RENO, NV JULY 5, 2011 The Torchmate team members of JT Taylor, Brad Lovell and Roger Lovell took on the highly anticipated 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Sunday June 26th after a full week of practice. All competing in the Pikes Peak Open Class, Brad Lovell took 2nd in his Nissan AMSOil Truck, JT Taylor finished 4th in the Torchmate TTB Car, guest driver Sam Berri finished 6th in the Tube Shark/Torchmate car, and Roger Lovell had an unfortunate accident that he walked away from in his AMSOil Torchmate Ultra4 car.
The long week consisted of 3 mandatory practice mornings from 5am to 10am giving drivers plenty of opportunity to learn the mountain, topped with Fan Fest in Downtown Colorado Springs on Friday night and then the running of the race on Sunday. This will be the last year of dirt on Pikes Peak making it an even more historic event. In the initial drivers meeting Race Director Phil Layton said, “The road is what it is, we get what it is, and understand the mystique of the mountain. There isn’t one of you out here that doesn’t understand the spirit of that mountain, and what it is that draws us back…because it really does.”
JT Taylor was the returning Exhibition Class Champion at Pikes Peak and a Pioneer for the Rock Racing Class. This was the first hill climb for the Torchmate TTB car and it showed that it wanted to compete. “Pikes Peak’s history makes this one of my favorite races of all time,” said JT Taylor who had Matt Magliacano as his co-driver. “The Torchmate team had a great day on the mountain, we qualified second in class so we took off second to last. Matt was calling out the corners perfectly, and we were making it up the mountain, but the set up on the car was just not where it needed to be to win. We ended up fourth in class with a time of 13:26.”
Brad Lovell’s Nissan AMSOil Torchmate Truck screamed up the mountain. With a finishing time of 12:33, he took second in the Pikes Peak Open Class. “We had a pretty clean run, the truck felt really good in the gravel and we didn’t have any close calls,” said Brad Lovell. “Being my 2nd year running Pikes Peak, we made some changes to the truck including running alcohol and BFGoodrich Drag Radials. I have also had more time to learn how the truck drives and it has all paid off shaving about 45 seconds off last years time.”
Sam Berri, a recognized desert racer, got a call from JT Taylor to drive his Torchmate / Tube Shark car as an extension of the Goodyear Tire team. Berri immediately picked up on the style of racing, asphalt, 4 wheel drive, and having a co-driver in the seat next to him. As the practice days came to a conclusion, Sam Berri was a threat in the class and finished 6th in class with a 13:48. “The race was awesome, I had a fantastic time,” said Sam Berri. “We tested, tested, tested and got the Goodyear Tires dialed in and air pressures figured out. I beat JT’s time from last year, so that tells me I got a little used to it!”
Roger Lovell didn’t have a finish time, but he did walk away from a 3 ½ barrel roll in the lower asphalt section on race day. “Racing the Peak is on my bucket list of things to do in life. Every morning I get up and look at that mountain; it’s time for me to take on the challenge,” said Roger Lovell before the race. On race day, “I left the start line and thing were great. I went into a right hand sweeper, and the truck started to drift a little bit, the driver side rear tire caught the shot creek as it was dropping off over the side, which sent the car rolling 3 ½ times. I took the hardest hit of my life, and pretty much finished the truck off.” What he followed his interview up with was, “The most important thing that comes out of all of this is there is a reason for all the safety gear and a reason for all the rules. I totaled the truck, but you know what, I walked away from it because of all the safety gear.”
Torchmate Racing had a booth at Fan Fest on Friday night displaying the new a 2×2 Torchmate CNC Cutting machine and graphics for the TTB car. Torchmate Racing also built custom trophies for the Ultra4 sub-division of the Open Pikes Peak Class.
Torchmate at Pikes Peak You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LJxzAKNAk8
JT Taylor In-Car Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxJmL0iI8JU
Tuesday You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwwfsUB7mPk
Wednesday You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-Z4-tCBNm0
Thursday You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7riHlz2y__A
Friday You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxWdny5iGNk
RACE DAY You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxWdny5iGNk
A Drive Up Pikes Peak with Commentary. 4 Part Series
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V31NDLkxbQo
Torchmate Racing Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/TorchmateRacing
Torchmate CNC Cutting Machines can be purchased and more information can be found at www.Torchmate.com.
Photo Credit: Michael Hill Photo
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: http://www.usacracing.com/ppihc
About Torchmate : Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems has been bringing affordable CNC plasma cutting tables and other automation solutions to manufacturers worldwide for over 30 years, and have now extended their product line to include a 2×2 table suitable for any fabricators’ garage. Torchmate Racing has supported the offroad racing community through marketing partnerships and putting their key employees behind the wheel of the best equipment. The Torchmate Racing Team is currently involved in racing a Class 6 in the SCORE Baja series and BITD, a Rock Crawler in CalRocs and W.E. Rock, an Ultra4 racer and also support multiple racers in other series including CHCA, TORC, LOORRS and Dirt Track. Please join the thousands that are already part of the Torchmate family. Call toll free today at (866)571-1066 or internationally at (775) 673-2200 and let one of the trained CNC professionals guide you through every step of the CNC cutting process. www.torchmate.com
Sponsors: Torchmate CNC Cutting Systems, BFGoodrich, Goodyear, Radflo Shocks, WARN, Raceline Wheels, Magnaflow Exhaust, Eibach Springs, Pirate4x4.com
About JT Taylor: JT Taylor is the epitome of “been there, done that”. A retired First Sergeant who returned from the Iraq conflict with a Bronze Star, Taylor uses the skills that he honed as a soldier to manage the Torchmate Racing team. His strategic and mechanical capabilities have served him not just with Torchmate racing, but also in previous Crew Chief positions with Speed Technologies, Shannon Campbell and Dirt Sports race teams. He was the Crew Chief for Speed Technologies 2008 Class 1 Baja 1000 win, 2009 Baja 500 Torchmate team, and co-drove and was crew for the 2009 Baja 1000 and 2010 NORRA 1000, and pits for Speed Technologies SuperLite #16 in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series. It would be foolish to think that Taylor is only handy with a wrench though, he is just as comfortable behind the wheel. Taylor consistently held a top ten position in XORRA for five years and is the two year reigning champion of the XORRA Germany Series. He is the Colorado Hill Climb Association Ultra4 Champion and made history as the first Ultra4 competitor to run Pikes Peak, where he won the Exhibition class. Taylor is one of the original thirteen competitors of King of the Hammers who has raced every year, including 2010 with Roger Norman on his team.
Marketing Partners: Torchmate, Tube Shark, Goodyear, Raceline Wheels, CTM Axles, Howe Power Steering, Winchline.com, Shirt Force, Power Tank
About Brad Lovell: Brad Lovell has proven himself as one of the most versatile off-road drivers in North America. In addition to winning championships in rock crawling and rock racing, he has victories in the desert and hill climbs. In seven years, he has amassed 9 championships, and 32 wins. While racing a varied schedule including the Ultra 4 series, Brad focuses on winning in the ultra competitive TORC Pro-Light class. In 2009, he was named the Dirt Sports Magazine Rock Racer of the Year. Racing is a full-time occupation for Brad so when he is not at the track, he is hard at work in the shop or enjoying time with his wife and sons.
Marketing Partners: AMSOil, Torchmate, BFGoodrich, Spidertrax
About Roger Lovell: Roger Lovell began his off road career in 2004 when he and his brother, Brad decided to build the first “Lovell Ranger”. With Roger as the spotter and Brad as the driver the bothers had a very successful first season and won every event they entered. After two successful years on the rocks Roger decided it was time to drive as well as fill the spotter role. An engineer by trade, Roger began building a second “Lovell Ranger” and In 2007 Roger won the XRRA U.S. Nationals and has been a top driver ever since. With a never say die attitude Roger continues to compete alongside his brother in the Ultra 4 Series, BITD, and CHCA. Since 2004 Roger and Brad have built a three truck team that competes in every aspect of off road racing imaginable. Not only has Roger helped build a race team but he and his wife, Hallie, are proud parents of a son, Parker and a daughter, Taylor.
Marketing Partners: AMSOil, Torchmate, BFGoodrich, Spidertrax