24 July 2009

2009 PPIHC: Photos from the Manitou Springs Vintage Car Show

The Vintage Car Show on Saturday in Manitou Springs.

The wild and crazy Marian, stylish and authentic driving her '65 Austin Healey.

Our new Scottish friends.

Our Scottish friend, young Mr. Glen.

Love the Triumphs.

Posing with the Triumph cats.

Kellie signs the car.

Mustangs and Clydesdales in the parade.

The Silver Saddle, our Manitou Springs home for the week, with a view of Garden of the Gods.

Paul Dallenbach, a friend of Doug's, loaned us his siping tool. Paul is a well known stunt and precision driver who finished 1st in Open Wheel Class at 10:52:097 and 2nd overall to the "Monster" Tajima at 10:15:368.

Siping the "plaid" tires.

Sistie, Doug and Kellie the evening before the race.

Father and daughter.

20 July 2009

2009 PPIHC: The Colorado Springs Gazette Point of View on Spectators on the Race Course

From the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Hill Climb competitors keep eye out for spectators after Tour de France death
July 19, 2009 - 8:55 PM by JUAN LOPEZ

In the wake of Saturday’s accident in the Tour de France, in which a 61-year-old woman was hit and killed by a police motorcycle, awareness for spectators pervaded the 87th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

“Some of the fans were very close to us, and I did have that (incident) in mind,” said Marcus Grönholm, who finished second in the unlimited division. “It made me slow down.”

Although the drivers were more cautious for the most part, some fans didn’t follow suit.

“There were people walking across the road and crossing the road just as I was driving by,” said Melissa Keeney, who finished third in the time attack 2wd division.
Her husband, Jimmy Keeney, wasn’t so vigilant.

“I don’t slow down for them,” said Keeney, who finished second in the open wheel division. “It’s not their race to win, it’s mine. If I clip one, it’s their deal, not mine. I obviously don’t want to hurt anybody, but if there’s somebody in the road, I’m not going to slow down.”

Race director Phil Layton said there is not much else he and his crew can do about the fan interference.

“We send out messages through radio about spectator safety,” he said. “I’ll send the sheriff’s department up the hill, and we’ve got sheriffs all over the hill. They have public address things on their car, warning people to stay back. Short of handcuffing people to trees, I don’t know what the answer is.”

2009 PPIHC: Crash! Good News - Bad News - Good News

After a very long day spectating at the Devil's Playground at 12,700 feet, Sistie finally gets to see for herself that Doug is okay. We had very little cell service and had to trust what we heard on the radio once we heard #358 had gone off into the woods.

Good News: Our driver, Doug Allen, #358, is okay.

Bad News: Around mile 2 of the race there were 2 people standing in the road right on Doug's line. He was going around 80 mph and had to decide to hit and likely kill them, or go off the road and risk his own life. Doug chose to go off the road and landed about 15 feet down a very steep embankment, crashing into aspen trees and cracking up the Mustang. Doug said around 15 people were there right away to assist him. I wasn't there but can tell you without a doubt in my mind that the 2 people that caused him to crash were NOT there to see if he was okay.

Less than a minute earlier another spectator had run across the road in front of Doug. He did not need to alter his course that time but was still amazed at their behavior.

Chip Johns, #385, in the 1964 Ford Rally Sprint lost his clutch and dropped out of the race at Devil's Playground. As we were pushing him off the road Chip was very upset about the mechanical failure but seemed to me to be even more upset that a woman ran across the road in front of them during the race.

Good News: Our driver, Doug Allen, #358, is okay.

I'm not really sure where to put the fact that those people that caused the crash are fine - in the good news or the bad news column. Yes, I know it is a good thing that no one got hurt and we are all grateful. But if you ask me to choose between Doug's life and the lives of the spectators crossing the road - I choose Doug.

17 July 2009

2009 PPIHC: Practice Day 3

Morning comes early when you get up at 2:30 a.m. to get halfway up Pikes Peak with truck and race car to race. Because the Pikes Peak Highway is a public road, on practice days racers must be on the hill very early and off around 8:30 a.m. so the road can again open to the public.

Today, Practice Day 3 we raced the middle section of the course. Doug made several runs and sat out one since he felt comfortable with the course. It was exciting to watch the Super Stock Cars rip up the mountain at amazing speeds.

For a great photo roster of the vintage racers, please check out Gary Faules' blog.

Local legend, Bob Hill.

John Kollars, our crew member extraordinaire!

Our piloto famoso, Doug Allen, from Aspen, CO.

Doug with race face on practice day 3.

Doug Mockett lining up for practice on the middle section behind Doug Allen.

One of our sponsors, Currie Enterprises.

Beautiful sunrise on the mountain.

Dean Smith's new 1952 Desoto.

The electric race car!

2009 PPIHC: Practice Day 2

Correction to yesterday's post: Evidently the Subaru that rolled was driven by a crew member who was drifting on the way down; it wasn't rolled by the driver, Brian Moody as earlier reported.

Practice Day 2 went smoothly for our crew. Made a tire change to make us faster on the pavement and sacrifice a bit on the dirt. Although the paving project continues and eventually the entire road up Pikes Peak will be paved, there is still about 6 miles of pavement and 6 of dirt.
Day 2 had us racing the lowest section of the route, and one of the two semis had a rough start and smashed into a tree not too far from the start line. This was the same semi that had an offroad mishap on Day 1 so we are hoping he can get straightened out in time to race on Sunday.

Chip Johns bumped into a curb and bent his front wheel and suspension but should be back racing tomorrow.

Doug and the Gypsy Wind are both running well and smiling - who could ask for a better day.

Dean Smith, owner/navigator of the 1952 DeSoto, poses in front of Chip Johns' Falcon.

Mi amiga, Angelica Fuentes, prepares for a practice run with Oscar, the Mockett Crew Chief looking on. The semi truck mishap.

Vintage Results, Practice Day 2 Lower Section

15 July 2009

2009 PPIHC: Practice Day 1 - #422 Subaru Rolled While in Transit

The report from the race course on Practice Day 1 for the vintage class brought a bit of Pikes Peak excitement. Racing from Devil's Playground at 12,780 feet to the top of Pike's Peak all went well until one of the semi-trucks high sided and his wheels went over the edge. That little mishap cut the practice short and everyone headed down the hill.

On the way down the hill a blue Subaru, #422, driven by Brian Moody, rolled (not racing, just on a transit) and was pretty bent up. Luckily they went off on an inside corner (caused by the big ruts in the road from the heavy rain this season?) and landed on their roof in the ditch. As far as we know, everyone is okay.

Photo courtesy of Mark Reis, The Gazette (Colorado Springs).

Todd jetted down the Gypsy Wind and she had plenty of power. Still waiting to see the results to see where Doug landed among the vintage crew. Tomorrow we race the bottom 1/3 of the mountain.

A beautiful sunrise at the Devil's Playground, Practice Day 1 (7/15/09).

14 July 2009

2009 PPIHC: 14,110 Feet in Elevation, Here We Come

Once again Doug Allen of Aspen, CO will tackle the Pike's Peak Int'l Hill Climb in Todd Landon's Gpysy Wind ('65 Mustang Shelby GT350R).

This year's Vintage Class has 11 entrants including Mustangs, Falcons a DeSoto, a Corvette and a Plymouth Barracuda. LCP competitors are: Doug Allen, Doug Mockett/Angelica Fuentes, Chip Johns and Chris Sayler. !Buena Suerte a todos!

Last year in the Vintage Class Mockett/Fuentes were victorious in their 1954 Oldsmobile Super88 with a time of 14:26.034.

Doug Allen in the Gypsy Wind, 2008 PPIHC.
Photos courtesy of Mike Rogers, 2008.

2008 PPIHC Blog:


Pikes Peak International Hill ClimbRace Day - July 19, 2009 - "Race to the Clouds"

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest motor sports race in America and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. First competed in 1916 and this year marks the 87th running of the "Race to the Clouds."

In 2009, the race will take place on Sunday, July 19 with race related events all week long. Fan Fest, on Friday, July 17 in downtown Colorado Springs, will feature motorcycle jumpers, two beer gardens, a chili cook-off, live bands and the Denver Bronco Cheerleaders and is expected to draw over 35,000 spectators.

The race is run on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America’s Mountain; Pikes Peak! As the drivers climb toward the summit, the thin air slows reflexes and saps muscle strength. The thin air also robs engines of 30% of their power at the summit. Competitors and vehicles must be in top shape simply to finish...let alone win!

This year the 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. Race Week begins Tuesday, July 14 with Tech Inspection at the Host Hotel – Crowne Plaza. Every vehicle undergoes a rigorous inspection with a concentration on safety issues. That evening there will be meetings for all the riders and drivers at the Crowne Plaza. Practice and qualifying takes place Wednesday through Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 am on Pikes Peak.

The current record is 10:01.41 and was set by Nobuhiro Tajima in 2007.

04 July 2009

Watch the Movie Trailer for the Discovery Channel HD Film of Our Team at the 2008 LCP

Last fall during the 2008 La Carrera Panamericana, filmmaker Alexander Davidis and his amazing film crew followed our team through 7 days and 2,000 miles of racing across Mexico. He will soon be releasing a one hour Discovery Channel HD film on the adventure.

You can watch the just released movie trailer here: http://www.myvrl.com/video/gt-racer-season-ii-la-carrera

Air dates set for the premiere of Season II of "GT Racer":

USA: Friday, September 4th (Labor Day Weekend) 8:00PM on HD Theater with the other installments following on consecutive Fridays. (Optimum Digital Cable Channel 765, Comcast Digital Cable, Time Warner Digital Cable channel 819)

UK & Ireland:Wednesday, September 9th on Discovery HD (Channel 536 on Sky Digital)

Europe: No set dates yet.