Advance tickets on sale for Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb organizers are expecting a record turnout for this year’s  race, which will take place July 8.

Advance tickets for the race are selling at a record pace, said organizers of the 2012 Hill Climb. This year, fans also can buy round-trip bus tickets to avoid congestion at the tollgate on race day.

General admission tickets are $40 in advance. On race day, tickets will be $50. Advance tickets are available now at: www.ppihc.com

Round-trip bus tickets with a general admission ticket are $55 in advance.

The bus transportation begins at the Colorado Springs World Arena parking lot at 6:10 a.m., with a return after the race to the same location.

Fans who have already purchased their tickets can still buy a round-trip bus seat online for $20. The buses will take fans to the Crystal Reservoir site, just below the start line, and pick them up afterward at the same location beginning at 2:30 p.m.

“Last year, we sold almost 1,000 general admission tickets on race day, and the toll gate opens at 4 a.m.,” said Tom Osborne, PPIHC chairman. “We want to give fans the best chance to ensure a place on the course by getting their tickets in advance and avoiding long lines at the toll gate.”

Last summer’s race sold more tickets, more merchandise and had more sponsors than in years past, setting new records for the Colorado Springs event, which enters its 90th run this summer.

The city’s famous 12.42-mile race up Pikes Peak attracted media from around the world and an estimated 6,000 fans lined the windy road with its 156 turns for a chance to see the 10-minute record time broken by Nobuhir “Monster” Tajima in the Unlimited Division.

This year’s event is expected to be even bigger because for the first time, the entire length of the road is paved, which has attracted new vehicles to the race. Veteran competitors will no longer have to adjust to the usual gravel and asphalt challenges that have been part of the race.