Pikes Peak Fan Fest Is Fun for Everyone, Vintage Racers Included

pikes peak fun fest audis1 yellow race car
Pikes Peak Fan Fest Is Fun for EveryoneTodd Lassa

Assemble a Scuderia consisting of Le Mans cars, IMSA racers, WRC rally cars, dirt track sprint cars, college engineering department racing teams, and vintage racers and you might have a starting grid approximating the pits just downhill of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb’s starting line.

You don’t have to wait until the Sunday hill climb’s hours-long set of runs (about seven hours, in this year’s case) to get a sense of this variety. Be sure to catch the Pikes Peak Fan Fest in Colorado Springs the Friday evening prior.

a large crowd of people in a street at 2024 pikes peak fan fest
Big crowd for 2024 Pikes Peak Fan Fest.Larry Chen

Spreading out along several blocks of prime downtown real estate, Fan Fest is a mix of car show, driver meet-and-greets and autograph signings, food trucks, and related displays. And it’s a chance to learn the stories behind some of the competitors.


At this year’s Fan Fest before last Sunday’s hill climb, we stopped to examine a yellow-on-white 1986 Audi Sport Quattro S1 E2, considered by many to be the best rally car ever. The “Group B Monster’s” inline-five turbo made an estimated 600-plus horsepower and was driven in its day by rally giants Michele Mouton and Walter Röhrl.

This one is to be campaigned in the Pikes Peak Open category by RayTeam Automotive, of Waltham, Massachusetts.

We start to ask RayTeam’s owner, Frank Ocsai, about the car, but he quickly calls over the man whose name, László Keskeny, is etched in a decal in the driver’s side rear quarter window. Keskeny, 62, is from Budapest, Hungary. Ocsai does much of the translating/talking about the car.

This S1, we learn, is converted—a “tribute”—made from an Audi 4000. Keskeny, who learned to weld when he was 13 years old, fabricates the fiberglass-kevlar composite body panels himself and has done about 10 such cars in his lifetime.

ocsai and keskeny arm in arm at pikes peak fan fest
Ocsai and Keskeny at Pikes Peak Fan Fest.Todd Lassa

How much boost does the inline-5 turbo make? Our friend, a fellow auto journalist, asks.

“How much do you need?” Ocsai replies. “Enough to get to the top safely.” He adds that there are three settings for this car, from 85 to 350 psi.

How does Keskeny feel about his upcoming rookie run up Pikes Peak?

“He feels great. He loves being here,” Ocsai answers.

What’s László’s target time?

“He thinks around 11 (minutes) if he really wanted to,” Ocsai says. “But number one, we want to survive.”

Spoiler alert: László Keskeny survives. He does not quite hit his target, placing 46th out of 47 finishers with a time of 12:57.142 minutes. As a sort of vintage racer who makes it up the 12.42-mile course without bending or breaking anything, he prevails—making him a winner.