Truck racers set for Pikes Peak duel

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Big rig racer Mike Ryan and New Zealand truck racing champion Shane Chapman will battle it out in the exhibition division of the 84th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Saturday, July 1.

Also known as the Race to the Clouds, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest motorsports event in the United States after the Indianapolis 500. Since 1916, drivers and motorcycle riders have challenged this 12.46-mile course, which runs from mile 7 of Pikes Peak Highway to the 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak. The run up the mountain is mostly dirt, with 156 turns, cliffs of 2,000 feet and no guardrails.

Ryan, the record holder with five records and eight wins, will be attempting to beat his time of 12.46.81 in his hand-built Freightliner Century Class S/T Super Truck, designed specifically for the climb. Powered by a 1250-hp Mercedes Benz engine, the truck has 2,700 -pound-feet of torque and a ZF five-speed transmission that has been modified for racing. The truck has a four-link front end and three-link rear end suspension, much like a sprint car; and at 8,000 pounds, it has reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

Chapman is a four-time New Zealand B Class Truck racing champion. A former record holder of the Race to the Sky Hill Climb in Queenstown, New Zealand, Chapman took second place at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2000. He will be racing a 2004 Panoz Racing chassis, equipped with Haldex water-cooled air brakes. The truck will be powered by a 14-liter Detroit Diesel 60 Series engine with twin turbochargers, 1,400-hp and 3,000 pound-feet of torque. A World Series Allison six-speed automatic transmission will be delivering power to the ground.

For more information about the race, go to www.ppihc.com.