Victory Returns to Pikes PeakThe Europeans have the Isle of Man, and the Americans have Pikes Peak. Taking riders 12.42 miles to the 14,110 summit after 156 turns, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a thrilling, razor’s edge race up the Pike’s Peak Mountain that has been running since 1916.Last year, the Victory Racing Team competed aboard its Project 156 prototype, built by Roland Sands. The bike, which was used as a basis for the new Victory Octane street motorcycle, returns for the 2016 Pike Peak International Hill Climb with a new pilot, Jeremy Toye, who dominated the motorcycle division of the 2014 PPIHC aboard a Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja.
Accompanying Toye up the mountain will be Don Canet, piloting the Empulse RR electric prototype which raced in the 2015 TT Zero at the Isle of Man. So it seems that Victory’s promise to reinvigorate their interest in racing is staying true; with not one but two entries into the stories Pikes Peak race.“We are eager to bring the Victory Racing team back to Pikes Peak this year to help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Race to the Clouds,” explains Alex Hultgren, Director of Marketing for Victory Motorcycles.“One way Victory lives and breathes Modern American Muscle is by continuously pushing ourselves through our performance and racing initiatives and since Pikes Peak is arguably the most challenging race in America, it’s exactly where we need to be.”Toye has been chomping at the bit to get his hands on Project 156 ever since Don Canet piloted the prototype racer up Pikes Peak in 2015: “After seeing Don ride Project 156 last year and watching a lot of the onboard video footage, I cannot wait experience Project 156 for myself.”Don Canet is no stranger to racing; aside from being an editor at Cycle World, he’s done his fair share of professional racing over the years. This will be the second time he’s been involved with the legendary Pikes Peak race, and he is making his return aboard an electric bike. “It’s been said that the third time is a charm. Having now had a leg over the Victory electric prototype racer, I’m very optimistic about our prospects upon returning for a third go on America’s Mountain. Pikes Peak is an ideal venue for an electric powered bike to showcase its performance potential,” Canet says.With this year’s Pikes Peak event rapidly approaching, the team is getting things in working order. That means round after round of testing to make sure that the Empulse RR Electric prototype is ready to roll. Brian Wismann, team manager for Victory Racing had this to say about the effort: “The Victory Racing team is pleased to have successfully completed our first test in our journey back to challenge Pikes Peak on its 100th anniversary. We wanted to get our racer some familiarity with the power delivery, handling and nuances of racing an electric motorcycle and we were able to accomplish that and more.“It’s really a testament to Don’s abilities that he was able to show up at a track he’s never ridden before, throw a leg over an electric bike he’s never ridden before and go as fast as he did ‘out of the gate’. We’re looking forward to the next test when we really start to fine-tune our set up to tackle the mountain!”This year marks the centennial anniversary of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb and the 94th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPHIC) that has been brought to you by Gran Turismo.In recent months, we’ve seen a few rule changes that haven’t been kind to motorcyclists but hopefully, those issues will get sorted out in the coming years. Set to kick off on June 26, 2016, the hill climb is the second oldest motorsports race in the America, just behind the Indianapolis 500.