COLORADO SPRINGS — In 1946, 6-year-old Ralph Murdock rode to the summit of Pikes Peak with his dad. This year, at the ripe old age of 82, he takes on America’s Mountain once again, in the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC).
Murdock first entered the Race to the Clouds in 1965 in the Sports Car division driving a Corvette, finishing 7th with a time of 18:03.2. He returned in 1966 and improved both his finish position and his finish time, 6th place in 14:42.5. In 1967 and 1969, Murdock moved to the Open Wheel division, also in a Chevrolet, but was foiled in both attempts to finish. Undeterred, he returned in the Open Wheel group in 1970 and finished 7th in 14:11.8. Murdock put together a Stock Car entry in 1973, a Plymouth 426, but again, failed to finish.
A thirty-seven-year hiatus allowed Murdock to focus on raising his family of five children, but in 2010 Murdock was back in action, returning to the mountain in the Rocky Mountain Vintage Modified class. His 2011 entry in the same class in a 1970 Chevrolet Camaro proved Murdock was still competitive as he not only won the class but established a new class record – 12:51.004.
Skilled in navigating the all-dirt course in his early years of competition coupled with experience on the paved surface since 2016, Murdock says his goal has always been the same:
“To go up there, have fun and do the best I can.”
Murdock is preparing to bring the 1991 Chevrolet IROC Camaro raced by his son, Kevin, in 2021, to America’s Mountain for the 100th Running of the IHC and is thrilled with the new team sponsor, Axe and the Oak Distillery, and the new livery which Ralph can only describe as “ominous-looking”.
Fans can see the racecar and meet Ralph Murdock at Fan Fest on June 24 in downtown Colorado Springs.
Practice days for the PPIHC are Tuesday, June 21 – Friday, June 24, and tickets can be purchased here. Race Day is Sunday, June 26. Click here for parking information, viewing areas, Spectator Guide, and to purchase tickets.