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Six Drivers and Riders Shatter Previous Records At The 2017 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Tuesday, Jul. 18 2017

Six Drivers and Riders Shatter Previous Records At The 2017 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Colorado Springs——-Records Are Made To Be Broken was a dominant theme for this year’s Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo.

A lineup of 51 autos and 29 motorcycles was poised for glory and despite intermittent weather issues on America’s Mountain seven new records, two set by rookies, were posted during the 95th running of the Race to the Clouds on June 25, confirmation of the savvy and skills of the competitors in America’s second-oldest motorsport race.

“As concerned as all of us were about if the weather would hold out, we ended up having a great day on Pikes Peak,” said PPIHC Executive Director Megan Leatham. “We were rewarded with new records, a great crowd, and no injuries. The level of talent this year was exceptional.”

Confident rookie racer Chris Fillmore (Corona del Mar, CA) made his debut on Pikes Peak a remarkable triumph, breaking two motorcycle records on his 2017 KTM Super Duke 1290R. The former MotoAmerica  Superbike racer set a new 2-Wheel Course Record of 9:49.625 in winning the Pikes Peak Heavyweight Division, also a new mark in that division, and eclipsing the previous overall record of 9:52.819 set by Carlin Dunne on his Ducati Multistrada 1200 in 2012.

Chris Fillmore at Double Cut during his record run. Photo by Jason Zindroski

“I set out with the goal of trying to break the record this year and I wanted to do it as a rookie, so to achieve this is something really special,” Fillmore said. For his stunning performance, he was named the 2017 PPIHC Motorcycle Rookie of the Year.

Another rookie, Peter Cunningham (Milwaukee, WI), drove his 2017 Acura TLX GT to a new mark of 9:33.797 in capturing the Pikes Peak Open Class record, breaking the Class mark of 9:46.181 set by Romain Dumas in 2012 and finishing the day with the second-fastest time on the 12.42 mile course. Cunningham, RealTime Racing’s founder and the winningest driver in Pirelli World Challenge history, was also named the PPIHC Car Rookie of the Year. “There haven’t been that many sub-9:34 laps ever, so it’s elite company, and this car is just really well suited to it,” said Cunningham.

Peter Cunningham during Friday’s practice. Photo by Larry Chen

Codie Vahsholtz, Clint’s son, raced his 2016 Husqvarna Supermoto to a new Pikes Peak Middleweight Division motorcycle record of 10:34.967, breaking the old standard of 10:46.159 set by Eric Piscione in 2014 on his 2013 Ducati Streetfighter. The win was the third of Codie’s young career and has added to the Vahsholtz family’s dominance at Pikes Peak where they have claimed at least one class victory in every edition of the Race to the Clouds since 1993. Leonard Vahsholtz, Codie’s grandfather, won 18 titles on Pikes Peak from 1977-2007.The veteran, Clint Vahsholtz (Woodland Park, CO), notched his 23rd class victory on Pikes Peak, the most by any competitor in the history of the race, winning the Open Wheel Class with a clocking of 9:35.747 behind the wheel of his 2013 Ford Open. Vahsholtz established a new Class record in the process, breaking the old mark of 9:36.496 set by Paul Dallenbach in 2015. His time was the third-fastest of the day.

Codie Vahsholtz practicing in the Middle Section on the Thursday of Race Week.  Photo by Louis Yio

Davey Durelle (Elizabeth, CO) won the Pikes Peak Lightweight Division in a record-setting time of 10:35.354 on his 2009 Aprillia SXV450 breaking the previous record of 10:50.421 set by Codie Vahsholtz in 2015. Durelle, fresh off being inducted into the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2016, is the winningest motorcycle competitor in PPIHC history with 18 class victories and six King of the Mountain titles. Durelle got his first motorcycle at age ten, rode in his first race at age eleven, and won his first short-track race in 1978. On Pikes Peak, he won the 750cc Class eight times between 1996 and 2009 and won the 500cc Class four consecutive times, 2002-2005. The motorcycle legend has raced on Pikes Peak since 1996 and set numerous records.

While finishing fourth in the Open Wheel Class with a time of 10:25.989 in his 1995 PVA 2, Spencer Steele (Denver, CO) claimed a new vintage car record.  After the Vintage Car Class was dissolved following the 2016 race, the PPIHC added a section to the rule book that would allow the vintage record to live on and made any vehicle that had previously raced Pikes Peak and was manufactured in 1995 or earlier eligible for it.

Romain Dumas, the French star, chalked up the best time of the day, winning the Unlimited Division for the third time in 9:05.672 in his futuristic-looking 2017 Norma MXX RD Limited. Already a winner in 2012 in the Pikes Peak Open class, and overall victor in 2014 (9:05.801) and 2016 (8:51.445), Dumas made it a triple on this 95th edition of the race to the clouds. It’s a first for a French driver while Norma equals Peugeot as top French manufacturers to win at Pikes Peak. Dumas was named King of the Mountain for the third time as well.

The 2018 Race is set for Sunday, June 24, with the popular Fan Fest scheduled for Friday, June 22 in Downtown Colorado Springs, Olympic City USA.

Complete Results: http://www.ppihc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017-Overall-Results.pdf

Competitor Roster: http://www.ppihc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017-PPIHC-Competitor-List.pdf

Mike Moran  mike@thesportscorp.org

Senior Media Consultant

1631 Mesa Avenue, Suite E

Colorado Springs, CO 80906

(719) 338-9161

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