Dallenbach Returns to Pikes Peak for One Last Race to the Clouds
Colorado Springs, CO (July 14, 2009) - Paul Dallenbach, 3-time Overall Champion and 5-time Division Winner, will return to Pikes Peak this week for one last run in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Since 1989, Dallenbach has participated in the race an astounding 14 times and is considered one of the most popular racers.
Racing in the Open Wheel Division, Dallenbach hopes to break the ten-minute barrier - a feat that has been attempted by many over the past couple years. Dallenbach's Number 98, open wheel car, owned by Leonard Arnold of Lyons, Colorado, is attempting to qualify and ultimately win the overall as the the fastest two-wheel drive vehicle in the pack, featuring a 850hp engine and weighing 1750 lbs. "The car is in top mechanical shape for the race thanks to Leonard and the Kidwell Family and we are going for the big win," says Dallenbach.
A major change in this year's set up, leading Paul to believe he will accomplish his goal to break 10 minutes, are new tires. "We went with Kuhmo Tires this year because they are lighter and are a better pattern for the pavement part of the road," a confident Dallenbach said, "they should give us the speed we need to get up the hill in under ten."
Factors such as altitude, weather, road conditions (paved and gravel), challenge even the most seasoned pros each year at the Hill Climb event. This year, nearly 200 competitors, including 12 defending champions, will make the daring trip uphill while thousands of spectators watch from the favorite perches within the trees of the Pikes Peak National Forest.
About the PPIHC: The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, also called the Race to the Clouds, scheduled for Sunday July 19, 2009, is the second oldest motor sports race in America (second only to the Indianapolis 500) and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs. First competed in 1916, this year marks the 87th running of the "Race to the Clouds."
The race is run on a 12.42 mile course with 156 hairpin turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America's Mountain, Pikes Peak. As the drivers climb toward the summit, the thin air has been known to slow reflexes and diminish muscle strength. The thin air also robs engines of 40% of their power at the summit. Competitors and vehicles must be in top shape simply to finish.
This year the race has 11 classes and features a variety of automotive, semi truck, exhibition, open wheel, super stock car, pro truck and motorcycle classes with a field of nearly 200 competitors.
Practice and qualifying takes place Wednesday through Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 am on Pikes Peak. The current record is 10:01.41 and was set by Nobuhiro Tajima in 2007.