We were saddened to learn of the death of Carl Sorensen today at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Sorensen was 39 years old, and finished 16th overall in last year's Pikes Peak event. He was competing this year on a Ducati 848 motorcycle in the middleweight class. Our condolences to his family and friends.
Sorensen's accident put an early end to the day's practice session, which means the times recorded are slower than we would normally see after a full day of running up the hill. In any case, Rhys Millen was again the fastest man on the mountain, setting a time of 2:15.11 on the middle section of the course.
Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima made up some ground today after a disappointing day 2, recording a time of 2:24.92 on the same section as Millen. Tajima's time was good second place, barely edging out Jeff Zwart and his Porsche 911 at 2:29.54. Millen and Tajima are both competing in the Electric Modified Class. If one of these two racers takes the overall win, it will be the first time in the even't 93-year history that an EV makes the climb faster than all the internal-combustion cars.
Veteran Pikes Peak competitor Paul Dallenbach was fastest on the bottom of the course, driving his open-wheel racecar to a time of 4:01.509. That time is quicker than Tajima's best run on the lower section, which is used to sort the competitors into their qualifying positions. Naturally, that means Dallenbach is likely the third overall qualifier behind Millen and Zwart, assuming the preliminary times become official.
There's one more day of qualifying left, so watch this space for the results tomorrow. Be sure to check out our image gallery above of photos from day 3, and click here to see our recaps from the first and second days of qualifying.