Pikes Peak is by far one of the most treacherous courses in the U.S., as it climbs a total of 4,720 feet over a span of 12.42 miles and it boasts 156 turns. Even on its own site it says “Competitors and vehicles must be in top shape simply to finish...let alone win!” The video above shows exactly what can happen when even the slightest error in a car can cause a deadly crash scene.
Fortunately for the racing world, Paul Dallenbach, the driver of the 1,400-horsepower monster you see taking high-speed plunge into the trees, cheated death this time around. We were interested in how he was feeling, so we gave our Paul a call and checked on his recovery process. He felt so good, he was able to give us a short interview about the crash, so our readers can get a good idea of what actually went on.
UPDATE 08/14/2012: Check out our images of the Dallenbach’s race car post crash, as well as the state of the scene after the crash!
We were also able to get a video of the crash from the car’s onboard camera!! Check it out above!
Click past the jump to read what Paul had to say about this gut wrenching wreck.
We seriously expected a challenged “Helllllloooo” when he picked up the phone, but he was amazingly energetic right from the get go and was ready to talk about the experience... Well, the parts of it he remembered at least. Paul and his team were feeling good about the race and felt they may even be able to make a run at top honors this year. He was making pretty good time too up until that fateful turn.
the engine just kept on going. That’s when he noticed the accelerator was stuck wide open
According to Dallenbach, he was doing about 125 mph as he approached a 40 mph right turn. As he released the gas and went to press the brake, the engine just kept on going. That’s when he noticed the accelerator was stuck wide open. No matter how hard he jammed the brake pedal with his left foot the car wouldn’t slow.
According to his recount of the process, he tried pushing in the clutch to slow the car a little, which is when you hear the popping of his blow-off valve as he screams past the camera, but it was too little and too late. He estimates that he plowed into the treeline at about 125 mph and took down four trees as he blazed his own trail through the forest.
"This is it, this is the end"
When we asked him “What goes through your mind at a time like that?” The only though he could really muster up was “This is it, this is the end.”
He told us that he “blacked out for about 30 seconds” and didn’t really remember what happened until he was on the helicopter heading to the hospital. Fortunately for Paul, all he is suffering from now are a few bruises, a sore forehead, sore wrists, a cut on his nose and some stitches on his hand. Plus, he’s going to need to pick up a new helmet, as his split from the impact.
All we can say is that Paul certainly had Karma or something on his side that day. He could have lost a lot more than just his camera on that day. Hopefully we see him at next year’s race and he has a much more successful run.