The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is always a highly anticipated event in the world of motorsport. Although it may not have the multi-millions in corporate sponsorship, extensive broadcast coverage, or the ratings of the Daytona or Indy 500, it is nonetheless a demanding course for the participants, and a thrill for the spectators.
The majority of the vehicles at the event are purpose-built race vehicles, with the majority of them being motorcycles. The four-wheeled competitors are generally low-slung purpose-built racers. But there were a few trucks of note, and although we generally have a "no minivans" policy here at Truck Trend, we made an exception for the insane 500-hp turbocharged Honda Odyssey driven by IndyCar racer Simon Pagenaud.
The biggest truck at this year's hill climb was the Open Class Freightliner driven by professional stunt driver Mike Ryan. Ryan . Ryan has entered a Class 8 Freightliner in the hill climb since 1997. Ryan's truck was outfitted with a number of performance enhancements to the Detroit Diesel 60-series engine, in addition to a compound turbo-supercharger setup, a Banks TechniCooler intercooler, water-methanol injection, Banks iQ Interface, SpeedBrake, and Monster exhaust. The combined upgrades yield an estimated output of 2400 hp and an estimated 4000-plus lb-ft of torque. The 10,000-pound behemoth managed to storm up the hill in just 12:49.211. Well off superstar Sebastien Loeb's pace of a few ticks over 8 minutes, but still faster than many competitors.
Mitsubishi played a supporting role in this year's event with the 2014 Outlander serving as official safety vehicle of the race, and Land Rover providing the official pace car of the event with the 2014 Range Rover Sport, which also recently set a production record with a 12:35.160 run. See these videos of Gale Banks explaining the engineering theory behind building Ryan's Pikes Peak truck, with some bonus smoky drifting footage, and video of the Range Rover Sport making its record-setting run.
Source: Pikes Peak International Hillcllimb, Honda, Banks Power