The sound of revving engines filled the air Saturday at the Colorado Springs Airport, where fans of high-performance racing watched as dream cars rather than planes sped down the runway in a quest for a world record.
The Colorado Springs Airport hosted the 2017 Heuberger Subaru Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack as part of Pikes Peak Speedweek, which includes the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 25. The half-mile side-by-side racing and time-trial competition continues Sunday featuring fast stock and modified street cars from around the world.
"For our spectators, the coolest thing about this event is to see cars dreams are literally built on," said Ryan Randels, president of Revvolution, one of the companies that organized the event.
At last year's drag race, a half-mile world record was set at 240.641 mph - the first in history to shatter the 240 mph barrier.
The driver, Gidi Chamdi raced his Lamborghini down the tarmac and hoped to beat the newest world record this year - 247.252 mph.
"This year we look to break the 250 mph speed barrier," said Chamdi.
The international event started in California in 2011 and came to Colorado Springs in 2014 due to the strong local automotive scene, said Randels.
"These cars are getting so fast in a half mile they don't want to go for a mile," said Ryan Fisher, co-founder of Shift S3ctor, co-sponsor of the event. "It's the perfect distance for top speed without being dangerous."
Average Joes who worked on their Mustangs to professional Canadian racers who looked to break world records flew down the tarmac.
"It's always fun to look at cars you can't afford," spectator Sarah Lambert said.
Lambert attended with her 2-year-old and 3-year-old daughters who she said liked the sound of roaring engines.
"Everyone here are car people and I enjoy the camaraderie of it," racer Josh Thomas said.
In spirit of the entertainment, Thomas said he brought an extra helmet for anyone who wanted a ride in the passenger seat while he raced.
"You've got a long stretch to push it to the limit and have fun," Thomas said.
For other drivers, the sight of setting personal records drove them.
"Ideally, I'd like to hit 165-170 mph if I can," racer Rik Van Egdom said.
Even the sight of Pikes Peak was on a driver's mind.
"The car is a little slower because of the altitude but the view makes up for it," said Kyle Loftis, owner of 1320 Video, a company that films car races all around the world.
A lot of the cars were down in power due to the altitude, but Fisher said a certain turbo charge could compensate for the lack of oxygen for fuel combustion.
While drivers battled the altitude, spectators struggled with the heat.
"Watching the cars is great but it's toasty," said spectator Angel Mungcray as she rolled an icy water bottle down her arm.
Other visitors were well-prepared for the warm weather.
Michelle Crawford and her husband, Jason Crawford said they brought multiple bottles of sunscreen, bug spray and a cooler. The couple sat on the sidelines in lawn chairs shaded by umbrellas.
Despite the external factors, those in attendance still found enjoyment in watching engines soar in front of their eyes.
"We're into cars so we wanted to see what it's all about," Chantell Cordova said as she watched the airstrip intently with her husband and their 3-year-old son.