Skilled bike racer Carlin Dunne is confirmed to have died after a high-speed crash that allegedly occurred simply 20 yards from the end line of the 12.42-mile Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb race. The 36-year-old California native had earned the title of “King of the Mountain” after turning into the primary bike rider within the historical past of the race to attain a sub-10-minute time in 2012 whereas piloting a modified Ducati.
In contrast to the race automobiles, the place the fastest-qualifying automobile begins first and the slowest final, the bikes class kicks off the day with the slowest bike first and the quickest final. Subsequently, Dunne was the ultimate bike to start out Sunday’s race—and after delivering the quickest time throughout qualifying earlier within the week on the wheel of his 2019 Ducati Streetfighter V4 Prototype, crew and followers alike anticipated Dunne to set a brand new course report and take the category win.
The Drive was on-site at this yr’s Hill Climb and witnessed Dunne blast via the primary sector of the 156-corner “observe” at unbelievable pace regardless of the altering climate situations. Sadly, what ought to’ve been a several-minute wait till the primary automobile launched from the beginning line grew to become a two-hour delay. We did not know concerning the crash on the time, however after timing and scoring didn’t replace Dunne’s ultimate sector time everybody started to concern for the more severe. Nonetheless, loss of life isn’t one’s first thought. Sadly, hours after studying that Dunne by no means crossed the end line, a press launch from Pikes Peak and Ducati officers was launched confirming his loss of life.
The collective hearts of the Colorado Springs group and the Board of Administrators of The Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb, together with Ducati North America, share the grief and ache of Carlin Dunne’s household, buddies and followers over his premature loss of life.
All through the 97 years that this distinctive race has been performed on America’s Mountain, we’ve skilled the last word pleasure in victory, the frustration of failure and now, the surprising heartbreak of the lack of a competitor, whose love of the race introduced him to Pikes Peak. We mourn the tragic loss of life of Carlin and he’ll stay in our hearts perpetually as a part of the Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb household. Carlin might be remembered as a warm-hearted mentor with a aggressive spirit. He was a delicate and considerate man who touched everybody who met him. We’ll at all times bear in mind his contagious smile and real love for sport.
With our deepest condolences,
The Board of Administrators of the Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb
A reporter from The Gazette who was current close to the end line reported seeing “bike shrapnel going over the fitting fringe of the street about 20 yards from the end line.” Different witnesses cited by the native outlet declare that Dunne “hit a bump at excessive pace close to the summit, which brought about his entrance wheel to spin out.”
After driving the whole lot of the race course on the wheel of an Acura RDX on Friday morning, we are able to verify that the observe floor close to the summit was extraordinarily bumpy and even poorly maintained in sure spots. Acura racing drivers performing as back-seat tour guides throughout our ascend claimed that a number of open-wheel race automobiles had been truly bottoming out on entry to the ultimate nook. This seems to corroborate the witnesses cited by The Gazette.
“There aren’t any phrases to explain our shock and disappointment. Carlin was a part of our household and one of the real and sort males we’ve ever identified. His spirit for this occasion and love of motorcycling might be remembered perpetually as his passing leaves a gap in our hearts,” stated Jason Chinnock, CEO Ducati North America.
Our ideas are with the Dunne household in addition to his buddies and racing colleagues.