Pikes Peak Hill Climb gaining more international competitors

The 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is on pace to set records for the number of competitors.

So far, 178 drivers and racers from the United States, Italy, Japan, Spain and Sweden are registered to compete in the 89th running of America’s second-oldest motor sports race on June 26.

A dozen defending champions will take on the mountain, as well, including international favorite and five-time Unlimited Division champion Nobuhiro Tajima, of Japan, and American veterans Rhys Millen and Paul Dallenbach, in the same division.

Veteran and star Clint Vahsholtz returns to the super stock division. Keith Davidson returns to defend his title in the vintage race cars division. Also defending their titles are Jeff Zwart, time attack two-wheel-drive; Joe Prussiano, motorcycle 450 CC; Gary Trachy, motorcycle 750 CC; Greg Tracy, motorcycle 1205 CC; Michael Coburn, motorcycle quad modified;  David Hennessy, motorcycle sidecar; Leeland Sinclair, motorcycle supermoto 450 CC; and Ikuo Hanawa of Japan, electric auto exhibition powerspor.

Dave Carapetyan, who has won the Pikes Peak open division, moved this year to the Unlimited field to take on Tajima, Millen and Dallenbach.

Swedish driver Ralf Christensson, who made headlines at Monte Carlo with a 1964 Ford Falcon Futura Sprint, signed on to the PPIHC for the first time. Christensson will race the 1964 Ford in the Vintage Racing division.