Ducati North America, official motorcycle sponsor of the PPIHC, announced the expansion of the Race Smart Program to include the race’s first-ever, specially-modified EMT motorcycles to serve as the first line of support on the mountain during the 95th running of historic the “Race to the Clouds.” Two specially-equipped Multistrada 950 EMT motorcycles will be piloted by Dr. Gary Klein, long-time race physician and Safety Team lead for the PPIHC, and Duxton Milam, a 20-year EMT and veteran flight medic with the National Guard. Both also have decades of experience on a motorcycle.
“In the program’s first year, we saw all of the racers who were mentored through the Race Smart program improve their results and race with confidence up Pikes Peak to the finish,” said Jason Chinnock, CEO of Ducati North America. “For 2017, we saw an opportunity to further enhance the safety of all participants by incorporating moto EMTs for rapid response in the case of a course incident. This is extremely important when the emergency support teams are covering a course of more than 12 miles up a mountain peak.”
Ducati partnered with the PPIHC in 2016 to create the Race Smart Program, utilizing the experience of former champions to ensure all registered motorcycle entrants, whether rookie or veteran, have the highest level of preparation and knowledge prior to race. The heart of the program is a team of seasoned rider coaches, titled the Pikes Peak Squadra Alpina (PPSA).
For 2017, the PPSA returns with rider coach and all-time PPIHC course record holder, Carlin Dunne, joined by Cycle World Road Test Editor, Don Canet. Both riders will be mounted on Ducati Multistrada 1200 motorcycles. Paul and Becca Livingston also return as the Race Smart Program team managers, with experience fielding teams at the PPIHC since 2006, including Team Spider Grips Ducati’s 2012 record-setting runs under 10 minutes.
In addition to the two EMT motorcycles and rider coaches, the PPSA has also been expanded to include four-wheeled team coaches. Fred Veitch, veteran PPIHC racer and member of the Board of Directors for the Hill Climb, as well as the Competition, Driver Selection and Appeals committees, will join the PPSA team. He is joined by Jeff MacPherson, who has 50 years of competition experience, including the PPIHC, CART Indycar series, USAC Indianapolis 500, European Formula 3000 Championship, Formula Atlantic in North America, and the Pacific in New Zealand and Australia Formula Super Vee.