CUPERTINO, Calif., June 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), one of the most extreme road races in the world, has 156 turns for 12.42 miles, up a treacherous mountain peak of 14,115 feet in elevation. First completed in 1916, it's the second oldest automotive race in the United States. Ducati has secured six victories on the mountain since the company's debut in 2008 and holds the all-time course record (2012 / Ducati Multistrada 1200 S / 9:52.819).
Today, 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 the historic "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.
Additional information about Ducati, including participating dealers and availability can be found at www.ducati.com.
Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. - A Sole Shareholder Company - A Company subject to the Management and Coordination activities of AUDI AG.
Founded in 1926, since 1946 Ducati has been producing sport-inspired motorcycles characterized by high-performance Desmodromic engines, innovative design and cutting-edge technology. Situated in Bologna, the factory is located in the Borgo Panigale district. The model range covers several market segments with the following families: Diavel, Hypermotard, Monster, Multistrada, and Superbike. In 2015 Ducati presented the Ducati Scrambler: a new brand made of bikes, accessories and apparel that provide the last word in creativity and self-expression. These authentic icons of "made in Italy", together with an extensive range of associated accessories and technical and lifestyle apparel, are distributed in 90 countries around the world. Ducati competes in both the World Superbike and MotoGP World Championships. In Superbike Ducati has won 17 Manufacturers' titles and 14 Riders' titles and in 2011 passed the historic milestone of 300 race victories. Ducati has participated in MotoGP since 2003, winning both the Manufacturers' and Riders' titles in 2007.
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SOURCE Ducati North America