27 June 2011

2011 Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb: World Record Broken by Monster; Todd & Geezer with a Successful Finish!

The race is over and Todd and Geezer made it to the top.  We haven't seen official results yet but we think they did it in 13:51.  They looked awesome coming through the W's, roaring around those steep switchbacks and fishtailing a bit on the last W.  About 10 minutes later, assuming they had made it to the top, I wandered down to listen to the radio broadcast and caught Bobby Unser Jr. saying, "Todd Landon from Minnesota built a killer '67 Mustang Fastback.....Todd how was the climb?"  Todd said it was hairy but he knew that a bunch of people were praying them up to the top. 

Todd and Geezer, finish line!

I was relieved to hear his voice and know they made it to the top.  I had asked Bobby to please let me know via the radio broadcast that #372 had finished and so appreciate that he did!

And my dear friend, John Kollars finished in the Supermoto 450 class in his rookie year!  He posted a 13:51 and was 15th in his class of 24.  I saw him crest the top of the W's and he was ON IT!!

John Kollars, #831, cresting the top of the W's.

The overall world record was smashed by "Nobuhiro "The Monster" Tajima of Japan with a time of 9:51.  His old record was 10:01 but this year there were 3 more miles of pavement, making it faster.  They say he averaged 76 mph over the 12.42 mile course - unbelievable!

Tajima at the finish - a new sub-10 minute world record.

Ralph Murdock in the 1970 Camaro (white) broke the Vintage Modified record posting a time of 12:50.  I heard Bobby Unser Jr. interview Ralph and he got very emotional, explaining how much this meant to him.  He started racing on Pikes in 1965 and in later years got very involved in his kids racing.  After a 37 year hiatus his kids built him this car and he's clearly back! 

Murdock in his 1970 Camaro at practice.

Mockett and Fuentes Garcia came in 2nd in Vintage Modified with a 13:01.

Keith Davison broke the record in Vintage with a time of 12:44 in his 1963 Falcon.

Jess Neal, #42 in the black 'Cuda posted a 2nd place 13:20, even after doing a 360 and taking extra time to get going again!

It was an incredibly windy and long day.  There were many delays due to bad crashes and we think two flights for life for motorcycle riders.  We witnessed a Pontiac Sunfire leave the road in the W's.....this was not your typical movie scene where a stunt car launches straight off a cliff and sails through the air.....this car wiggled on a corner and somehow became airborne, vertically, with his nose in the air and sailed up and over the edge.  Our brains couldn't process what our eyes were seeing.  The car disappeared from our view and the crowd gasped.  We think he rolled end over end and was lucky enough to be stopped by a rock in the large boulder field.  The driver emerged from his car minutes later and the crowd roared in relief.  I hope someone posts a video as I would really like to understand what happened and watch it again.

Of the people I talked to who saw the entire crash, no one could quite put into words what happened or how it happened.  It was the most terrifying sight I have ever seen and I still can't believe the driver walked away.

Incredible video just posted of the Bobby Register crash on YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rVdS8Qnvb8

I will post full stories and photos as soon as I get some sleep.

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