GRIDLIFE Alpine Horizon 2021 - Getting A Grip At Pikes Peak International Raceway

Author: Bryan McTaggart | Photographer: Cole Reynolds | 07/27/2021 < Back to Motor Life Home

A few miles south of Fountain, Colorado, at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, where the former Pikes Peak Meadows horse-racing facility used to be, stands Pikes Peak International Raceway. Built in the late 1990s to attract Indy cars and the NASCAR Busch Series and Truck races, the facility is a common place to see and hear racing teams testing out their latest and greatest machines. But recently, PPIR was home to a different crowd as the Gridlife Alpine Horizon Festival turned the 1.0 mile D-shaped oval into home base for three hot days in July, 2021. Known for time attack-style racing and drifting, the Gridlife scene is much more than that. Over the course of three days, there was a wide array of things that attendees could do in-between the track work. A 2.1-mile rally track and the re-introduction of rally action via the Rallysprint HPDE and Rallysprint Bracket Competition brought some action off of the asphalt and into the dirt for a bit of localized flavor. If that wasn't the flavor Gridlife fans were looking for, maybe they could find a flavorful bite to eat or take in the spectacular geography while roaming around on guided tours of Colorado. And once the sun set in the distance, the party really kicked off, with music and light shows while the drift drivers went out to the track and had their own party.

But for everybody involved in the sold-out event, the racing is really where it was at in Colorado, and the weekend belonged to Feras Qartoumy and his absolutely monstrous C6 Corvette. In six laps' worth of action, he walked away with four records: Production Car Track Record, Gridlife Overall Lap Record, Unlimited RWD Lap Record, and Trackmod RWD lap record, a serious feat. But he wasn't the only winner of the weekend. Bryan Heitkotter scored a track record on Friday's qualifying session and was the overall GLTC race winner of the weekend in his Nissan 370Z. Ryan Seiler scored his first win in Club TR - RWD in his Honda S2000. And the class racing was tight, with every single tenth of a second making the difference for the drivers.

Gridlife 2021 PPIR Bryan Heitkotter

Out of all of the action held over the weekend, the most contentious had to be the fourth GLTC race, held on Saturday evening. At the start of the action an evening rain shower came off of the mountains and proceeded to cause all sorts of drama, with cars trying to keep in control as the race quickly moved from dry to wet. Tiffany Kelly's race would end with her Honda S2000 backed in to the wall as Heitkotter's 370Z and Jeremy Swenson's C5 Corvette battled it out on the track, Swenson on treaded tires while Heitkotter tried to keep his slicks from being overpowered.

Gridlife's next event is the Mid-Summer Meet at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, held August 6-8, 2021, followed by Heartlands at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas on August 20-22, 2021. You can learn more about these events by visiting the Gridlife website (

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