Last week we brought you coverage from the 100th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb near Colorado Springs, CO, including one of the most spectacular vehicles in the race: Mike Ryan’s 2400-horsepower Freightliner semi truck powered by a Detroit Diesel engine. The last few years have been a trying time for Ryan and team, as they have faced a slue of misfortunes, including bad weather in 2015 and a crash in 2014. This year turned out to be another disappointment for the driver in his 20th year at Pikes Peak.
About three-quarters up his run, Ryan was stopped due to debris on the road – a cracked brake rotor from the vehicle that went before him. Although Ryan says there was a low probability that he would’ve hit the rotor, race officials are extremely careful as Pikes Peak has had more than its share of accidents, injuries, and deaths.
Ryan began a second run but after roughly two miles up his front brakes threw in the towel. According to Ryan, they simply hadn’t had enough time to cool after the first attempt up the mountain. It is especially disappointing to the driver since the first run was on pace to set a new record. He believes he could’ve shaved 30 – 60 seconds off of his previous best. “I’m not happy at all,” said Ryan over the phone. When asked what the future holds for the driver and his truck at Pikes Peak, he said he is going to take some to evaluate the situation. “Any decision right now would be an emotional one, and that’s never a good idea.”
We wish the best of luck to Ryan at future events and hope to see him back next year. His truck is hard to miss and even harder not to enjoy. Watch video of his truck and practice run from last week below.