Motorsports: 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Practice Day 3

Filed under: Motorsports, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Specialty, Electric, Racing

2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb

The third practice day of the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is done. While the other classes got running time on the middle and top sections of the course, qualifying times were set on the bottom section of the course for the Open, Open Wheel, Electric, Exhibition and Vintage classes.

Everyone managed to keep it on the black stuff today, Greg Tracy setting the fastest time ahead of Hiroshi Masuoka, both men driving the Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II four-wheel-drive prototype. Not even half a second behind Masuoka came Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima in his Monster Sport E-Runner, who has taken about 18 seconds off his time since the first practice day. Rod Millen was the fourth fastest on the day in his Toyota TMG EV POO2.

Topping the Open Wheel class was Clint Vahsholtz, followed by Donner Billingsley, Andy Figueroa and Rodney O’Maley. The only driver in that class not to be given a time today was Dan Novembre. Kenshiro Gushi took the Exhibition class today as his Lexus IS F CCS-R made it up the mountain in 4:27.248, followed by Sage Marie in the Honda CR-Z at 5:19.591. Simon Pagenaud and his Honda Odyssey weren’t classified.

Layne Schranz nabbed the top time for Pikes Peak Open runners in his 1999 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Randy Schranz behind him in his Shelby Cobra, Jeff MacPherson right behind in his Porsche 914-8. The old-timers in the Vintage division were lead by Christopher Lennon in a 1973 Porsche 911 RSR, Ralf Christensson two seconds behind him in a 1967 Ford Fastback GT350. The final times and running order will be released after tomorrow’s qualifying, at about 5 pm Mountain time. As of now, five cars have dropped out – in some cases literally – of the original 69-car field, and 83 bikes remain of the 86 entrants.

Further up the mountain the Time Attack and Unlimited runners were practicing in the middle section of the course. Paul Dallenbach led the Time Attack field in Rhys Millen’s Hyundai Genesis Coupe from last year with a time of 2:33, then came the two Porsches of Jeff Zwart at 2:38 and David Donner at 2:40

At the top of the field, the Sébastien Loeb again led the timesheets with a 2:12, and was again followed by Romain Dumas at 2:26. Third place went to Dayraut in the monster Mini at 2:29.

Rhys Millen hasn’t got a mention yet because he didn’t run today. His Hyundai PM580T had an engine problem last night and the team decided to put in a brand new motor. They only finished doing that this morning while the others were running, then spent the day testing at an oval/road course near Colorado Springs to make sure everything’s good to go for tomorrow. He’ll be back on the mountain tomorrow, and we’ll be back with a report then.

Tomorrow’s practice will have all of the bike divisions qualifying on the bottom of the course while the other classes get their settings dialed in for race day on Sunday. To watch or listen to the race live on Sunday, June 30, Red Bull TV will be streaming the entire event here, and you can listen on KRDO NewsRadio 105.5 FM and 1240 AM. If you insist on total coverage, feel free to follow the Pikes Peak Facebook and Twitter pages. For live timing and results, go here. If you lose all those links, just go to the Pikes Peak site and click the Follow Live tab at the top of the page. The live stream on Red Bull TV starts at 7 am Mountain time (6 am PST / 9 am EST), the green-flag party kicks off at 8 am Mountain Time.

2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Practice Day 3 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 21:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Quick Spin: Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Special ride-along [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Truck, Quick Spins, Racing

Mike Ryan's Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Special drifting on track

It seems as if every type of powered vehicle is attacking the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb these days, each in search of a new record as they climb the 12.42-mile road course to its finish at a gasping 14,110-foot elevation. While the “anything goes” Unlimited class provides plenty of powerful eye candy, the Open class is where we find Mike Ryan and his new Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Special.

Last year at Pikes Peak, the professional stunt driver campaigned a Freightliner and set his seventh record; that time climbing to the top in 12 minutes and 38 seconds. This year, he is back with a big rig that is significantly quicker – and “significantly” just may be an understatement.

We caught up with Ryan at Southern California’s Irwindale Speedway late last week as he was putting his latest creation through shakedown testing for this week’s event. When he offered us a ride, we had no hesitation.

Riding Notes

  • The Pikes Peak Freightliner is nothing like its cross-country load-hauling cousins. Rather, it is a purpose-built beast featuring a custom aluminum-rail frame and carbon-fiber and fiberglass body panels. Even so, it weighs a whopping 10,200 pounds wet.
  • Power comes by the way of a turbocharged 14.0-liter inline-six Detroit Series 60 marine diesel. The seven-foot long engine makes 825 horsepower in stock form, but the team at Gale Banks Engineering have fitted it with an 8.3-liter supercharger in addition to a 110-mm turbocharger (Banks calls it a “Super-Turbo”). But that wasn’t all, as the guys also added a methanol injection system to improve combustion and an intercooler spray system to reduce the intake temperatures. The modified engine, sitting a foot lower and six feet further rearward than stock, now delivers 2,400 horsepower and 5,000 pound-feet of torque – while burning No. 2 pump diesel fuel!
  • The transmission is a five-speed road racing automatic sending its power rearward to a Detroit locker limited-slip differential (permanently locked, so the rear wheels always scrub). The steering rack is from Howe Performance, designed for a Baja Trophy Truck, while the tires are custom-compound sticky racing rubber molded by Michelin to look like stock truck tires.
  • In addition to the 12-gallon diesel tank, there are five other tanks of fluid including 14 gallons of water/methanol for the engine, 7 gallons of water for the intercooler spray and 14 gallons of water to fog the brake rotors for additional cooling – yes, the brakes are water cooled.
  • Climbing into the cab requires a bit of gymnastic ability, and the seating position is startlingly high off the ground if you’re not used to a big rig. Ryan faces a thin plastic steering wheel and a custom aluminum dash chock full of temperature/pressure gauges and switches. Primary instrumentation is a Racepack digital cluster. The transmission control lever, and a separate handbrake just for the rear wheels, sits high between the two bucket seats.
  • The blown diesel engine is startling loud, even at idle, and full throttle (redline is 2,700 rpm) sends it into a whining frenzy. Despite its prodigious power output (weight to horsepower ratio of 4.25:1), acceleration is strong rather than truly brisk. Nevertheless, the two rear wheels have a very difficult time maintaining traction. The throttle response is slightly delayed as the boost builds, but once everything is pressurized, nothing holds it back. Shifting through the gears is surprisingly smooth, mainly because the rear tires had trouble maintaining contact with the track. The throttle response reminds me of a powerful off-shore power boat – a slight delay followed by incredibly strong thrust.
  • Oddly enough, especially after looking at the pictures, the truck doesn’t feel top heavy or unstable. However, Ryan would later run me around the oval at high speed, and the Freightliner fought all of the steering inputs as he attempted directional changes (the locked rear axle caused plenty of scrub/understeer on the front tires). His solution was to break the rear tires free, set the five-ton truck adrift and then point the nose in his desired direction.
  • I found myself hanging on to the cage with white knuckles as the semi floated on self-made molten rubber sliding sideways around the track (scroll down to watch the video). Thick, acrid smoke filled the cabin, making it hard to see, and I was thrown hard against my five-point harness straps (the most violent maneuvers were side-to-side as the tires gained and lost grip as the surface changed). It was crazy fun, but I constantly reminded myself that I was a passenger on a very safe and contained track. Doing the same thing on the treacherous Pikes Peak circuit, with sheer cliffs on each side, feels like it’s bordering on lunacy.

Mike Ryan and his Banks-tuned Freightliner, attack the mountain this week – best of luck to the team.

Continue reading Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Special ride-along [w/video]

Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Special ride-along [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motorsports: 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Practice Day 2

Filed under: Motorsports

2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Practice Day 2 is in the books, and qualifying times have been recorded for the Unlimited and Time Attack classes for the 2013 edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The quickest man on the mountain is none other than Sébastien Loeb, who set a blistering pace with a 3:26.153, recorded on the bottom third of the mountain on his second and final run of the day.

The second-fastest qualifying time was set by Romain Dumas at 3:43.556, a full 17 seconds behind Loeb. Rhys Millen, last year’s champion, did not record a second qualifying lap today, so it’s not clear exactly where he will stand on Sunday when the actual race is slated to take place (probably in third place, which is where his first timed qualifying run would place him).

David Donner sits just ahead of Paul Dallenbach and Jeff Zwart in the Time Attack class, ahead of several Unlimited competitors. In the Electric class, which ran the middle portion of the track this morning, Hiroshi Masuoka sits in the lead, followed by Greg Tracy, Rod Millen and perennial favorite Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima.

Check out some of the action from today’s practice session in our live image gallery above. We have photos from the Unlimited, Time Attack, Electric, Vintage, Exhibition and Open classes for your viewing pleasure.

2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Practice Day 2 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 19:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mitsubishi Outlander, Evo to keep things safe at Pikes Peak

Filed under: Sedan, Safety, Crossover, Mitsubishi, Racing

Mitsubishi has already announced that it will be returning as a competitor to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a pair of all-electric MiEV Evolution II racecars. In addition to these entrants, the automaker will also be the presenting sponsor of the race as well as providing the official safety vehicles to the event using specially prepped versions of the 2014 Outlander and Lancer Evolution.

While it isn’t clear what exactly will be demanded of the safety vehicles, this isn’t going to your run-of-the-mill pace car duty. To get the Outlander and Evo ready for the 156-turn, 12.42-mile course, Mitsubishi teamed up with companies such as BBS, Cobb Tuning, AEM and Muellerized Suspension Systems as well as DC Sports and Kenwood to create these one-off safety cars. These vehicles, and all the racecars, will be at Pikes Peak later this month for the 91st running of America’s second-oldest racing event. Scroll down for the official press release.

Continue reading Mitsubishi Outlander, Evo to keep things safe at Pikes Peak

Mitsubishi Outlander, Evo to keep things safe at Pikes Peak originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: An inside look at Rhys Millen’s new Pikes Peak Unlimited racer [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Hyundai

Wider, Lower And Decidedly More Sinister

Hyundai Genesis RMR PM580-T

Rhys Millen was sitting on a cooler whittling away at a piece of aluminum when I first arrived at the expansive skidpad at the California Proving Grounds, owned by Hyundai, located in a desolate part of the California desert about a dozen miles east of Mojave. By the time I had walked over to the accomplished driver for introductions, he had picked up a piece of sandpaper and begun to arduously file away at the alloy’s rough edges, smoothing them masterfully.

He was focused on the job, but I politely interrupted him and asked what he was making. Ryhs looked up, smiled, and then grabbed a few zip-ties and asked me to come over to the new Hyundai RMR PM580-T, destined for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in just two short weeks, raised on its air jacks just a few yards away.

Continue reading An inside look at Rhys Millen’s new Pikes Peak Unlimited racer [w/video]

An inside look at Rhys Millen’s new Pikes Peak Unlimited racer [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Peugeot 208 T16, Sebastien Loeb finally meet Pikes Peak

Filed under: Videos, Hatchback, Peugeot, Racing

In preparation for the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb being held later this month, Sébastien Loeb is getting in his first testing sessions of his Red Bull-sponsored Peugeot 208 T16 racecar. Marking its return to Pikes Peak for the first time in 14 years, Peugeot has released an exciting video that provides a look into the background behind this effort, as well as our first look at the car in its race-ready Red Bull livery.

Loeb, a Pikes Peak rookie, will be driving this specially modified 208 T16 in the Unlimited class with an 875-horsepower, twin-turbo V6 mounted in the rear. The video gives us an excellent perspective as the racecar rockets up the hill, and we all get to hear the powerful engine in action. Scroll down to watch this video, and we’ll have more coverage of the race in a couple of weeks.

Continue reading Peugeot 208 T16, Sebastien Loeb finally meet Pikes Peak

Peugeot 208 T16, Sebastien Loeb finally meet Pikes Peak originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 13 Jun 2013 19:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rod Millen joining Rhys for his own run up Pikes Peak

Filed under: Motorsports, Hyundai

RMR Hyundai Pikes Peak 2011 Test Session

RMR Hyundai Pikes Peak 2011 Test Session – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chances are you’ve heard of Rhys Millen. The man pushes cars over dirt, into extreme sideways angles, through the air and up challenging mountain roads. If you’re a bit younger, however, you may not have heard of his father, Mr. Rod Millen… and that’s a problem, because you should know that name.

Rod Millen, born in New Zealand and possessor of the best driveway on the planet, is a racing legend. Typically known for his off-road records, the elder Millen has been hustling rally cars and trucks across tough terrain since the 1970s. The company he founded, MillenWorks, is responsible for the development of technical innovations used in racing, and by the military. Enjoying that cushy suspension setup in your Chevrolet Corvette or Audi R8? You can think MillenWorks for that.

Like Rhys, Rod also has a passion for competing. Before Nobuhiro Tajima came along, Rod Millen was the Pike’s Peak record holder. Driving a Toyota Celica All Trac in 1994, Millen smashed the previous record by 40 seconds. He broke his own record four more times, until the Monster took him down, and Rod hasn’t been back since 2001.

Father’s day is around the corner, and the Millen boys are ready to spend some time together. They’re going to do so in Colorado, because Rod is coming back to the mountain, and Rhys is planning to destroy it.

Continue reading Rod Millen joining Rhys for his own run up Pikes Peak

Rod Millen joining Rhys for his own run up Pikes Peak originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 May 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Dacia unleashes 850-hp GT-R-powered Duster “No Limit” Pikes Peak challenger

Filed under: Motorsports, Crossover, Renault, Off-Road, Racing

Dacia Duster

Dacia Duster “No Limit” – Click above for high-res image gallery

Dacia sends its racing team out in winters to drift across ice and snow for the Andros Trophy. But when the summer rolls around, even the snow on the French Alps begins to thaw. What’s an ice racing team to do? Why, head to Pikes Peak, of course.

The international hill climb event is coming around again next month, and when it does, the likes of Monster Tajima and Rhys Millen will have an interesting new challenger on its hands. And after months of reports and teasers, you’re looking at the finish product.

A joint effort between Dacia, Renaultsport, a number of independent firms and driver Jean-Phillipe Dayraut who brought them all together, the Dacia Duster “No Limit” was built for the Unlimited class at Pikes Peak, where (contrary to just about any other form of motorsport) there are essentially no restrictions placed on a car’s specifications. As a result, the purpose-built racer packs the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 from a Nissan GT-R (tuned to 850 horsepower), which is mounted amidships behind the cabin and mated to a six-speed sequential racing gearbox. All of that mechanical chutzpah is kept down by the most aggressive aerodynamics package this side of an F-35 Lightning.

It’s a beast of a car, and we can’t wait to see Dayraut – the reigning three-time Andros Trophy champion – take its wheel at the Peak on June 26. In the meantime, check out the extensive high-res image gallery for a closer look and follow the jump for the full press release.

Continue reading Dacia unleashes 850-hp GT-R-powered Duster “No Limit” Pikes Peak challenger

Dacia unleashes 850-hp GT-R-powered Duster “No Limit” Pikes Peak challenger originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 May 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Unmodified Nissan Leaf entered in Pikes Peak Hill Climb [w/videos]

Filed under: Motorsports, Hatchback, Nissan, Electric

2011 Nissan Leaf

2011 Nissan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

“With electric automobiles popping up like dandelions across the landscape of American driving, it’s no surprise that they will be part of the field at the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26.”

So says the press release you’ll find waiting for your prying eyes after the break. While it’s true that we’re not exactly surprised that an electric car will make its way up to the top of the historic hill – there was, after all, a dedicated electric vehicle class for 2010 – we are a little curious whether a completely stock Nissan Leaf has any chance of dethroning current EV Hill Climb record holder Ikuo Hanawa of Japan.

Certainly, Leaf driver Chad Hord knows what he’s doing, as he currently pilots an off-road racing truck in the TORC series. In any case, we’ll find out soon enough if the Leaf’s 110 horsepower and 90-mile-per-hour top speed has the stuff to hang with the purpose-built EV racers; Hanawa will again contest the championship in his Concept two-wheel drive 2010 Custom Summit HER-02.

Oh, and about that dandelion thing… those are generally unwanted guests of those who actually care about keeping a lush carpet of green in their yards. Maybe not the way lovers of automotive greenery want to think of their rides, eh? Check out the complete press release after the break for all the details, and spend a few minutes watching Hanawa’s record-setting HER-02 do its thing on the Peak.

Gallery: 2010 Nissan LEAF

[Source: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb]

Continue reading Unmodified Nissan Leaf entered in Pikes Peak Hill Climb [w/videos]

Unmodified Nissan Leaf entered in Pikes Peak Hill Climb [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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RENNtech fine-tunes its Mercedes GLK Pikes Peak Hybrid [w/video]

Filed under: Aftermarket, Concept Cars, Motorsports, Hybrid, Performance, SUV, Crossover, Mercedes-Benz, Off-Road, Racing

RENNtech Mercedes-Benz GLK350 Hybrid Pikes Peak Rally Car

RENNtech Mercedes-Benz GLK350 Hybrid Pikes Peak Rally Car – Click above for high-res image gallery

Trucks and racing don’t normally belong in the same sentence, but a few exceptions exist – the NASCAR Craftsman series, the Dakar rally, and, of course, Pikes Peak.

The legendary hill-climb competition has bred some of the most jaw-droppingly monstrous machines known to man. It also inspired the creation of the GLK350 Hybrid Pikes Peak Project which Mercedes-Benz tuner extraordinaire RENNtech unveiled at SEMA in 2008.

Three years later, RENNtech has revisited the concept crossover with a second version, bearing the most aggressive body kit this side of a Star Wars film set and coated in 3M’s carbon-look vinyl wrap. (So, no, the body has not be recreated in actual carbon fiber.) Ostensibly based on the 3.5-liter V6 model, RENNtech’s concept packs an additional electric boost developed in-house.

The show car is going on tour across America before it’s retired to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Vehicle Museum in Irvine, California. Follow the jump for the press blast and video footage, and check out all the images in the mega-gallery below.

Gallery: RENNtech Mercedes-Benz GLK350 Hybrid Pikes Peak Rally Car

[Source: RENNtech]

Continue reading RENNtech fine-tunes its Mercedes GLK Pikes Peak Hybrid [w/video]

RENNtech fine-tunes its Mercedes GLK Pikes Peak Hybrid [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Mar 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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