88th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Set To Rumble And Roar On
Elusive 10-Minute Mark Still The Object of Desire In The 88th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb On Sunday Morning In Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, June 21---------The 88th edition of the venerable Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday morning will put the elusive 10-second barrier under intense pressure again.
The thousands of fans who will view the nation's second oldest motor sports race along its 12.42 mile course will be paying a lot of attention to the Unlimited division, where four-time champion Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima will be looking over his broad shoulders at veterans Rhys Millen and Paul Dallenbach, both entering this discipline for the first time after years of success in other classes.
Millen wants to bring the record on the Hill back to the family as he attacks Pikes Peak in a new, never-before-seen race car, the 2010 RMR Hyundai Genesis PM580.
His father, the legendary Rod Millen, once owned the overall mark of 10:04.06 (1994) until Tajima broke it in 2007 with his clocking of 10:01.41.
"The main focus now is to be the fastest car up the hill, slay the Monster and get the record back in the family name, the Millen name," he said during recent practice runs.
The younger Millen, a 17-year veteran on the Hill, set a world record last year in winning the Time Attack 2WD division in his Hyundai Genesis Coupe. The Red Bull driver set the new mark of 12:09.397, beating his own personal best by 22 seconds, coming home 1:23 ahead of the next fastest car in his division.
Tajima wants to crack the 10-minute mark as much as anything in his storied career, and the Japanese driver is bringing his own new auto, the Monster Sport SX4 Hill Climb Special. Based upon a Low drag and High down force concept developed for the 2009 event and following exhaustive tests in a Japanese wind tunnel facility, the 2010 race car has undergone extensive aerodynamic changes to adapt better to the further modified road surface which now consists of more smooth tarmac and less gravel than 2009.
Dallenbach is a six-time Open Wheel winner and is taking his own shot in the Unlimiteds on Sunday with his own dream of cracking the mark behind the wheel of his 98 Open Wheel Rally Style Car, a traditional Pikes Peak vehicle.
The race is run on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America's Mountain. As the drivers climb toward the summit, the thin air slows reflexes and saps muscle strength.
The Race To The Clouds is loaded with other tense battles in both the auto and motorcycle classes, as 168 drivers and racers, including 14 returning champions, take test runs this week in 90 degree weather. Sunday's high temperature at the 14,110-foot summit of the mountain is expected to reach 48 degrees.
Ducati North America will go all out with a formidable motorcycle entry, bringing two brand-new Multistrada 1200's to Colorado Springs.
Team Spider Grips Ducati will field a two bike team with riders Greg Tracy and Alexander Smith, no strangers to riding Ducatis up the mountain, with both having raced the Hypermotard in 2008. The racers are enthusiastic about the Multistrada, planning to put its traction control, ride by wire throttle and other electronic revelations to good use.
Tracy (Long Beach, CA) is a five-time Pikes Peak Champion and won the 1205 CC Class last year. Smith (Mission Viejo, CA) is the son of legendary racer Malcolm Smith, a three-time winner of the Baja 1000 who is entered in the Motorcycle 750 division on Sunday himself.
Savannah Rickli, a 16-year-old Littleton, Colorado, high school student with a love for racing will be a rookie and the youngest female driver in the event's storied history.
The Dakota Ridge High junior will pilot her 2003 Mini Cooper S with co-driver Rebecca Greek, in the otherwise all-male Time Attack 2-Wheel Drive division.
The popular Fan Fest, presented by Budweiser, which attracted almost 35,000 fans to downtown Colorado Springs to meet the drivers and racers, see their cars, trucks and motorcycles, and enjoy music, food and special events, is set for Friday, June 25, from 5:00-10:00.
Fans wanting to be on the Hill on June 27 to see the 2010 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb can purchase tickets this week with several attractive options.
A Family 4-Pack is available for four at a price of $125.00 and advance General Admission tickets are priced at $40.00.
Race tickets are now available for purchase through the PPIHC web site (www.ppihc.com) as well as by telephone.
General Admission - $40 (Race Day $45)
VIP - $80 (start line area only); includes: breakfast, lunch and
*pre-purchase only, not available on race day
Family 4-Pack - $125 (4 general admission tickets; reg. price $160)
*pre-purchase only, not available on race day
By Phone: Tickets are available at: (Toll Free) 866-464-2626 or Colorado Springs TicketsWest office: 719-576-2626