On Thursday, qualifying times for six categories were set on the bottom-section switchbacks of Pikes Peak: Electric Modified - near-unlimited showcases of electric-vehicle engineering; Electric Production - electric vehicles "readily available to the public;" Open Wheel - single engine, open wheeled, open cockpit, single seat vehicles; Open - based upon a production or approved-aftermarket-replica vehicle; Exhibition - a prototype or pre-production vehicle limited to one year of eligibility in this class; and Vintage - vehicles and drivelines from 1990 or earlier.
Greg Tracy's MiEV Evolution III topped the time sheets almost 14 seconds ahead of third-place Monster Tajima.
The big story was Greg Tracy in his MiEV Evolution III topping the time sheets almost 14 seconds ahead of third-placed Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima, with the second MiEV Evolution III driven by Hiroshi Masuoka about three seconds behind Tracy. The Mitsus also lined up in the first two positions last year with Monster Tajima in third, but Monster was only two seconds behind Tracy in 2013. The times don't mean anything to the mountain, though; everyone expected Mitsubishi to win last year, but rain during their run slowed them and Monster Tajima took the crown.
Roy Richards took pole in Electric Production Class in a 2012 Honda Fit EV, Michael Skeen is atop the Open Class in a 2009 Nissan GT-R, Donald Hoffman leads the Exhibition Class in a Radical RXC and Christopher Lennon is ahead of all the Exhibition runners in a 1973 Porsche 911.
The Open Wheel Class is led by none other than Paul Dallenbach, with three overall wins on Pikes Peak and four more class wins. Dallenbach set a new record in the Time Attack Class last year in a Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and a Production Car World Record in a 2014 Range Rover Sport. This year he's driving a 750-horsepower Dallenbach PV03 that his brother Wally Dallenbach, Jr. used to win the class in 2006 and that Paul drove to a win at the Goodwood Festival in 2007.
In other news, Mike Ryan suffered a big accident in his popular
Enjoy the high-res gallery of photos from yesterday's runs, and we'll be back later with the results of today's qualifying.