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Race Activity at Pikes Peak Getting Torrid: Millen Breaks Record; Son a Contender; Stunt man Hot

3 July 1997

Rod Millen, Newport Beach, CA (by way of Australia), set out to do what he was determined to accomplish at Pikes Peak by giving notice to any and all competitors in the unlimited racing class that he was the guy to beat, as he set a new track record in qualifying (on the "qualifying" portion of the 12 mile circuit) of 4:26.14 . . . two seconds better than his 1996 run. This is the 75th anniversary of the "race to the clouds," which has seen unrest of various flavors win just about everything there is to win at the mountain.

Millen, driving a Pennzoil Toyota Celica, said the car ran good but still had more in it. He looks forward to July 4 race day and going against his main competitor, Nobuhiro Tajima (who qualified at 4:42.74) and Paul Dallenbach (4:50.97).

Millen's son Rhys also qualified first in class. He posted a 5:40.98 in High Performance Showroom Stock 2wd.

Also on the 12 mile, 175 turn circuit, Hollywood stunt Man Mike Ryan broke the record for class 8 trucks by 45 seconds with a run of 15:02. He drove a 1200 hp Freightliner racing truck running on hell and Bridgestone products. In the past Ryan has competed on motorcycles. He has handled crazy stunts in such movies as Terminator 11, Thelma and Louise, Independence Day and Fire Down Below.

Bill Maloney -- The Auto Channel