More Defending Champs Set For 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Record-Setting David And Allison Kern Will Be Back On The Peak To Defend Time Attack 4WD Crown, July 19

Colorado Springs, February 20, 2009----Last summer's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb weather was hot, dry, and windy and it caused headaches for a chunk of the competitors who battled the 14,100-foot Peak's challenges.

Not so for David Kern and co-driver Allison Kern of Centennial, Colorado, who rocketed their way to the finish line in a record 11:48.434 to run away with the Time Attack 4WD crown in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. That broke the old mark (12:49.064 by Nathan Conley, 2007) by more than one minute and beat their closest competitor by nearly forty seconds.

Their record setting run was also 5th fastest over all making their Mitsubishi EVO IX the fastest full-framed car to make it to the top.

The husband and wife team will be back on July 19 to defend their crown during the 87th running of America's second oldest motor sports race, indicating they will return with a faster version of their Evolution.

The other defending champions to register this week are Motorcycle Sidecar winners Allen and Bryan Wenzel of San Ramon, California.

The pair won the 2008 event on their 1982 Wasp Yamaha after two consecutive runnerup finishes, and were the 2004 and 2005 AMA National Sidecar Motocross Series Champions in a sensational career. Allen was tabbed as the PPIHC 2006 Sidecar Rookie of the Year.

The Wenzels ride right-handed sidecars, with Allen driving, meaning the monkey (Bryan) (also known as passenger) stands on a wheeled platform attached to right side of the motorcycle.

Because the platform itself acts as a counterbalance to the motorcycle, a sidecar driver doesn't need a monkey to travel straight or make a left-hand turn.

But without the monkey, and highly synchronized movements between monkey and driver, a right-hand turn could send the sidecar hurtling over the edge.

"Not everybody is a sidecar guy," says Bryan.

The "Race To The Clouds" is America's second-oldest motor sports race behind the Indianapolis 600, and has been staged since 1916. The race is run on a 12.42 mile course that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America's Mountain; Pikes Peak summit.

This year's 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 approaching 200 competitors.

The event's popular "Fan Fest," which will attract some 35,000 fans and participants, is set for the evening of Friday, July 17, in downtown Colorado Springs. The crowds will be able to see some of the autos, trucks and motorcycles up close, meet the drivers, and enjoy music, food and entertainment.

The event is part of a 2009 "Summer of Sports Sizzle" in Colorado Springs, which will also host the State Games of America (July 30-August 2), with some 10,000 amateur athletes from 47 states coming to the city to compete in 29 sports.

TCI® Tire Centers, LLC and Hankook Tire America have been selected as title sponsors of the 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

It's the third consecutive year that the companies have teamed up to be the major sponsor of the famed event.