• Jun 24, 2011
2011 Pikes Peak Hill Climb Practice Day 3 - Click above for high-res image gallery

This morning, the Unlimited Class cars headed for the bottom portion of Pikes Peak, the sole remaining part of the course that still contains unpaved roads. The three-plus miles of dirt will be paved over before next year's race, and since we'll be spending race day at the finish line, this is the last time we'll ever see the race cars run on the dirt. Sad.

The practice session on the bottom third of the course also serves as a qualifying time, which determines the starting order at the official race. The top qualifier can choose to go first or last in his class. Why is this important? With the ever-changing weather at Pikes Peak, a few minutes can mean the difference between good and bad weather. Last year, Monster Tajima elected to go first, leaving Rhys to deal with the snow that started falling just a few minutes later at the top of the mountain.

While Tajima hasn't been in his usual dominant form during the practice days, he crushed the competition in today's qualifying, beating his closest competitor, Rhys Millen, by 15 seconds. Dallenbach qualified just one second behind Millen, and Jean Philippe Dayraut was another ten seconds back in his Dacia Duster. Even so, the race could be anyone's come Sunday. Millen, whose car is set up more for the fast pavement sections, put in a time 15 seconds faster than Monster on the top section, and the two were nearly equal in the middle portion of the course. Dallenbach can't be counted out, either, as he's been nearly dead even with Millen throughout the week.

Rod Millen looks to be the close favorite in the 2WD Time Attack class, edging out his close friend Jeff Zwart by a second and a half during today's qualifying. Millen's Hyundai Genesis was far faster on yesterday's practice session, however, topping Zwart's Porsche 911 GT2 RS by thirteen seconds.

Stephan Verdier will be the man to beat in 4WD Time Attack. He piloted his highly modified Subaru Impreza WRX STI to the top qualifying spot, five seconds faster than David Kern's Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

For a full list of practice and qualifying times, head over to www.ppihc.com.

Check back Sunday afternoon for the final race results and to see if the ten-minute barrier will finally be broken at Pikes Peak. Until then, as always, check out our live photos from today in the gallery below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      KaiserWilhelm
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why are they paving the whole road? This is almost as bad as putting in chicanes and cutting down the hill on the mulsanne straight!
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @KaiserWilhelm
        No, it isn't. The reason they put in a chicane is to cut down on high speeds. They cut down the hill to prevent cars from taking air at high speeds. The reason they're paving Pikes Peak is because it's a public road that's used daily.
        JayP
        • 3 Years Ago
        @KaiserWilhelm
        The environmentalists wanted the road paved for a long time. Erosion has been an issue. But once it is all paved there will be a new standard to beat and it may be set this year.
      Seph
      • 3 Years Ago
      Go Tajima'san!
      DGP
      • 3 Years Ago
      Haha. Thats me in the grey beenie and orange backpack. Here is some video of that inside hairpin http://youtu.be/jDFZ1xjSJMU http://youtu.be/-N-GfiL8qEU http://youtu.be/32gGyUcNsmo http://youtu.be/JhqEF9TvL_k http://youtu.be/BYls2MXiCh8 http://youtu.be/kJdQlmK8GrE http://youtu.be/cKP4ByvN7jM
      wonky donky.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Needs moar splitter.
      feeboo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Can someone explain to me those ridiculous front wings?
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @feeboo
        Downforce...
          feeboo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Why is the front so flat then? I think some wind tunnel shots with smoke would help me understand it's purpose more clearly. It just seems so ridiculous. I assumed there was more to it than simply downforce.
        Jason
        • 3 Years Ago
        @feeboo
        It's similar to a wing, but instead of creating a pressure differential by the geometry of the wing itself, it uses the geometry of the front of the car to create a pressure differential....they're called splitters. The large front overhangs are used to "split" the air into high and low pressure zones because of the varying air speeds. At the top of the splitter, the air speeds are very low because the front of the car causes a stagnation point. Low air speed = high pressure. The high pressure pushes down on the splitter, causing downforce. In the opposite way, the air under the splitter has to speed up due to the reduced area is has to pass through, so it creates a low pressure on the underside of the splitter (high air speed = low pressure), which sucks it down to the ground. Here's a website and graphic that kinda illustrate the point. http://www.e30m3project.com/e30m3performance/myths/splitter/splitter.htm
        DGP
        • 3 Years Ago
        @feeboo
        It needs to be big because the air is so thin and gets thinner as they go up the mountain
      TokyoRemix
      • 3 Years Ago
      I love that a stock GT2 RS is beasting that course along with the modified cars. Porsche got its start in hillclimbs! Also, 田嶋さんがんばれーー
      Johnny Horsley
      • 3 Years Ago
      I was at the turn around today for the guys qualifying for Sunday. Everybody seemed happy with their times. That killer time set by Monster was insane. He came off the dirt sideways into the finish line. I have never seen the guys push it so hard. I am sure they are gonna miss the dirt.....
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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