Pikes Peak Friday qualifying

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Motorcycle, quad and sidecar drivers shattered four records Friday during qualification for the 79th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Paul Zinke was the fastest driver in the 250 Pro division. He shattered Don ...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Motorcycle, quad and sidecar drivers shattered four records Friday during qualification for the 79th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Paul Zinke was the fastest driver in the 250 Pro division. He shattered Don Bruner's 1999 record of 5:49.00 by almost 14 seconds with a time of 5:35.51. He drives a 1995 Kawasaki KX 250. Gary Trachy and Chuck Lee also broke the record. Trachy ran a time of 5:43.34 in his 2001 Honda CR 250. Lee got a time of 5:48.78 with his 2000 Honda CR 250.

The competition was much tighter in the 500 Pro division as there was almost no space between drivers Greg Chicoine and Greg Tracy. Both men blew past Chicoine's 1999 record of 5:50.47. Chicoine ran 5:30.26 with his 1999 Kawasaki KX 500 SPPR, and Tracy ran 5:30.61 with his 2001 Honda CR 500. Because of his qualification and practice times, Chicoine said he hopes he can win the division Saturday.

"The motorcycle's capable, and I'm capable," he said before qualification. "More guys are able to win, but they have to catch me first."

Swedish rookie Anders Jansson grabbed some attention when his qualifying time beat Chicoine's record by .03 seconds. His time was 5:50.43 in his 1997 Honda CR 500.

Jansson said this course stresses him out. "(They're) crazy to put that race track on that mountain," he said. "I don't sleep, don't have time to look at the view."

However, he is thinking about returning next year if he can get enough sponsors. "It's very tough to be in Sweden and get the sponsors," he said.

Two other Swedes broke a record as well.

The sidecar team of Anders Nilsson (driver) and Tom Grindberg (passenger), last year's Sidecar division champions, beat their own record of 6:02.55, set in 2000, by almost six seconds. Their 1992 Suzuki Sidecar covered the qualification course in 5:56.34.

Right behind them were the 1999 champions, the Whitney Brothers. Pete (driver) and Scott (passenger) also broke the record. They ran their 2000 Suzuki TL 1000R up the course in 6:00.46.

The Pro Quad qualification record no longer stands, either. Four drivers passed the 1999 record of 5:24.58 set by Darin Reutter.

Bobby Parr, last year's winner, broke the record by 18 seconds with his 2001 LSR Lightweight. His run was 5:16.52.

Parr said he was concerned about the safety of the other drivers during the race Saturday.

"I hope no one takes for granted how sticky the bottom is," he said. Sometimes, the road below Glen Cove will be totally different than the road above reaching to the summit.

John Stallworth, driver of a 2000 Yamaha Banshee, broke the record with a time of 5:21.46. Ryan Detrick beat the record with a time of 5:23.54. Darin Reutter barely passed it in his 2001 Yamaha Banshee with a time of 5:24.15.

Not everyone had such a good day, though.

No one broke a record in the 750 Pro division. Current record holder Davey Durelle missed the mark by about four seconds. He placed first in qualifying with a time of 5:29.20 in his 1986 Woods Rotax. His record, set in 1999, is 5:25.18.

Durelle didn't race last year because of an accident the night before the race. He was going up the mountain with his friend to get one last look at the course. He said that downhill traffic was bumper to bumper. A pick-up truck driver got impatient and sped down the road in the wrong lane. Before Durelle knew it, the truck was coming right at him. He was hit head on and broke his femur.

He said he's returning this year with hopes of winning and setting a new race record for his division.

Brian Anderson, the 2000 750 Pro division champion, was 10 seconds behind Durelle with a time of 5:39.78.

Even though he was 10 seconds behind, he said his run was good.

"I felt like I was going fast, and I was definitely stretching my eyelids," he said.

Anderson drives a 1992 Woods Rotax.

The record stands in the Vintage motorcycle division as well. Eddie Mulder missed his 1999 record of 5:52.79 by about a second. His 1969 Triumph Bonneville took him to a time of 5:53.42.

A driver was also injured on the course during qualification.

Jimi Heyder, a 250 Pro driver, wrecked his 1989 Heyder/Suzuki HRM 250 on Engineer's corner. According to safety officials, he fell off his motorcycle into the ditch.

The race safety team immediately responded, and he was taken to Memorial Hospital for treatment. He suffers from a dislocated left hip.

-PPIHC

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Hillclimb
Drivers Eddie M , Gary Trachy , Greg Tracy