Born to be wild, PPIHC motorcycle/quad competitors will deliver thrilling trips in the 79th Race to the Clouds
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ^O The competition in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb motorcycle, quad and sidecar divisions will be extremely interesting as champions from last year attempt to defend their titles. It won't be easy when the riders aim for the sky in the 79th Race to the Clouds on June 30th.
In the 750 Pro Class, Brian Anderson of Woodland Park, Colo., will attempt to remain king. However, his friend and rival Davey Durelle is back after breaking his leg the night before the 2000 race.
Durelle is a four-time champion and current record holder, who knows the mountain as well as anyone. Anderson has three victories and is the former motorcycle overall record holder.
In the 500 Pro Class, Greg Chicoine of Jefferson, S.D., has won three consecutive Hill Climb titles and is back to try for a fourth. Chicoine holds the 500 Pro record, a 13:11.45 set in 1999. Trent Johnson of Denver, placed third in 2000 and hopes to improve that finish this year.
In the 250 Pro Class, the race will sadly miss Don Bruner, the 2000 hill climb champion and record holder (12:52.94, 2000), who passed away Sept. 10, 2000, following a wreck in a motorcycle road race. In memory of Bruner, special No. 25 stickers will be printed for all the riders to display on their machines. Plans call for a special traveling trophy to be presented in Bruner's memory to the winner of the 250 Pro Class.
Greg Tracy of Orange, Calif., finished second in the 250 division and is back to shoot for his second championship in three years.
In Pro Quad, defending champion Bobby Parr of Mt. Pleasant, Texas, returns to dice with Ray Storm of Colorado Springs. Parr set the quad record with a run of 12:37.86 in 2000. Storm will be the sentimental favorite among locals.
The Sidecar division will be most interesting. The Whitney brothers, Pete and Scott (passenger,) won in 1998 and '99. But they failed to finish in 2000, making way for the record run by Swedish sensations Anders Nilsson and Tom Grindberg (passenger) who clocked in at 13:53.38.
In the Vintage Motorcycle class, Eddie Mulder of Augua Dulce, Calif., is back to defend his title. Mulder won in 1998. Scott Dunlavey of Lafayette, Calif., brings a new 750 Triumph to Pikes Peak to challenge Mulder. Dunlavey holds the Vintage record of 13:39.29 set in 1997.
Notes: Ed Kretz Jr., the legendary Indian motorcycle racer will serve as the Grand Marshall for the motorcycle racing on Pikes Peak. He will be at motorcycle tech inspection, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at Giuseppe's Depot Restaurant (behind the Antler's Adam's Mark Hotel) in Colorado Springs, where he will sign autographs. There will be an original factory Indian race bike at tech inspection. ANA Racing and Apex Sports have thrown their support into the motorcycle, quad and sidecar qualification race. ANA Racing is supplying trophies for the fast times in all six divisions. APEX will provide a $100 cash award for the qualifying winners. Motorcycles, quads and sidecars begin practice on June 28th. They will practice and qualify June 29th.