Events/CompetitionsPress Release

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: It’s Majestic Mountain


Survival of the Mountain is not only about the vehicle.  It’s not only about the perfect set of tires, the correct jetting, and the right set up.

Survival of the Mountain is not only about the driver.  It’s not only about the fastest driver, the most experienced, and the drivers ambition.

Survival of the Mountain is respecting the Mountain for its grace, beauty and difficulty at every turn.  Respecting Mother Nature changing the weather at any point during the day, and even within the 10+ minute run up into the sky.  Enjoying the scenery and the commodore that is built within the groups of racers.  Survival of the Mountain is knowing how to “Gas it until you see God, and then hit the brakes,” said a racer on KRDO Radio.

The 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb started on Tuesday and climaxed on Sunday June 26th at the formal start of the 89th running of the mountain.  Mother Nature delivered a perfect blue sky for the entire day, not a fluffy cloud to be seen, making heat and asphalt oil an item for crew chiefs to consider in tire pressures at the start line.  The Wind was blowing 30-40mph presenting an issue about half way up the mountain and beyond, pushing wings and slowing times.

The gates opened at 3am and the line of vehicles heading up the hill was already backed up for 2 miles.  The largest crowd of spectators in the history of Pikes Peak could be because it was the last year with about a 2 mile section of dirt or because of the strong possibility that Monster Tajima or Paul Dallenbach was going to break the 10 minute barrier and set a new record.  It was possible and everyone lined the street with their chairs, coolers and AM/FM radio ready for the action and the times.

The Exhibition class started the runs up the hill and one by one each driver got to accomplish a dream, even if it was a repeat dream.  A few of the drivers didn’t get to finish, being recovered by the Pikes Peak Safety staff that was on hand for emergencies.  In the interim of racing, the Radio announcers talked with some of the drivers.  “It’s frustrating waiting, and I think I drank too much water.  I have been re-thinking the turns all night long and I am ready,” said rookie Sam Berri.  Up at Devil’s Playground, Malcolm Smith told the crowds about son Alexander “is riding a Ducati today.  He crashed two weeks ago at 105 mph and went right through his leathers;  he is a little more careful this week, and is also battling a sore back.”

One of the big crashes of the day was Roger Lovell doing a 3.5 flip on the asphalt, while his brother Brad was sitting on the starting line ready to take the green flag next.  “We just heard that he is ok, but still thinking about him and just sitting here is increasing my nerves,” said Brad Lovell.  The Lovell brothers were two of the four Torchmate CNC Racing team members also including JT Taylor and Sam Berri.  The class of Rock Buggys were welcomed into the Pikes Peak Open class, where Raceline Wheels were the wheels of choice.

It was a family event for quite a few of the drivers including Randy Schranz who has a 37 year history on Pikes Peak that reaches back to being able to run as all dirt, and next year is prepared to run it as all asphalt.  This year he was driving a Propane Powered Cobra Kit Car breaking the class record and his son Layne Schranz was driving in the Super Stock Car Class in a Chevy Monte Carlo.

The cars kept zipping by.  The stories built within the cab of each vehicle.  Then came the story that everyone was following: the Go-Pro Suzuki SX4 driven by Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima.  With a record to be broken and a 10 minute barrier to be hit, Monster Tajima had a goal, and he wasn’t shy about using the throttle and the road to get what he wanted.  He passed the spectators in a split second one at a time and then the spectators turned their ear to the radio…would he make it?  The announcers tracked his progress to the top and at the finish line the level of excitement could be felt all the way down to the start line, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima had finished with a time of 9:51:61…he broke 10 minutes and set a new record on Pikes Peak!  He was out of breath as his broken English said “It was a tough race, we had overheating problems.  Thank you very much!” and he kept repeating “Thank you”  Monster’s record remained intact as Paul Dallenbach snapped a axle before making it to the official start line, and Rhys Millen lost brakes in the middle of the W’s loosing seconds on each turn.

As the cars finished it was only half way over, the Motorcycle and ATV class was up next.  With a slightly different format, they left the line 5 at a time and had to pass and negotiate each others movements in addition to climbing the hill.  They came by in fast packs and headed up the mountain. Side Car’s with Monkey’s hanging off the side, Quads screaming on the pipe, Vintage Triumphs, Supermoto bikes with street tires, to the top of the line 2011 Ducati Multistrada. Carlin Dunne, riding one of the Ducati Multistrada’s, was the fastest motorcycle on the mountain with a 11:11.  There was hopes of the motorcycle class breaking the 10 minute mark this year as well, but it seems that barrier will be waiting for another champion.

The day ended with what I am calling the Parade of Champions.  All of the competitors had to come down from the finish line and one by one filed through the crowds, winners holding their earned checkered flag, hands out the windows hi-fiving kids and adults alike, revving engines and wrapping up a spectacular day on the Mountain called Pikes Peak.

The majestic mountain is seen by Colorado Springs locals on a daily basis, but the Mountain is only attacked by high horsepower one week out of the year.  The history of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is vast covering 89 years.  So what will the 90th year bring?  A completely asphalted course?  More record breaking runs?  Additional classes that have been waiting for their opportunity?  Guess we will have to come back and see.

RACEDAY Sunday June 26, 2011

Torchmate at Pikes Peak You Tube Video: httpv://

JT Taylor In-Car Video: httpv://

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Album Early Morning:
Album 1:
Album 2:
Album 3:

Friday June 24, 2011
Motorcycles, ATV’s, Fan Fest, In-Car Footage

You Tube Video: 
  Motorcycles, ATV’s, Fan Fest, In-Car on Middle Section  httpv://

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Album 2:!/media/set/?set=a.214271665281601.58441.125714130804022
Fan Fest:!/media/set/?set=a.214275765281191.58442.125714130804022

Thursday June 23, 2011
Lower Section Practice

You Tube Video: 
  All Action on Middle Section:  httpv://
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Wednesday June 22, 2011
Upper and Mid Section Practice

You Tube Video: 

Day Recap: Both Car Practices: httpv://
A Drive Up Pikes Peak with Commentary.  4 Part Series
Part 1:  httpv://
Part 2:  httpv://
Part 3:  httpv://
Part 4:  httpv://

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Tuesday June 21, 2011

Tech, Rookies Meeting, Drivers Meeting

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JT Taylor on the Channel 11 News:

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Monday June 20, 2011

Working around the Barn

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Facebook Link:!/media/set/?set=a.212049908837110.58034.125714130804022

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