Donner wins Pikes Peak Hill Climb
June 27, 2005
COLORADO SPRINGS ” David Donner won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Saturday, beating more than 100 drivers by finishing the 12.4-mile sprint in 11 minutes, 15.68 seconds.
Racing in the open-wheel car class, Donner was more than a minute off the race record for reaching the 14,110-foot summit, but he beat the unlimited class’ Koichi Horiuchi, who finished in 11:34.5.
Basalt’s Paul Dallenbach, a three-time winner of the event, and his brother, Wally Dallenbach Jr., both failed to finish, according to unofficial open-wheel results.
Donner celebrated with his teammates.
“We’re here,” Donner said at the summit. “It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t fast. I was watching the clock in my car going, ‘You have got to be kidding me. I’m going this slow.’ You know I’m so happy, thrilled to death with the team. We’re just thrilled, and this is absolutely spectacular.”
Donner’s time was well off the race record of 10:04.06, set by New Zealand’s Rod Millen in 1994.
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Drivers set records in five of the 17 racing classes. Randy Schranz won the exhibition class with a record time of 12:16.23, while Mike Ryan set a big rig truck class record of 12:46.81.
In the motorcycle classes, Micky Dymond’s 12:12.64 was a 750 class record. John Stallworth (12:23.17) set a quad record, and Anders Nilsson (13:17.15) established a sidecar class record.
Racers reached speeds up to 130 mph on the dangerous course, which features 156 gravel turns and 2,000-foot cliffs with no guardrails. The 17 classes include stock cars, unlimited series cars, open-wheel cars, several different types of motorcycles and Class 8 diesel trucks.
The race, founded by Spencer Penrose, has been running since 1916, when Rea Lentz won with a time of 20:55.6. It is the second-oldest motor sports event in the country, behind only the Indianapolis 500.
The event took place just days after the death of 67-year-old race official Henry Bresciani, of Colorado Springs. Bresciani, working as a flag man at the finish line, was killed in a practice session Tuesday when he was struck by a mini-sprint car driven by veteran Jay Stewart.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the fourth round of the 2005 Rally America Championship and part of this year’s North American Rally Cup.
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