This past weekend marked the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and once again, Wesley Motorsports campaigned a Dodge car in the legendary road racing competition. This year, Kevin Wesley piloted a specially prepared Dodge Charger SRT® Hellcat Redeye Widebody in the production-based Exhibition TA2 class, and while the weather was the worst that some long-time competitors have ever seen, Wesley and his lightly modified rear-wheel-drive muscle sedan laid down an impressive time.
Wesley Motorsports Charger Pikes Peak Car
The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye that Kevin Wesley drove up the Pikes Peak Hill Climb course was based on a production model, but it has been modified under the rules of the Exhibition TA2 class. This included a set of ARH longtube headers and open exhaust and a unique engine calibration from Dodge to run E90 ethanol blend. They also swapped the stock tires for Hoosier A7 racing tires measuring 335/25/20, but they still used the stock Dodge wheels.
The only other changes over stock were safety items and the wrap. In other words, this Charger was making more than the 797 horsepower that buyers get from the factory, but with just exhaust and an ethanol blend tune, the engine itself was untouched. Of course, the Hoosier tires lead to better grip under acceleration, cornering and braking, but this is still a big, heavy sedan that was racing up the most grueling road racing venue in the United States with next-to-no visibility.
2022 Pikes Peak Results
There were a total of 71 vehicles in the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a handful of classes. The Wesley Dodge Charger Redeye was one of 14 cars in the Exhibition class, finishing 5th in the class and 29th overall with a time of 11:50.848. All four of the cars that finished above him in the class were all-wheel-drive, including class winner David Donner in his 2022 Porsche Turbo S with a time of 10:34.053, making Wesley the best-finishing rear-wheel-drive car in the class. Donner finished second overall, showing the overall level of competition in the Exhibition class, while the overall winner was Robin Shute in the Unlimited class with a 10:09.525 in his 2018 Wolf TSC-FS open wheel racecar. Click here for a look at the full results.
For comparison, a racer named Robert Prilika competed in the Exhibition class in a 2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, finishing 10th in the class and 55th overall with a time of 13:37.383. This Mustang was the only other currently available American performance car in the field and we do not know what modifications were made to that vehicle. The only other Dodge in the field was a 2008 Viper driven by Raymund Guerrero, who ran a 13:07.285 in the Time Attack 1 class. Regardless of their modifications, the slower times by these smaller, lighter performance cars show how well Kevin Wesley wields the Charger Redeye, even in brutally poor conditions.
When Wesley competed in a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody back in 2020, he competed in the Unlimited class and ran a 10:25.915, finishing 3rd in class and 11th overall. That car was more heavily modified than the Charger he drove this year, but the 2022 field as a whole was markedly slower due to the weather.
“The 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody ran great all week. Unfortunately, with the changing weather and natural variability of the event, race day did not go in our favor. Rain and fog set in right at the start and extreme fog at the summit limited race day pace significantly.
Even with the extreme altitude, the Charger ran great and made awesome power all the way to the top. The combination of SRT Engineered and tuned Bilstein dampers, as well as sticky Hoosier DOT Race Tires, offered excellent grip in the wet conditions.
Without the support of our partners, none of this would be possible. We can’t thank Dodge, Bilstein, Direct Connection, and the Power Brokers at Perkins Motors enough for all the help and support throughout race week.”
SRTMush will have Kevin Wesley on an upcoming podcast, where they will talk more in-depth about the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. In the meantime, check out the video below from the event, including a short interview with Wesley and the in-car view of his run up the mountain in incredibly poor conditions.
A huge shoutout to Larry Chen Photography for all the badass pictures!
Author: Patrick Rall
Photo credit: Larry Chen Photography