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XPEL ULTIMATE PLUS PPF Protects Apex Autoworks Race Car at 101st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

A New Century of Racing at Pikes Peak

June is celebrated as the start of summer with clean pools, sunblock, and the smell of barbecue in the wind. But for a dedicated few, the beginning of June is a final countdown to the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race (PPIHC). This unique venue takes place one mile in the sky on a scenic mountain in Colorado. For decades teams and drivers have tackled the treacherous 156 turns up the mountain road battling the elements in a race against time.

Some call it the Nürburgring in the sky, often used as a record-setting benchmark for OEMs to test the limits of new performance vehicles. This year is the 101st running at Pikes Peak, adding a layer of nostalgia and historical significance while welcoming the next century with a checkered flag.

XPEL Protects LS Swapped Miata at 14,000ft Up

XPEL joined the moment in motorsport while supporting a Texas car shop to make its mark on the iconic mountain. Apex Autoworks , a repair shop in Alvin, Texas with a forte for roll cages, built this big-winged hill climb race car to run at Pikes Peak.

The car started life as a late 1990s Mazda MX5 Miata before going on a crash diet stripping everything that wasn’t essential. Then, Apex replaced the Miata’s four cylinder with a fire snorting LS V8 bolted to a two-speed Jericho transmission. These measures were done under the proven mathematical formula for building a racecar: less weight + more power = racecar.

With the car turned into a high revving monster, next came finding a driver willing to tame it. This year, Romanian rally driver Andrei Mitrasca took the reins of the Apex Autoworks LS-swaped Miata for Pikes Peak. Mitrasca is no stranger to the 12.4-mile course. This being his third time racing at PPIHC. His first visit to the race in clouds was in 2015 where he earned the title of being the first Romanian driver to compete at Pikes Peak. He gained further attention when people learned that he drove his racecar, a SEAT Ibiza, 1,800 miles nonstop from New York to Colorado to make the event.

With the car and driver ready, the last thing before qualifying day was prepping the V8 Miata with XPEL PPF.

ULTIMATE PLUS PPF Protects Carbon Fiber Wings at Pikes Peak

The race car's front and rear wing and engine bay cover received ULTIMATE PLUS from the specialists at Mod Finishes in Colorado Springs. The film’s self-healing properties protected the car’s valuable aerodynamic components while providing a glossy finish. As a result, the race car was protected against road and weather debris and looked its best when it crossed the finish line 14,000 feet up at the top of the mountain.

Protect Everything with XPEL PPF

XPEL is proud to help a fellow Texas-based company reach new heights both literally and metaphorically. We’re glad that Apex Autoworks and Andrei Mitrasca had a successful run at Pikes Peak this year. We look forward to seeing their street legal V8-powered Miata racer at future events throughout the summer leading up to SEMA with XPEL PPF along for the ride.

Ready to protect everything? Whether it’s your car, truck, boat, bike, or race car, XPEL has a protective film for you. Visit our PPF page to learn more about the various film products and benefits.