Ward’s disappointing debut
Lightweight motorcycle division rider and Hill Climb rookie Brandon Ward placed fourth in his division with a time of 11 minutes, 31.667 seconds.
“It was not the finish I was hoping for,” the Fort Carson soldier said. “I learned a lot. We had a practice run canceled (by weather earlier this week) so I was going blind at the start. I know more what I need to do and will get more support for next year.”
Ward is the son of American motorcycle Hall of Famer Jeff Ward.
It’s electric for Faraday
Robin Shute and the Faraday team were never trying to win the Hill Climb. They were using it as a test run to improve their car for production.
Despite having technical difficulties in the middle of his run, Shute considers his Hill Climb performance a success because they made it to the top. He believes they were faster than Faraday’s main competitor, Tesla, was in prior Hill Climbs.
Shute isn’t satisfied, though. He hopes to come back next year with a faster car and make a push for a top time.
“I think we want to show Faraday in the best light and show our drivetrain and motors, and show everybody what they really can do,” Shute said. “An SUV, up here, shouldn’t be as fast as what we’re running, and I think we’ve astonished everyone with the pace we can run with this car. So imagine what we can do with this drivetrain in something a bit more purpose-built.”
Poor visability leads to tough run
Laure Many threw her arms up, posing for a picture as soon as she got out of her car at the summit of Pikes Peak.
She had overcome being sent back down the hill thanks to a red flag and a driving hail storm in order to finish her first Hill Climb.
“That was terrible,” Many said. “I had the snow and the fog and I couldn’t see anything. I just followed the white line like this, and that’s it. I couldn’t see the flag until they put it on my windshield.”
Many finished with a time of 20:45.549.
KTM Duo breaks 10-minute mark
Coming into Sunday’s race, only three motorcyclists had broken the 10-minute mark.
The record books now show five after KTM teammates Chris Fillmore and Rennie Scaysbrook blasted through the barrier.
“KTM is going to be happy campers,” Fillmore said. “It’s awesome. This is what KTM wanted us to do. To be able to do it for them is great, but to be able to do it for us and being able to drink some beers after this is special. (Rennie) was okay with second if I was the one winning it. It was a win for both of us to be honest.”
Fillmore finished with a time of 9 minutes, 49.625 seconds and Scaysbrook ended up with a time of 9 minutes, 57.152 seconds. Those times were good for first and second in the Heavyweight Division.
Durelle speeds past expectations
During the 2016 Hill Climb, the drivers dealt with wet conditions. That situation kept Lightweight Division competitor Davey Durelle from achieving his goals.
Though Durelle won the Lightweight Division last year, he recorded a time in the 11-minute range. This time around, he was aiming for a sub-10 minute, 40 second mark. Durelle accomplished that benchmark and more.
Durelle broke the previous lightweight record held by Codie Vahsholtz (10 minutes, 50.421 seconds) with a time of 10 minutes, 35.354 seconds.
“It exceeded my goal for sure,” Durelle said on claiming the record.
Electric Motorcycles: The future superbikes?
Jeremiah Johnson has raced electric motorcycles three times now.
“The bikes have been developing at a staggering rate,” Johnson said.
During the 2017 Hill Climb, Johnson had to ask his team to turn down the power on the bike because it was too brutal for the mountain at top speed. In fact, Johnson’s electic bike almost flipped over during practice, and the motorcycle wasn’t even at its full capacity.
“Without being biased, this is a superbike,” Johnson. “(Electric Motorcycles) are going to start racing gas bikes over in Europe and they are going to give them a run for their money, for sure.”