HILL CLIMB DRIVERS SAY PEAK LIVES UP TO ITS LEGEND IN '99 COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 11, 1999) -- Thousands of fans crowded the mountain that inspired the song "America the Beautiful" to watch more than 160 auto, truck, and motorcycle ...
HILL CLIMB DRIVERS SAY PEAK LIVES UP TO ITS LEGEND IN '99
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 11, 1999) -- Thousands of fans crowded the mountain that inspired the song "America the Beautiful" to watch more than 160 auto, truck, and motorcycle competitors from around the globe pit their skills against Mother Nature's during the 77th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb recently. The annual "Race to the Clouds" runs each July 4th on the Pikes Peak Highway near Colorado Springs.
Ironically, one of the most beautiful places on earth annually plays host to what racing legend Parnelli Jones says is "the most dangerous event I've ever raced."
Run on a narrow gravel road with no guard rails, the event starts at an elevation of 9,402 feet and culminates atop the formidable Peak at an altitude of 14,110 feet. An astounding 42 percent of the course is made up of corners; there are 156 left and right-hand turns. The course is known for its ever-changing weather conditions, from run to run and even from one section to another during the same run.
"It's 12 miles of intensity," noted 750 pro motorcycle competitor Randy Triplett of Lakeville, Minn. "It's one of those things where on the first day of practice you say 'Why am I here?' And it gets a little better and a little better each day. In the end, you just resolve to ride a smooth race. That's the most important thing."
Quad class champion Lonnie Eubanks echoed that sentiment.
"The limitations, the danger here is so much greater than anywhere else," said the 34-year-old Tulsa, Okla., native. "A win here would have to be the pinnacle."
Driving a high-tech Toyota Tacoma truck specifically built for the challenge, Rod Millen (Huntington Beach, Calif.) was once again the fastest man on the mountain, reaching speeds of 131 miles per hour en route to posting the event's top time of 10 minutes, 11.15 seconds in the Unlimited division. Millen had hoped to shatter the elusive 10-minute barrier, but slippery roads, gusting winds, and rain hampered his performance on race day.
"I don't think it was the rain so much as the gravel on the course. It's part of the challenge we've recognized since 1994," said the 47-year-old New Zealand native. "You practice on a clean road. You set the car up for a clean road. And you run on a real slippery road. But that's Pikes Peak."
Millen's son Rhys, the 1999 high performance showroom stock division champion and record holder, greeted his father with a hug at the finish line and exchanged congratulations.
"He's pretty disappointed. I know for years how much it's meant to him, and he's never gotten a break here," said the younger Millen. "He's pretty frustrated. You've got to be here every year to take advantage of what Mother Nature dishes you."
By and large, Mother Nature's tricks did not dampen competitors' enthusiasm, though. More than one rider arrived on the mountain's Summit exuberantly cheering and waving their fists in the air.
Surprisingly, 750 pro motorcycle champion Davey Durelle was not among their ranks. Though the four-time Hill Climb victor was again the fastest motorcyclist on the mountain, posting a time of 12 minutes and 52.12 seconds, Durelle was disappointed over having fallen in the course's infamous Gravel Pit section.
"I'm completely disappointed. It felt really good at first. I looked back and didn't see anyone. It would have been so nice to keep the run going because the track really felt fast to me," he said. "I sure wish I could have kept it on two wheels. I guess I've got to wait until next year."
Durelle's competitors, noting that he's the first rider in Hill Climb history to win four consecutive titles, saw things a little differently. "I think a Martian dropped Davey off another planet and left him here," joked Triplett. "He does amazing things with a motorcycle. When he wants to go fast, he goes fast."
South Dakotan Greg Chicoine, the 500 pro motorcycle class champion, also recounted some unnerving moments during his run up the venerable mountain.
"The top half of the course was so full of marbles. It was kind of scary," said Chicoine. "I about threw it away four or five times. I just hoped it [his motorcycle] quit skating before I went over the edge."
Super stock car champion Clint Vahsholtz noted that, "By the time I got onto the track, the road from the middle section on up had gone away. I just wasn't getting hooked up in all the corners."
Quad competitor Darrin Reutter posted the top qualifying time but ran off the Pikes Peak Highway and did not complete his race-day run.
"This bridesmaid stuff gets a little old after a while," he said wryly. "The thing I've learned over the years here is that this is the wrong place to push it. The mountain will sting you if you do, and that's what happened to me. Pikes Peak lives up to the legend it's created."
It's a legend that, year after year, keeps competitors coming back for more.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is held annually on July 4 in cooperation with the City of Colorado Springs and the U.S. Forest Service. The Race attracts an international field of auto, truck, and motorcycle competitors. Its 12.42-mile course on a groomed gravel highway to the 14,110 ft. summit of Pikes Peak is open to the public.
The event is presented by ADT Automotive. Other sponsors include Pennzoil, Pirelli Tire, Toyota Motor Sales USA, The Robert Bosch Corporation, Rex Tire of Colorado Springs, Ultra Wheel Co., Contract Freighters, Inc., Kenworth, and Barnett Tool. The Hill Climb is the principal fund raising event for the Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb Educational Museum.
Shows chronicling the auto, truck, and motorcycle competition from the '99 Race to the Clouds will air on ESPN2 in August. Specific schedules will be announced at a later date.
The entire 1999 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb media guide, news releases, and results are available online at www.ppihc.com. High-resolution photos are available for media use only at http://ppihc.com/1999/media/hi-res.
1999 PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB OFFICIAL RESULTS
Challenge of Champions 1 Roger Mears, 99 Toyota Celica, Bakersfield, Calif., 6:18.04. 2 Parnelli Jones, 99 Toyota Celica, Torrance, Calif., 6:31.02. 3 Ivan Stewart, 99 Toyota Celica, San Diego, Calif., 6:36.26.
Exhibition 1 Barry Sadler, Dodge/1998 3500 1 Ton, Colorado Springs, Colo., DNF.
Electric 1 Teruo Sugita, Honda/1997 EVR Plus, Japan, 15:19.91 (New course record).
Pro Truck 1 Gary Vosburg, Ford/1999 F150, Las Vegas, Nev., 14:12.16. 2 Brian Stewart, Dodge/1997 Pro Truck, Long Beach, Calif.., 15:14.64.
High Performance Showroom Stock 1 Rhys Millen, Nissan Skyline GTR, Huntington Beach, Calif., 12:13.47. (New course record) 2 David Donner, Suzuki, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12.16.07. 3 Jeff Zwart, Porsche/1998 Turbo-S, Woody Creek, Colo., 12:26.33. 4 James Adams III, Dodge/1998 Viper, Suffolk, Va., 13:11.50. 5 Andrew Kalman, BMW/1995 M3 Lightweight, San Francisco, Calif., 14:33.47. 6 Blake Fuller, Honda/Civic, Sarasota, Fla., 14:56.51. 7 Kenji Momota, Toyota/1993 Supra, Garland, Texas, 15:28.65.
Pikes Peak Open 1 Jean Pierre Richelmi, Lancia/Delta Integrale, Monaco, 11:48.26. 2 Masaki Ohashi, Mitsubishi/1998 Lancer EVO V, Japan, 11:52.07. 3 Andrew Bornhop, Hyundai/1996 Elantra, Orange, Calif., 12:39.62. 4 Shigeo "Sugar" Sugaya, Subaru/1998 Impreza SRX, Japan, 12:43.20. 5 Kahee Namikawa, Subaru/1995 GC8, Japan, DNF. Paul Choiniere, Hyundai/1999 Tiburon, Shelburne, Vt., DNF.
Sprint 1 Leonard Vahsholtz, 1997 Sprint, Woodland Park, Colo., 11:47.31. (New course record) 2 Butch Hardman, 1976 Champ, Golden, Colo., 12:34.31. 3 Ted Marcovich, Wells/1997 Coyote, Franktown, Colo., 13:07.53. 4 Randy Pearce, Hardman/1989 Upright Sprinter, Golden, Colo., 13.07.74. 5 Mike Burnell, Brazier Built/1992 Champ, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:18.24. 6 Jimmy Keeney, Kewe/1997 Sprint, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:21.46. 7 Vicki Keeney, Kewe/1990 Sprint, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:36.71. 8 Bruce Kristoff, Custom Coyote, Woodland Park, Colo., 14:03.64. 9 Robert Rybicki, 1998 Rhino Chaser, Yorkville, N.Y., 14:42.03. 10 Thelma Brazier, 1997 Coyote, Monument, Colo., 15:17.33. 11 David Regester, Wells/1999 Coyote, Woodland Park, Colo., DNF. Bruce Hayes, HHD Chassis/1999 Upright Sprinter, Aurora, Colo., DNF. Lori Brady, Ford/1999 SuperSprint, Peyton, Colo., DNF. Wade Renck, Ream/1998 Champ, Colorado Springs, Colo., DNF. Anthony Marcovich, Wells/1997 Coyote, Franktown, Colo. DNF. John Guynn, Ream/1996 Sprint, Colorado Springs, Colo., DNF. John Wells, Wells/1999 Coyote, Green Mountain Falls, Colo., DNF.
Super Stock Car 1 Clint Vahsholtz, Ford/1999 Mustang, Woodland Park, Colo., 11:49.06. 2 Gay Smith, Ford/1993 Mustang, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12:05.55. 3 Bobby Regester, Chevrolet/1999 Camaro, Florrisant, Colo., 12:22.71. 4 Lynn Cowan, Chevrolet/1992 Camaro, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12:24.31. 5 Bob Nankivell, Ford/1997 Mustang, Sedalia, Colo., 12:25.88. 6 Steve Goeglein, Chevrolet/1999 Camaro, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12:30.23. 7 Ralph (Chandler) Bruning, Jr., Chevrolet/1997 Camaro, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12:40.68. 8 Randy Schranz, Chevrolet/ 1994 Lumina, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12:48.23. 9 Michael Hathaway, Pontiac/1999 Grand Prix, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:34.14. 10 Steve Overholser, Chevrolet/1999 Camaro, Colorado Springs, Colo., DNF. Layne Schranz, Chevrolet/1999 Monte Carlo, Colorado Springs, Colo., DNF. Terry Wark, Chevrolet/1997 Camaro, Colorado Springs, Colo., DNF.
Super Stock Truck 1 Larry Ragland, Chevrolet/1998 S-10, Phoenix, Ariz., 11:24.36. (New course record) 2 Curt LeDuc, Dodge/1999 Ram, Cherry Valley, Calif., 12:02.85. 3 Tyler Casebier, Ford/1997 Ranger, Denver, Colo., 12:31.32. 4 Jerry Brady, Ford/1996 Bronco, Peyton, Colo., 12:32.20. 5 Chad DeVries, Ford/1997 Ranger, Wheatridge, Colo., 12:51.81. 6 Jim Olson, Chevrolet/1997 S-10, Denver, Colo., 13:04.78. 7 Jim Keeney, Chevrolet/1997, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:10.30. 8 Richard DeVries, Ford/1997 Ranger, Wheatridge, Colo., 13:17.34. 9 Dean Burling, Chevrolet/1997 S-10, Lincoln, Neb., 13:54.10. 10 David Schmidt, II, GMC/1993 Sonoma X-Cab, Colorado Springs, Colo., 14:25.90. 11 Russell O'Day, Chevrolet/1993 S-10, Colorado Springs, Colo., DNF.
Open Wheel 1 Stan Kossen, Wells/1984 Coyote, Parker, Colo., 11:34.45. 2 John Johnson, 1999 Greenwood/Hull, Reno, Nev., 11:40.40. 3 Barry Isaac, 1999 Lockwood Special, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12:40.11. 4 Keith Harper, Wells/1982 Coyote, Manitou Springs, Colo., DNF. Jimmy Olson, John Wells/Edgewater Jeep/1993 Coyote, Denver, Colo., DNF.
Unlimited 1 Rod Millen, Toyota/1999 Tacoma, Newport Beach, Calif., 10:11.15. 2 Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, Suzuki/1999 Grand Vitara V6, Japan, 10:37.35.
Semi Truck 1 Mike Ryan, Freightliner/1999 Century Class, Santa Ana, Calif., 15:03.84. 2 Glenn Brown, Kenworth/1999 T-2000, Joplin, Mo., 15:14.29.
250 Pro Motorcycle 1 Greg Tracy, 99 Yamaha, Long Beach, Calif., 13:17.26. 2 Chuck Lee, 93 Honda, Ridgeway, Colo., 13:20.09. 3 Russell Pearson, 98 KTM, Las Vegas, Nev., 13:21.55. 4 Scot Lee, 92 Yamaha, 13:44.87. 5 Don Bruner, 94 Yamaha, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:45.68. 6 Paul Zinke, 95 Kawasaki, Woodland Park, Colo., 13:52.85. 7 Richard Opperman, 96 Honda, Allenspark, Colo., 14:20.21. 8 Ray Rossi, 94 Yamaha, Englewood, Colo., 14:42.59. 9 Kevin Magner, 99 Honda, Denver, Colo., 14:55.60. 10 Jimi Heyder, 89 Suzuki, East Randolph, Vt., 15:12.20. 11 James Buchner, 73 Honda, Overland Park, Kan., DNF.
500 Pro Motorcycle 1 Greg Chicoine, 99 Kawasaki, Jefferson, S.D., 13:11.45. 2 Robert Conway, 98 Husaberg, Superior, Colo., 13:44.04. 3 Trent Johnson, 96 Honda, Colorado Springs,Colo., 13:51.27. 4 Mark Erickson, 95 Kawasaki, Nederland, Colo., 13:55.27. 5 David Begotka, 99 Kawasaki, Two Rivers, Wis., 14:05.17. 6 Tracy Smith, 90 Honda, Salida, Colo., 14:16.04. 7 Mark Woodward, 96 Kawasaki, Denver, Colo., 14:16.18. 8 Donald Rhodes, 96 Honda, Colorado Springs, Colo., 14:18.39. 9 John Scollon, 83 Honda, Kittridge, Colo., 14:21.60. 10 Larry Kleinschmidt, 95 Kawasaki, Laguna Niguel, Calif., 14:35.95. 11 Doug Chestnutt, Yamaha, Littleton, Colo., 14:42.55. 12 Daniel Harmon, 95 Kawasaki, Florissant, Colo., 15:06.71. 13 John Raecker, 99 Kawasaki, Littleton, Colo., 15:17.11. 14 George Tachick, 97 Honda, Sandia Park, N.M., 15:23.86. 15 Wade Summers, 74 Husqvarna, Louisville, Ky., 15:25.46. 16 Robin Russell, 76 Yamaha, Superior, Colo., 15:37.58. 17 Daniel Dobson, 80 Yamaha, Amarillo, Texas, 16:08.51. 18 Dennis Peterson, 80 Yamaha, Julesburg, Colo., 17:39.15. 19 Robert Gerberich, 72 Honda, Wadsworth, Ohio, 17:46.94. 20 Shuji Miki, 97 Honda, Japan, DNF.
750 Pro Motorcycle 1 Davey Durelle, 86 Wood-Rotax, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12:52.12. 2 Brian Anderson, 92 Wood-Rotax, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:06.20. 3 Randy Triplett, 97 Wood-Rotax, Lakeville, Minn., 13:13.85. 4 Scott Dunlavey, 99 Honda, Lafayette, Calif., 13:14.33. 5 Rick Gunby, 89 Harley Davidson, Canada, 13:22.23. 6 Robert Faust, 98 Husaberg, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:38.03. 7 Greg Dreyer, 97 Honda, Laguna Niguel, Calif., 14:13.31. 8 Kenny Boyd, 98 ATK, Eustis, Fla., 14:19.42. 9 Scott Nelson, 99 Honda, Fort Collins, Colo., 14:27.13. 10 Brian Scollon, 96 Honda, Sioux Falls, S.D., 14:37.94. 11 David Head, 81 Wood-Rotax, Canada, 14:50.39. 12 Tom Specht, 83 Honda, 15:17.77. 13 Albert Butterfield, 97 ATK, Roswell, N.M., 15:18.55. 14 Brent King, 80 Honda, Playa Del Rey, Calif., 15:30.91. 15 Rick Hill, 91 Honda, St. Louis, Mo., 16:06.05.
Quad Motorcycle 1 Lonnie Eubanks, 96 Yamaha, Tulsa, Okla., 12:42.19. 2 Ray Storm, 88 Suzuki, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12:49.38. 3 Kevin Gigot, 87 Yamaha, Garden City, Kan., 12:50.87. 4 Ryan Detrick, 97 Yamaha, Tonganoxie, Kan., 12:51.69. 5 Jay Sokol, 94 Yamaha, Colorado Springs, Colo., 12:51.89. 6 Matt Lee, 92 Yamaha, Tulsa, Okla., 12:56.12. 7 Jim Goertz, 87 Suzuki, Canada, 12:59.07. 8 Jim Taylor, 87 Yamaha, Tempe, Ariz., 13:00.40. 9 Bobby Parr, 99 LSR, Fort Collins, Colo., 13:02.21. 10 Rick Ambrosino, 96 Yamaha, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:32.19. 11 Tim Culver, 88 Honda, Richland Center, Wis., 13:32.75. 12 Art Bedore, 87 Yamaha, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:35.65. 13 Dan Strickland, 93 Yamaha, Colorado Springs, Colo., 13:35.95. 14 Theodore Bernhard, 88 Suzuki, San Rafael, Calif., 13:36.24. 15 James Patterson, 96 Yamaha, Denver, Colo., 13:38.22. 16 Paul Gray, 91 Yamaha, Longmont, Colo., 13:49.81. 17 Bill Lanphier, 99 Yamaha, Los Angeles, Calif., 13:58.86. 18 Randall Marshall, 93 Yamaha, Colorado Springs, Colo., 14:21.05. 19 Jeff Hoffman, 98 Yamaha, Lakeville, Minn., DNF. Ed Marcelli, 97 Yamaha, Tucson, Ariz., DNF. Darin Reutter, 99 Yamaha, Brush Prairie, Wash., DNF. Travis Spader, 99 Yamaha, Brick, N.J., DNF.
Sidecar Motorcycle 1 Pete Whitney (driver), Simi Valley, Calif., and Scott Whitney (passenger), Redondo Beach, Calif.; 94 Harley-Davidson, 13:59.66 (New course record). 2 David Krohn (driver), Van Nuys, Calif., and Gary Cass (passenger), North Hollywood, Calif.; 82 EML Honda, 14:44.46. 3 Damon Doherty (driver), Green Valley, Calif., and Jim Brownlee (passenger), Tujunga, Calif.; 90 BMW, 17:23.93. 4 Bob Bakker (driver), Wrightwood, Calif., and Mike Taylor (passenger), Carpenteria, Calif.; 76 Kawasaki, 17:47.33.
Vintage Motorcycle 1 Craig Raygor, 74 Yamaha, Colorado Springs, Colo., 14:43.21. 2 Marty Lewis, 63 Triumph, Orinda, Calif., 15:21.14. 3 Jim Heisner, 73 Triumph, Sweet Springs, Mo., 16:57.71. 4 David Uden, 68 Triumph, Omaha, Neb., 17:55.67. 5 Joe Blackwell, 70 Yamaha, Duluth, Minn., 18:15.66. 6 Eddie Mulder, 69 Triumph, Agua Dulce, Calif., DNF. Michael Pearlman, 69 Triumph, Los Angeles, Calif., DNF.