The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

PIKE'S PEAK: Auto/truck competitors practice on the Peak for '99 Hill Climb

30 June 1999

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 30,1999) - More than 60 auto and truck
competitors practiced in the early morning hours today on Pikes Peak in
preparation for the 1999 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The 77th
Annual "Race to the Clouds" is slated for July 4 on the Pikes Peak Highway
near Colorado Springs.

More than one competitor commented that road conditions seemed much faster
than in previous years.

"It's a little more slippery than I expected. We didn't get the testing
times we wanted, but we have a very committed crew and over the next few
days I'm sure we'll get the truck up to speed," said defending unlimited
champion Rod Millen of Newport Beach, Calif. "The goal is not only to win
but to break the record."

Millen, a New Zealand native, holds the Hill Climb record with a time of
10:04.06, which he set in 1994. He posted the day's fastest practice time on
the Hill, driving the lower third of the course in 3:10.04.

Japan's Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, Millen's top rival in the unlimited
division, plans to spend the afternoon making modifications to his
Suzuki/1996 Side Kick.

"It's amazing. The course is very fast because there's less gravel and more
pavement this year," he said. "Today we had a little problem so I have to go
back to the workshop and fix it this afternoon. If the car is okay I think
we can do it [win the race] but I need to get it fixed."

High performance showroom stock driver Jimmy Adams III of Suffolk, Va.,
drove his Dodge/1998 Viper for the first time on the Peak this morning.

"The road was pretty good but there was a little bit of inconsistency. I'm
trying to work out the correct tire combination," said the 27-year-old
three-time SCCA champion and record holder. "I just need a little more seat
time. This car runs really good on asphalt. It's yet to be seen how we'll do
on the Hill, but we'll give it our best."

Auto and truck competitor practice runs will be held from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00
a.m. tomorrow, June 30, on the Pikes Peak Highway. Class 8 trucks and
sprints will practice from the start line. The following divisions will
practice from the middle section of the course: unlimited, open wheel, Pikes
Peak open, and high performance showroom stock. Practicing from the top
section: super stock truck, pro truck, electric, and super stock car. A
complete schedule of the week's Hill Climb events follows this release.

Tickets for the 1999 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb are available
online at, the Hill Climb Auto Educational Museum in
Manitou Springs, King Soopers throughout Colorado, Tire Centers Inc. in
Colorado Springs, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Colorado Springs military

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is held annually on July 4 in
cooperation with the City of Colorado Springs and the U.S. Forest Service.
The Race attracts an international field of auto, truck, and motorcycle
competitors. Its 12.42-mile course on a groomed gravel highway to the 14,110
ft. summit of Pikes Peak is open to the public.

The event is presented by ADT Automotive. Other sponsors include Pennzoil,
Pirelli Tire, Toyota Motor Sales USA, The Robert Bosch Corporation, Rex Tire
of Colorado Springs, Ultra Wheel Co., Contract Freighters, Inc., Kenworth,
and Barnett Tool. The Hill Climb is the principal fund raising event for the
Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb Educational Museum.

	The entire 1999 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb media guide and all
news releases are available online at High-resolution photos
are available for media use only at


Wednesday, June 30
4-5:00am		Pikes Peak Toll Gate Open
5:30-9am		Auto/Truck Practice (Pikes Peak Highway)

Thursday, July 1
4-5:00am		Pikes Peak Toll Gate Open
5:30-9am		Auto/Truck Practice (Pikes Peak Highway)
9am-4pm		Motorcycle Tech Inspection (Giuseppe's Depot)

Friday, July 2
4-5:30am		Pikes Peak Toll Gate Open
5:30-10am		Auto/Truck Qualifying (Start Line to Glen Cove, Pikes Peak
			Motorcycle/Quad Practice (Cove Creek to Summit, Pikes Peak Highway)

Saturday, July 3
4-5:30am		Pikes Peak Toll Gate Open
5:30-9am		Motorcycle/Quad Practice (Start Line to Glen Cove, Pikes Peak)
12pm-10pm		Pikes Peak Highway Toll Gate Open for Overnight Parking

Sunday, July 4
4-8:30am 		Pikes Peak Toll Gate Open
9:00 a.m.		Pikes Peak Highway Closes to Regular Traffic at Start Line
			Start Line and Summit Press Areas Open for Duration of Race
9:30am			Challenge of Champions (Pikes Peak Highway)
10:30am			77th Annual "Race to the Clouds"


Millen on Winning..."There's always fear, but you have to overcome it.
You've got to feel confident in your car, stay focused on the road and the
next sequence of corners. You never want to forget where you are and lose
your place on the mountain."

Laughing All the Way to the Top...Millen's 1999 Toyota Tacoma is fueled by
nitrous oxide, which in lay terms is known as laughing gas.

Japanese Following..."Monster" Tajima noted that the Pikes Peak
International Hill Climb has a tremendous following in Japan. "I think the
Hill Climb is more popular in Japan than in the U.S. There, everybody knows
about it and Japanese television is going to do a one-hour show on my
endeavors here."

Luck of the Draw...High performance showroom stock driver Andrew Kalman (San
Francisco, Calif.) will drive a 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight at the '99 Hill
Climb. Kalman won the car in a raffle, which he announces with his "25BUCKS"
license plate. Interestingly, it was the first BMW to reach the summit of
Pikes Peak when Kalman drove it in 1998, his rookie year. "This car is so
well balanced that it doesn't want to do what you need it to do on a dirt
road," he commented after today's practice on the Peak. "I'm starting out
slow, but by the end of our third practice day I should be happy with

(times from multiple practice runs over 1/3 of course)
Competitors Listed in Pre-Established Qualifying Order

High Performance Showroom Stock
1. David Donner, Subaru/1998 Impreza, Colorado Springs, Colo., 04:03.72,
8:18.30, 3:50.70, 3:48.88.
2. Rhys Millen, Nissan Skyline GTR, Newport Beach, Calif., 4:04.20, 3:59.90,
3. Blake Fuller, Honda/Civic, Sarasota, Fla., 05:16.50, 5:10.80, 5:08.90,
4. Jeff Zwart, Porsche/1998 Turbo-S, Woody Creek, Colo., 04:05.91, 4:48.00,
4:05.60, 3:57.69.
5. James Adams III, Dodge/1998 Viper, Suffolk, Va., 04:25.10, 4:18.10,
6. Kenji Momota,Toyota/1993 Supra, Garland, Texas, 05:11.53.
7. Andrew Kalman, BMW/1995 M3 Lightweight, San Francisco, Calif., 04:43.20,
04:34.20, 4:28.58.

Open Wheel
1. Keith Harper, Wells/1981 Coyote, Manitou Springs, Colo., 04:28.20,

Pikes Peak Open
1. Shigeo Sugaya, Subaru/1998 Impreza SRX, Japan, 4:31.90, 4:28.30, 4:21.50.
2. Paul Choiniere, Hyundai/1999 Tiburon, Shelburne, Vt., 3:58.70, 3:49.90,
3:51.50, 3:50.80.
3. Kahee Namikawa, Subaru/1995 GC8, Japan, 04:27.40, 4:07.54.
4. Andrew Bornhop, Hyundai/1996 Elantra, Orange, Calif., 04:34.30, 4:22.60,
4:13.40, 4:05.59.
5. Masaki Ohashi, Mitsubishi/1998 Lancer, Japan, 04:56.70, 3:57.86,
6. 03:51.06.
7. Jean Pierre Richelmi, Alfa-Lancia/Delta Integrale, Monaco, 4:06.50,
4:21.44, 3:49.06.

1. Rod Millen, Toyota/1999 Tacoma, Newport Beach, Calif., 03:23.00, 3:17.70,
3:15.10, 3:10.04.

Editors Note: For hundreds of hot racing photos and racing art, be sure to visit The Racing ImageGalleries and the Visions of Speed Art Gallery.