hill climb starts 2,862 metres above sea level and finishes 1,438 metres higher. In addition to the change in elevation, Pikes Peak is known for its rapidly changing weather conditions, including summer snowstorms at higher elevations. Competitors are also tested at 156 curves on the way to the summit.

Hyundai Motor has been participating in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb since 1992. This year, the company successfully competed with two IONIQ 5 N Time Attack (TA) Specs and one production IONIQ 5 N.

Getting Behind the Wheel of the Ioniq 5 N at Pikes Peak

2024 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

For the 102nd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, a special invitation was extended to Becky Evans, a prominent figure in the automotive world.

Known for her deep passion for motoring and her prowess behind the wheel, Becky is a celebrated female automotive lifestyle content creator and professional driver. Raised in a family of car enthusiasts, she developed a love for cars early on.

A familiar face on camera, Becky has starred in Drift Queen on Red Bull TV and Gassed Up on the BBC, where her charisma and driving skills shine. As a member of the Top Gear team, she contributes to their digital content and has her own highly engaged global social media following.

I was really excited because I actually came to Pikes Peak with my dad back in 2015. My dad had always wanted to come here and just see the hill climb for himself, so we took a car up there, but we didn’t actually see the event. So, it had always been on my bucket list, and I finally managed to tick it off.

Becky Evans

Scenic drive in Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is renowned for its stunning and diverse landscape, with a mix of rugged mountainous terrain, dense coniferous forests, aspen groves, and alpine tundra. The panoramic views from its summit make it a must-see for hikers and mountain bikers.

On the first day of the race weekend, Hyundai handed Becky the keys to an IONIQ 5 N for a test drive. She immediately fell in love with the high-performance electric car’s design, which seamlessly integrates race-car elements into sporty road-car aesthetics. She praised its comfortable bucket seats, ample space, and cargo capacity, highlighting its blend of style and practicality.

I think it’s one of the coolest-looking SUVs on the market right now. It’s super futuristic, but it’s still race-y.

Becky Evans

During her drive, Becky was particularly impressed by the innovative technologies in IONIQ 5 N. The N Active Sound +, which simulates engine sounds for an immersive driving experience captivated her. She even described the N e-Shift with jolts and rev matching as “sorcery”, appreciating its ability to create a visceral driving experience through feedback and resistance.

Cruising along picturesque mountain roads, Becky was mesmerised by the lush, green scenery. Although she could not test the N Drift Optimizer on public roads, the ‘Drift Queen’ is eagerly looking forward to trying it out soon.

A day at Engineer’s Corner

Driven by excitement and necessity, Becky woke up early on the second day of the race weekend – around 3 A.M. As anticipation for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb built, it was crucial to secure a good spot along the course before the roads were closed.

After a quick power nap in the car, Becky hiked to Engineer’s Corner, the first hairpin turn of the race. This would be her station for the next ten hours, providing a real motorsport experience as she eagerly awaited the cars to race past.

Despite the forecast calling for cold weather, the day surprised all participants and spectators with sunshine and temperatures reaching 31°C. Fortunately, Becky had come prepared with light clothing, plenty of water to stay hydrated, sunscreen, and sunglasses. By the end of the race, she even managed to get a tan!

A triumph for Hyundai

Hyundai entered the 102nd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with three units of IONIQ 5 N: a production vehicle and two Time Attack (TA) Specs, specially modified for the unique challenges of Pikes Peak in just six months.

IONIQ 5 N was chosen because it embodies the racetrack capabilities of every N model – tested in extreme locations and temperatures and specifically developed and tuned at the Nordschleife for enhanced performance.

Hyundai World Rally driver Dani Sordo reached the top in an IONIQ 5 N TA Spec in 09:30.852, winning the exhibition class in the electric modified SUV/crossover category. Randy Pobst followed with the second IONIQ 5 N TA Spec in 09:55.551. These results showcase Hyundai’s groundbreaking entry into high-performance electric cars.

Automotive media personality Ron Zaras completed the climb in the production IONIQ 5 N model in 10:49.267, pushing the boundaries of Hyundai’s E-GMP architecture.

Here, one of the great things is that you can hear the sound of the cars coming up through the woods. You don’t know what’s coming, but you can hear it. That’s part of the ambience – the amazing atmosphere of this race. Hear it? That’s magic!

Becky Evans

About Becky Evans

Becky Evans, known as Queen B, is a prominent figure in the automotive world. Growing up in the U.K., Becky’s passion for cars was ignited by her family’s involvement in motorsport. She began go-karting at the age of eight and moved on to drag racing at fourteen.

Launched in 2016, her YouTube channel features the popular Girls Guide To series and has attracted more than 14 million views. Becky’s content makes car culture accessible to a wide audience, combining automotive expertise with a stylish flair.

With a strong social media presence, including 381,000 Instagram followers, she continues to inspire and influence car enthusiasts worldwide.

Disclaimer: CO2 and emissions data

  • Electricity consumption combined for the Hyundai IONIQ 5 N 84.0 kWh (21” alloy rims) with 4WD in kWh/100 km: 21.2; CO2 emissions combined in g/km: 0 (WLTP)


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