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Millen Wins Pikes Peak Hill Climb Unlimited Class

July 5, 1996

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ Rod Millen of Newport Beach, Calif., drove a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive Toyota Celica to victory in the unlimited class in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb on Thursday but failed to crack the 10-minute barrier.

Millen’s car completed the 12.42-mile trip on a gravel road to the 14,100-foot summit in 10 minutes, 13.6 seconds. He set the record of 10:04.06 in winning the unlimited class in 1994.

Runnerup Nobuhiro Tajima of Japan, covered the route in 10:21.66 in a Suzuki.

Both drivers said the surface was too slick to challenge the 10-minute mark.

Portions of the lower half of the road had been experimentally resurfaced with Pennz Suppress-D, a dust-reducing agent that resembles asphalt.

``The lower half of the road was very fast, but the top was very slippery. I figured there would be no records up on this part of the mountain today,″ Millen said after his winning run.

Both Millen and Tajima said they’d be back to crack the 10-minute mark next year.

Perhaps the day’s most unusual victory ride was by defending open wheel champion Gary Lee Kanawyer of Pismo Beach, Calif.

The right rear tire on his Chevrolet-powered Wells Coyote went flat about three miles from the finish. Kanawyer kept going, and skated across the finish line on three tires and a bare rim in 11:25.95.

David Donner of Colorado Springs, who won the event in 1991, finished second at 11:34.86.

``Unbelievable. I never figured we’d win like this,″ said Kanawyer, who also won his division in 1981. ``I could see the chunks of rubber flying past me. I just wanted to get the car up here. We must’ve made good time down below.″

Robby Unser of the Albuquerque-based Unser racing family posted his eighth victory on the mountain, with a victory in the super stock truck class. Unser drove a Chevrolet S-10 over the course in 11:56.80, edging nine-time winner Leonard Vahsholtz who finished second at 11:59.38 in a Ford Explorer.

Other division winners were Akira Kameyama of Japan, 11:44.43 in Pikes Peak open; Jeff Zwart of Woody Creek, Colo., 12;34.46 in high performance showroom stock; Elliott Forbes-Robinson, 14:27.30 in legends cars; and Sid Compton of Burdett, N.Y., 15:48.88 in class 8 (semi) trucks.

Motorcycle winners were Davey Durelle of Eden Prarie, Minn., 12:33.73 in open pro; John Stallworth of Andover, Kan., 12:52.37 in pro quad; Chuck Lee of Ridgway, Colo., 15:05.91 in 250 pro; Randy McIntyre of Moreno Valley, Calif., 13:25.75 in open amateur; Greg Tracy of Long Beach, Calif., 13:37.86 in 250cc amateur; and Scott Dunlavey of Lafayette, Calif., 14:11.16 in vintage.

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