Racer Mike Ryan in his wrecked Freightliner hill climb specialAutoblog director of photography Drew Phillips is reporting that Unlimited Exhibition Class driver Mike Ryan has suffered a significant crash during the end of today's practice session for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Driving his impressive No. 777 Freightliner racing truck, Phillips indicates that Ryan suffered apparent understeer on a left-hand turn in the lower section of the hill climb used for qualifying. Driver and truck apparently continued down an embankment of some 50 to 75 feet. The picture above shows the scene after emergency workers arrived.

Rescue workers on hand indicated that the driver was "okay," at the time, and a call to a representative of Mike Ryan Motorsports confirmed that the driver "is fine." Apparently Ryan called in to inform staff that he was unharmed, and he was able to avoid even a trip to the hospital.

It is still unclear how extensive the damage to the vehicle is, however. We're still working to get shots of the crashed vehicle, but Phillips indicates that it may not be repairable in time for the race. Stay tuned as we know more.

Readers that have tuned into our Pikes Peak coverage in years past will no doubt remember Ryan's Freightliner rides, as well as his name. Last year, Autoblog scribe Michael Harley even rode along with Ryan in his Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Special.

UPDATE: Drew Phillips has provided these first photos of the wrecked Freighliner, and as feared, it looks like it will be unable to make this year's race. The same may not be said of its hearty driver, Mike Ryan, however, who seems to be keeping a good sense of humor despite the crash (that's him pictured in the cab). Our man Phillips hears he might still contest The Peak with a Triumph bike run.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      Christopher Anderson
      • 6 Months Ago
      I guess if you are going to fall off a mountain, a race-built semi is a safe thing to do it in.
      Tweaker
      • 6 Months Ago
      "Autoblog scribe Michael Harley even road along with Ryan " No comment.
      montoym
      • 6 Months Ago
      That's a shame, he's always a good time to watch head up the Peak. Interesting that he was in the Unlimited class this year, he had previously raced in the Exhibition class no? I wonder why, not as though he's actually fast enough to take the top spot. It really is better as an exhibition. I'm guessing the options that they give to the Unlimited class to race when they choose probably plays a role. They get to head up when the weather is more favorable. Even though it's Pikes Peak, it's probably still not much fun to head up there in the rain/snow. Not when trying to compete for a top spot anyhow.
      Tim
      • 6 Months Ago
      At last year's FanFest, there was a highly modified NSX that had crashed and burned. It was quite the sight! Will Mike have the Freightliner at FanFest tomorrow in a similar manner?
        Tim
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Tim
        Some pics of the wrecked NSX I'm talking about: http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk310/TeeJayHoward/Fan%20Fest%202013/IMG_2135_zps59596ed8.jpg http://i283.photobucket.com/albums/kk310/TeeJayHoward/Fan%20Fest%202013/IMG_2134_zpsdb4883ae.jpg
      AcidTonic
      • 6 Months Ago
      Probably couldn't see through all the black smoke :)
      Tweaker
      • 6 Months Ago
      "Autoblog scribe Michael Harley even road along with Ryan " No comment.
      • 6 Months Ago
      [blocked]