RENO, NV JULY 5, 2011 The Torchmate team members of JT Taylor, Brad Lovell and Roger Lovell took on the highly anticipated 89thPikes Peak International Hill Climb Sunday June 26th after a full week of practice. All competing in the Pikes Peak Open Class, Brad Lovell took 2nd in his Nissan AMSOil Truck, JT Taylor finished 4th in the Torchmate TTB Car, guest driver Sam Berri finished 6th in the Tube Shark/Torchmate car, and Roger Lovell had an unfortunate accident that he walked away from in his AMSOil Torchmate Ultra4 car.
The long week consisted of 3 mandatory practice mornings from 5am to 10am giving drivers plenty of opportunity to learn the mountain, topped with Fan Fest in Downtown Colorado Springs on Friday night and then the running of the race on Sunday. This will be the last year of dirt on Pikes Peak making it an even more historic event. In the initial drivers meeting Race Director Phil Layton said, “The road is what it is, we get what it is, and understand the mystique of the mountain. There isn’t one of you out here that doesn’t understand the spirit of that mountain, and what it is that draws us back…because it really does.”
JT Taylor was the returning Exhibition Class Champion at Pikes Peak and a Pioneer for the Rock Racing Class. This was the first hill climb for the Torchmate TTB car and it showed that it wanted to compete. “Pikes Peak’s history makes this one of my favorite races of all time,” said JT Taylor who had Matt Magliacano as his co-driver. “The Torchmate team had a great day on the mountain, we qualified second in class so we took off second to last. Matt was calling out the corners perfectly, and we were making it up the mountain, but the set up on the car was just not where it needed to be to win. We ended up fourth in class with a time of 13:26.”
Brad Lovell’s Nissan AMSOil Torchmate Truck screamed up the mountain. With a finishing time of 12:33, he took second in the Pikes Peak Open Class. “We had a pretty clean run, the truck felt really good in the gravel and we didn’t have any close calls,” said Brad Lovell. “Being my 2nd year running Pikes Peak, we made some changes to the truck including running alcohol and BFGoodrich Drag Radials. I have also had more time to learn how the truck drives and it has all paid off shaving about 45 seconds off last years time.”
Sam Berri, a recognized desert racer, got a call from JT Taylor to drive his Torchmate / Tube Shark car as an extension of the Goodyear Tire team. Berri immediately picked up on the style of racing, asphalt, 4 wheel drive, and having a co-driver in the seat next to him. As the practice days came to a conclusion, Sam Berri was a threat in the class and finished 6th in class with a 13:48. “The race was awesome, I had a fantastic time,” said Sam Berri. “We tested, tested, tested and got the Goodyear Tires dialed in and air pressures figured out. I beat JT’s time from last year, so that tells me I got a little used to it!”
Roger Lovell didn’t have a finish time, but he did walk away from a 3 ½ barrel roll in the lower asphalt section on race day. “Racing the Peak is on my bucket list of things to do in life. Every morning I get up and look at that mountain; it’s time for me to take on the challenge,” said Roger Lovell before the race. On race day, “I left the start line and thing were great. I went into a right hand sweeper, and the truck started to drift a little bit, the driver side rear tire caught the shot creek as it was dropping off over the side, which sent the car rolling 3 ½ times. I took the hardest hit of my life, and pretty much finished the truck off.” What he followed his interview up with was, “The most important thing that comes out of all of this is there is a reason for all the safety gear and a reason for all the rules. I totaled the truck, but you know what, I walked away from it because of all the safety gear.”
Torchmate Racing had a booth at Fan Fest on Friday night displaying the new a 2×2 Torchmate CNC Cutting machine and graphics for the TTB car. Torchmate Racing also built custom trophies for the Ultra4 sub-division of the Open Pikes Peak Class
Torchmate at Pikes Peak You Tube Video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
JT Taylor In-Car Video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
Tuesday You Tube Video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
Wednesday You Tube Video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
Thursday You Tube Video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
Friday You Tube Video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
RACE DAY You Tube Video: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
A Drive Up Pikes Peak with Commentary. 4 Part Series
Part 1: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
Part 2: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
Part 3: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
Part 4: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?
Torchmate Racing Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/
Torchmate CNC Cutting Machines can be purchased and more information can be found at www.Torchmate.com.
Photo Credit: Michael Hill Photo
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: http://www.usacracing.com/