Remembering Carlin Dunne
This year’s running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb included the news that nobody wants to hear: motorcycle rider Carlin Dunne, who appeared to be on his way to setting a new motorcycle speed record on the mountain, suffered a crash within a mile of the finish line. Hours after the crash, Dunne was pronounced dead.
A four-time PPIHC motorcycle champion and the defending race winner, Dunne had qualified on top of the speed charts, making him the final two-wheel racer to take to the mountain on Sunday. The Santa Barbara-based rider and stuntman also found victory in the sand in Baja, held multiple world records, and owned a Ducati dealership.
Despite engine troubles in the final sector that ended any hope of a sub-nine minute run, Robin Shute earned the overall and Unlimited class victory in the 97th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday with a time of 9:12.476. Shute, whose team ran the Faraday Future program in 2017 and assembled an Unlimited effort with a Wolf GB08 and turbocharged Honda two-liter engine, posted the fastest time in qualifying and were more than 11 seconds clear of any other entry.
Second place went to Time Attack 1 winner Raphael Astier, while Pikes Peak Open entrants Peter Cunningham, David Donohue, and Layne Schrantz completed the top five. 10 racers, including overall motorcycle winner Rennie Scaysbrook, cracked the 10-minute barrier, while 48 of the 78 entries signed up for this year’s race took the checkered flag.
Other notables included Rhys Millen, whose Exhibition class Bentley Continental GT set a production car world record for the event with a time of 10:18.488; Millen’s time was good for 14th overall. Tommy Boileau, whose blog series leading up to the event appeared here on DownAndDirtyShow.com, was the top finishing rookie at 18th overall with a time of 10:34.391. And Travis Pastrana scored his second straight Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy win, muscling his Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport up the mountain in 11:24.287 to post the 32nd fastest time of the event.
As is often the case, a number of competitors saw their runs impacted by weather at the summit forcing a shortened course upon the later racers. Those affected included FIA World Rallycross star Andreas Bakkerud, who made his Pikes Peak debut in a Sierra Alpha RX3 similar to those run in the ARX3 class of Americas Rallycross.