The 96th Running of the storied Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will spotlight notable competitors and exciting rookies

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The 96th Running of the storied Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will spotlight notable competitors and exciting rookies

January 18, 2018 | PPIHC | Competitor, Spectator

The 96th Running of the storied Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will spotlight notable competitors and exciting rookies

Colorado Springs, January 18—The 2018 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, will reward fans worldwide with a brilliant lineup of competitors on June 24 as America’s Mountain greets the 96th running of the world’s premier motorsport hill climb.

Drivers and riders from the United States, Romania, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Ireland, France, Japan, Italy, Australia, Costa Rica, Great Britain, Scotland, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Canada make up a field that will take on America’s most famous and challenging mountain highway.

“The fans of this historic race will really embrace the competitive field for the 96th Running of the Race to the Clouds,” said PPIHC Executive Director Megan Leatham. “We have many of the legends of the race on board along with a roster of rookies from the USA and many nations that will generate incredible interest.”

See the full list of competitors here:

http://ppihc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018-PPIHC-Competitor-List.pdf

The Drivers

Featured drivers include Pikes Peak superstars Clint Vahsholtz, a 23-time champion; Paul Dallenbach, returning after missing last year and seeking his 9th win; the veteran Layne Schranz, making a remarkable 25th appearance; David Schmidt II, a 25-time race veteran; and Spencer Steele with three victories during 17 consecutive years in the Race to the Clouds.

Dallenbach is 3-time Pikes Peak King of the Mountain (1993, 2003, 2004) and holds the all-time record in the Time Attack 1 class (9:46.001) set in 2013 behind the wheel of a Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

Schranz is a living legend of the race, like his father Randy, who competed on the Peak 40 times. Born and raised in Colorado Springs, Layne has made his home in Birmingham, Alabama since 2001. He began his Pikes Peak odyssey in 1993, racing a Suzuki 500 quad, but switched to autos in 1997 in the Super Stock Car class. He has three wins on the Peak in 24 years, most recently in the 2016 Pikes Peak Open Class, where he became a member of the PPIHC 9-Minute Club with his blistering 9:53.071 clocking. His dad won the same race in 2013 at 11:21.410.

Al Unser, Jr, of the legendary Unser family, comes home to the Peak for the first time since 1989. He claimed victory at the 1992 Indianapolis 500, the race famous for the fierce battle in the closing laps, as he held off second place Scott Goodyear for the victory by 0.043 seconds, the closest finish in Indy history. In winning, he became the first second-generation driver to win the Indy 500, following in the footsteps of his father, Al Unser, Sr. He also became the third member of the famous Unser family to win the race. “Little Al “ also won the 1994 Indy 500 with Penske Racing, joining his father Al Sr., and his uncle, Bobby, as winners of multiple 500s at Indy. He was tagged Pikes Peak King of the Mountain in 1983, taking the Open Wheel crown in his Wells Coyote Chevy.

Rookie Drivers Of Note

  • Simone Faggioli has won the FIA European Hill Climb Championship ten times, making the Italian star one of the world’s best in hill climb competition and a living legend. The European Hill Climb Championship is an FIA-run motorsport competition held across Europe on closed public road courses. Unlike circuit racing, each driver competes alone, starting from a point at the base of a mountain and reaching a finish point near the summit. He has won the Italian Hill Climb Championship 12 times since 2002.
  • Fabien Bouduban won second place for Switzerland at the 2016 FIA European Hill Climb Championship Masters event. He has been a consistent success story at the annual French Hill Climb Championship. He is CEO and owner of Tectri SA in Court, Switzerland, that specializes in cost-effective, automatic manufacturing of highly sophisticated turned and milled parts in metal and plastic.
  • Gabriel Ene, a Romanian Shark Racing team driver, won the 2017 Romanian Hill Climb Championship 2-wheel drive crown, chalking up the most important title of his racing career. In 2015 and 2016, he was the champion in the H3 class in the event.
  • Vanina Ickx is a Belgian driver who has participated in the 24 Hours of Le Mans seven times, taking 7th place in 2011 in the world’s oldest active sports car endurance race. She is the daughter of racing driver Jacky Ickx, who won six times at Le Mans. The 42-year-old driver has class wins at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring in 2009 and 2010.

The Riders

Davey Durelle, the most decorated motorcycle competitor in PPIHC history with 17 class victories, a 2016 Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame induction, and the current Pikes Peak record in the Pikes Peak Lightweight Division (10:35.354), heads a classy field of riders.

Chris Fillmore broke the motorcycle class record and won the Pikes Peak Heavyweight Motorcycle class during the 95th running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last year as a rookie. His time for the record book was 9:49.625, with the former AMA Pro SuperBike rider, piloting a KTM 1290 Super Duke R to his monumental win. The previous Two- Wheel record was set by Carlin Dunne at 9:52.819 in 2012.

Codie Vahsholtz has three wins since his rookie debut in 2011 and set the record in the Pikes Peak Middleweight Division last summer with a blistering clocking of 10:34.967. He also set a record in the erstwhile Pikes Peak 250cc class (11:24.792) in 2013.

Greg Chicoine has five championships under his belt on the Peak in eight different divisions on Kawasaki motorcycles in 18 years, starting in 1998. He was runner up last year in the Pikes Peak Lightweight Division at 11:10.144.

Rookie Riders To Watch

  • Mick Donovan is an Irish veteran sidecar racing rider who has competed in the prestigious Isle of Mann TT five times, finishing 10th overall in 2013 for his personal best. He won the Irish championship in 2008.
  • Akinori Inoue is an accomplished Japanese endurance and road rider with top 25 finishes in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 in the All Japan Road Race Championship. He has competed in the FIM Endurance World Championship four times, with a 5th place title in the SST Class in 2016. The Endurance World Championship is the premier worldwide endurance motorcycle racing championship.
  • Leandro Fernandez Rad is Brazil’s reigning Super Sport 600cc Master Champion and a Yamaha speed motorcycle rider who is part of the country’s Top 10. Rad is the chief instructor at his Rad Racing School, a motorcycle riding school for riders in all styles and any age.
  • Cory West is a fourth-generation Arkansas road rider who began racing at age 4 and into his teenage years, then experiencing 15 years of professional road racing at national and international levels that took him to places such as Spain, England, and China. Cory has competed for two national championship-winning endurance teams, and garnered Superbike Rookie of the Year honors in 2004. He has earned 5 AMA Pro podiums, with a best championship result of 5th.

The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, described by one writer, “as close to heaven as a thrill-seeker’s ride can be,” is an invitational automobile and motorcycle hill climb staged every year on the last Sunday of June. Inaugurated in 1916 by Spencer Penrose, the founder of the Broadmoor Hotel, Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain and El Pomar Foundation, the classic race takes place on a 12.42 mile (19.99 km) public toll-road boasting 156 turns, while competitors climb 4,720 ft. (1,440 m.) from the 9,390 ft. (2,862 m.) Start Line at Mile 7 marker on the Pikes Peak Highway to the 14,115 ft. (4,300 m) Finish Line at the mountain’s picturesque summit.

2018 PPIHC FAN FEST, FRIDAY, JUNE 22

Held annually on the Friday before Race Day, Fan Fest presented by Budweiser and Toyo Tires is Colorado Springs’ largest and most popular street festival. More than 25,000 people gather in the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs to meet top PPIHC qualifiers, watch freestyle motocross jumpers perform in the middle of Tejon Street, taste and vote for the best chili from a Fire Fighter Chili Cook-off and experience much more during this 10-block street party. Named the Best Downtown Event by readers of The Gazette in its annual “Best of the Springs” awards,” Fan Fest is a can’t-miss experience.

For all 2018 race-related details, including ticket information, camping permits and Pikes Peak information, stay in touch at: www.ppihc.org.

 

Mike Moran mike@thesportscorp.org

Senior Media Consultant

1631 Mesa Avenue, Suite E

Colorado Springs, CO 80906

(719) 338-9161

PPIHC author

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