Speedy Women Might Become Queen Of The Mountain At Pikes Peak International Hill Climb In Colorado Springs On June 26

Speedy Women Might Become Queen Of The Mountain At Pikes Peak International Hill Climb In Colorado Springs On June 26
Colorado Springs, --The nickname may have begun with Louis Unser on Pikes Peak, then passed on to his famous nephew Bobby, who won 13 titles on the hill.
“King of the Mountain,”  is a tag that has been bestowed on many male competitors who have won at the storied Pikes Peak International Hill Climb since 1916, most recently five-time Unlimited Division champion Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima of Japan.
But as it is in today’s world of talented female athletes, there are women entered in this year’s event who could become the event’s first “Queen of the Mountain,” and it would not surprise anyone who knows that there are no gender barriers in motor sports, as Janet Guthrie, Sarah Fisher, Lyn St. James, Danica Patrick, Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro, Britain’s Pippa Mann and Brazilian Ana Beatriz showed the world in the Indy 500.
Now comes 17-year-old Savannah Rickli of Littleton, Colorado, again to America’s Mountain. And this time, she’s pitted against one of the race’s legends.
She and navigator Rebecca Greek took third in the rugged Time Attack 2WD Division last year with a clocking of 13:58.232 in their Mini Cooper S. In taking third, Rickli became, at 16, the youngest female competitor ever to finish the 12.42 mile course that ends at 14,110 feet at the summit.
Rickli is entered in the tough division again, which is highlighted by the return of Pikes Peak legend Rod Millen, who turned 60 on March 22, and has not been on the Hill since 1999. He won the overall championship in the race five times and earned eight class championships. He captured the Unlimited crown five times alone – 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999, and held the record on the Peak at 10:04.06 (1994), until it was broken by Nobuhiro Tajima in 2007 (10.01.408).
Along with Millen in her division, she is up against defending champion and seven-time winner Jeff Zwart and 2010 runnerup Ken Stouffer.

At age 11, Rickli sold enough doughnuts through a fundraiser for a school field trip to Washington, D.C., but money that her grandmother had sent to cover the trip was instead combined with saved allowances for $1,050 toward a red go-kart, a 1995 Margay Chassis equipped with a Briggs & Stratton 5-horsepower engine. Thus, her career and passion for motor sports began.
The 2010 Pikes Peak Rookie of the Year got a waiver from race officials to compete last year, the existing stipulating that drivers must be 18 to gain entry.
When she finished last year at the summit, the first thing she and Greek did to celebrate? Doughnuts, of course, at 14,000 feet!

Christy Carlson, a 30-year-old driver from Papillion, Nebraska, will pilot her 2002 Subaru WRX in the Time Attack 4WD Division in her first try on the Peak. She’s a meteorologist and storm chaser, whose passion for severe weather and climate studies led to a Bachelor’s in Meteorology/Climatology from the University of Nebraska, then on to getting a Masters in Professional Meteorology from the University of Oklahoma.
The 31-year-old SCCA solo and Rally cross driver learned how to drive fast chasing tornadoes and is currently working full-time for the Air Force Weather Agency and also pursuing a Ph.D. in Meteorology/Climatology through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
She grew up on a farm just outside of Craig, NE (Northeast Nebraska) and drove several vehicles growing up, from 4-wheel ATV’s to a full-size 1986 Chevy 20 Conversion van. Nebraska had school permits so she could drive on the roads at 14. She learned car control off-road and on gravel roads, and practiced her off-road skills storm chasing in FWD and AWD vehicles on loose surfaces either getting to or getting away from severe storms.
Veteran Lorie Wood (Woodland Park, CO) returns to the mountain again in the Open Wheel division in her 2010 2WD Wells Coyote. The 15-year racing driver did not finish last year, but was sixth in 2009. She’ll compete against her husband, Dave, in the same division where Robby Unser set the class record of 10:05.85 in 1994.
And motorcycle racer Sharon Maitland (Denver, CO, has her own dreams of success on the mountain in the 250CC division against a field of 13 male racers.
Whoa!  Dallenbach’s Unlimited Entry Has 1307 Horsepower!
Dallenbach Racing and Banks Power have teamed up to take on this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The PVA-03 has proven itself time after time with a naturally aspirated engine, but to spice things up the team wanted to move to the Unlimited class. Unlimited Class is just that: no rules really on engine, drive system or fuel used. Banks lends a hand with its turbo charging, tuning and engineering expertise boosting the formally normal breathing engine’s power output from a not-too-shabby 745 hp & 650 lb-ft to a whopping 1307 hp & 1206 lb-ft.The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which began in 1916, is America’s second oldest motor sports race behind the Indy 500. The race is staged on a 12.42 mile course with 156 turns. It begins at 9,390 feet and ends at the famous mountain’s 14,110 foot summit above Colorado Springs.

A featured event along with the race, is the popular “Fan Fest,” which takes place on Friday evening, June 24, in downtown Colorado Springs, with more than 30,000 fans on hand to meet the competitors, see the autos and motorcycles, and enjoy music, food and entertainment.

Advance ticket sales are running at a record pace right now, and race officials are urging fans to purchase their tickets soon to avoid congestion at the toll booth on Race Day.
Ticket prices begin at $40.00, with a Family Four-Pack available at $125.00 and VIP admission priced at $80.00. Tickets, limited camping permits and all other race information is available at www.ppihc.com

Dusty Brandel

President of the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Inc. Worked with Mike Hollander since Tapsis, Compuserve, etc. and has posted to the website since the beginning. First Female photo-journalist to be given a garage and pit pass for the NASCAR garage, 1972 at Ontario Motor Speedway. One of first seven female writers, photographers given access to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway garage and pits in 1971. Past President of Greater Los Angeles Press Club, 1992-96, and first female editor of the 8-Ball publication for the Press Club

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Volume 2011, Issue 5, Posted 8:39 PM, 06.04.2011