MOTUL races to the clouds, again
MOTUL races to the clouds, again
Back to reclaim its usual place in the calendar following last year’s postponement to August, the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs, USA takes place this weekend. Practice and qualifying sessions for the 91st edition have taken place in the past week, and the 148 competitors will compete this Sunday, 30th June in the ‘Race to the Clouds’ on the 19.99 km (12.42 mile) fully-paved track.
Seventeen different classes will attempt to reach the summit in what is likely to be the most competitive event yet, both cars and bikes making their way around the 156 turns and climbing to over 4,267 metres (14,000 feet) above sea level.
Global lubricant specialist, Motul, whose products are present in over 85 markets throughout the world, will be technical partner at Pikes Peak to no less than seven cars which are represented across two of the largest classes within the competitor list – Time Attack and Unlimited. Each competitor has just one timed attempt so there is no room for any mechanical weakness; Motul’s proven technical reliability and performance in this high-altitude arena, using specially adapted lubricants from its 300V range, are indispensable to its competitors. Motul’s products are relied upon in this way in multiple disciplines the world over, from Pikes Peak to the Isle of Man TT and MotoGP to the 24 Hours of Le Mans .
For the third year running, Jean-Philippe Dayraut will be headlining the Motul-supported line up. The Frenchman, who finished 3rd at Pikes Peak two years ago, is expected to mount one of the most serious challenges to race and fan-favourite, Sébastien Loeb. Dayraut will be driving a Nismo V8 engined Mini Countryman, and will undoubtedly be hoping to echo his past successes in Super Touring and the Andros Trophy and cause an upset or two with his diminutive but fierce-looking machine.
Providing one of the strongest challenges for overall victory, and also in the Unlimited category, will be last year’s winner, Rhys Millen. At the wheel of his brand new Hyundai PM580T prototype, the Californian 12 months ago set a new Pikes Peak Course Record with a time of 9:46.164. Well known across America for his exploits in Rallycross and as a Formula Drift champion, the highly experienced Millen will be a hot favorite for a second consecutive victory.
There are two further Motul-supported entries in the Unlimited class, including the heavily-modified Rally Ready Mitusbishi Evo PP9 of Dave Carapetyan. Run by the Canadian Magnus Racing team, driver ‘Texas Dave’ is an instructor in the Motul-supported Rally Ready Academy, and his Evo will be using a Pfitzner Performance Gearbox. Motul is an official technical partner to the gearbox manufacturer. Also in this category is the beautiful Evasive Motorsports Scion FR-S of Rob Walker.
Kash Singh once again lines up for Motul for his third attempt in the 2WD Time Attack class in his Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Singh, a gentleman driver, will be taking on the Race to the Clouds in his fully street-legal car in the 20-strong class, the biggest of the field! He is joined in the category by Rally xD’s Andrew Comrie-Picard who last year finished 3rd in the Exhibition Powersports category at his first attempt on the mountain. Benefitting from a long term partnership between the Rally xD team and Motul, Comrie-Picard normally races in Rally America and receives will be driving a Scion xD which is backed by Scion USA. The final Motul-supported entrant is one of the most experienced: Paul Dallenbach. The Hyundai Genesis Coupe he will use is actually the record-holding, ex-Rhys Millen 2012 car and the stunt and precision driving expert is another who has moved from the Unlimited class to the Time Attach 2WD.
Gates open to the public from 3:00am and the flag drops for racing action at 8:00am. Records are likely to tumble, and Motul will be watching and waiting with interest to see the progress of the cars lubricated by the international specialist.