Pikes Peak S-10 electric truck racer

TO BUSINESS, AUTO AND SPORTS EDITORS: Chevrolet S-10 Electric Pickup Enters 'Race to the Clouds' COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Chevrolet's S-10 Electric Pickup will make its racing debut at one of the most...

TO BUSINESS, AUTO AND SPORTS EDITORS: Chevrolet S-10 Electric Pickup Enters 'Race to the Clouds' COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Chevrolet's S-10 Electric Pickup will make its racing debut at one of the most spectacular motorsports events in the world, the 75th Running of the famed Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on July 4. Three-time Baja 1000 winner (199l, '95, '96), Larry Ragland, will pilot the new S-10 Electric Pickup. His mission is to showcase the technology of this compact truck by putting the Chevrolet S-10 Electric Pickup on record as the first electric production truck to reach the top of Pikes Peak. "We plan to flex the muscle and reliability of this powerful Chevy S-10 by being the first to make it to the top of the 14,110 foot summit," said Ragland, 44, of Phoenix, Ariz. "And, I'm planning to be the driver to turn this first-time attempt into an historical feat for the S-10 Electric truck." The 1997 Electric truck looks like the familiar Chevy S-10 Pickup, but it is powered by a Delco Propulsion system 85kW AC Induction Motor and the Delco Valve Regulated Lead Acid battery pack. It features a propulsion battery thermal management system to keep the battery pack warm in cold climates and cool in hot climates. The 1,500-pound battery pack is located under the truck bed. The S-10 has two-wheel, front-wheel drive, and is capable of speeds up to 70 mph --- depending on variables such as temperature and terrain. A few minor modifications have been made to the S-10 Electric Pickup to make it race-ready for the Pikes Peak event. "We're using a nickel metal hydride battery pack with modules to further test the technology of the truck," said Russ O'Blenes, GM Motorsports. "And we've added a roll cage, racing seats, an auxiliary power cut-off, and after- market wheels and tires. Basically, it's still a stock production truck -- with the standard frame, body, door panels, interior, and so forth. It really looks sharp. It's red, white and blue with a 'stars and stripes' theme for the 4th of July race date." Also known as the "Race to the Clouds", the very first Pikes Peak Hill Climb actually took place in 1916 --- fifteen years after the first automobile, a twin-cylinder Locomobile, had reached the top of the mountain. After nine hours of driving and pushing their steam-powered car up a stagecoach trail to the top, two Denver men ultimately began a tradition of motor racing that has brought universal acclaim to Pikes Peak and the entire Rocky Mountain region. Over the years, the types of vehicles that race the Peak have changed, but the challenge of this high-altitude ascent continues to attract an international field of auto, truck and motorcycle competitors. The 75th Running marks the debut of the Chevrolet S-10 Electric Pickup in the motorsports arena, and a celebration of the return of the electric truck to the GM lineup. The last time General Motors (NYSE: GM) offered an electric truck was during a five-year span beginning in 1912. Known for their expert race vehicle preparation, team owners Randy and Stan Herzog of Herzog Motorsports are expecting the unexpected for the Electric truck's first attempt at Pikes Peak. "Hopefully, the weather will be good this year, but it's always a critical factor at this race," said Stan. "It can be hot and dry at the bottom of the hill, and snowing at the summit. In between, there can be fog, sleet, rain -- and it can change from day to day. We never know what Mother Nature will unleash. So, we'll try to plan for everything -- try to master all the conditions. And, Larry Ragland is an expert at dealing with the many elements of off-roading." Having collected 30 career victories and seven championship titles in the past 17 years, Ragland continues to carve a winning trail into the off-road racing record books. Along the path to his many SCORE and HDRA desert racing crowns, he has proven his competitive spirit time and again. "I'm looking forward to this new challenge," said Ragland. "The road to the top is a 156-turn, 12.42-mile groomed gravel course. We've only had a couple of test sessions so far, and have scheduled two practice runs at Pikes Peak prior to the race itself. On race day, there are no pace laps or warm-ups. All I can do is wait for the green flag to drop, and go." SOURCE Chevrolet Motor Division -0- 05/21/97 /CONTACT: Chevrolet/Geo Communications, 1-800-CHEVY-MI or 810-492-8841, fax, 810-492-8853, or Chevrolet Media Online: http://media.gm.com/chevy/ (GM)

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Series General
Drivers Larry Ragland