Colorado Springs, June 25---------- Veteran motorsports competitor and official Gay Smith of Colorado Springs has been selected to drive the new Range Rover Sport Official Pace Car for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 30.
Smith’s passion for motorsports began in 1963 when he saw the famed Parnelli Jones in the Pikes Peak Super Stock Car title, beginning an association with the Hill Climb that would span 30 years. He srved on the event’s Boards of Directors for 20 years.
He was the 1974 Rookie of the Year on Pikes Peak and also competed with the Colorado Hill Climb Association where he won numerous titles in the stock car division.
In recent years, Smith’s motorsport competition has included participation in Baja and desert racing, and in 2009, he and co-driver Dale Harrison won the Mexican 1000. He also teamed with Strobel Motorsports to drive a Ford trophy truck in the Baja 1000, driving at night and taking 5th place overall.
In May, he again competed in the Mexican 1000, where he finished third in the overall standings.
The Colorado Springs resident and native of Sterling, Kansas, is President of AA Construction Company.
The Official Pace Car that Smith will drive Sunday morning recently made headlines when it completed a record run on the Pikes Peak course.
Veteran driver Paul Dallenbach, who has won four Pikes Peak titles in 19 years on the mountain and entered this year in the Time Attack Division, set a new record on Pikes Peak for a production-standard Sport Utility Vehicle behind the wheel of a Range Rover Sport with a clocking of 12:35.61, an average speed of 59.17 MPH over the 12.42 mile course with 156 turns. Dallenbach’s record run was timed and sanctioned by the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
The new record was set by Dallenbach, driving a Range Rover Sport with a 510HP 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine, the vehicle altered from production specification only in the fitment of a roll cage and harness seatbelts to meet racing safety requirements.
Developed alongside the highly-acclaimed Range Rover, the all-new Range Rover Sport delivers the brand’s best-ever on-road dynamics together with class-leading, genuine Land Rover all-terrain capability, while presenting customers with a more assertive and muscular exterior, more luxurious interior and the flexibility provided by the option of occasional third row seating.
Exploiting Land Rover’s breakthrough lightweight suspension design and innovative dynamic chassis technologies, the all-new Range Rover Sport’s first-in-class aluminium architecture achieves a weight saving of more than 800lbs.
Downtown Fan Fest
The ever-popular downtown Fan Fest goes on Friday night, June 28¸from 5:00-10:00 p.m. in downtown Colorado Springs.
Fan Fest, presented by Budweiser is the annual pre-race celebration held in downtown Colorado Springs (Tejon St. between Colorado Ave. & Bijou St.) promoting the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
More than 30,000 fans are expected to attend. This event is FREE and features a large Budweiser beer garden, Firefighter chili cook-off for the fans and more fun for race fans and families.
Downtown business owners Sam and Kathy Guadagnoli, on behalf of The Mansion and Blondie’s, will present the Red Bull Jumpers and Skydivers.
Top race qualifiers will display their vehicles (cars, quads, motorcycles, etc.), give driver demos and be present for autograph sessions. In addition, the PPIHC mobile museum will be on-site and exclusive PPIHC merchandise will be available for purchase. Tickets to the 91st running will also be on sale.