It might weigh 10,000 pounds, but it dances up the hill climb

Apparently, Mike Ryan isn’t the average guy. For the last two years, he’s races his 2008 Freightliner big-rig in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado. The famed event is the second-oldest race in the country, but has remained a top-tier test for cutting-edge machines like electric vehicles and other complex vehicles. But perhaps the oddest is Ryan’s 10,300-pound Freightliner semi-truck.

Ryan raced the Freightliner in 2015 and 2016, posting a respectable time of 05:16.286 in 2015 on the lower section run to Glen Cove. Sadly, a DNF in 2016 sidelined Ryan and his team. Nevertheless, the sight of a massive truck running Pikes Peak is something to behold. In an interview with The Fast lane Truck, Ryan showcased his hand-build rig and all its secrets.

Continue reading for more information.

2008 Freightliner Cascadia

Mike Ryan has been running the truck for years, with varying degrees of success.

it’s hard to believe that a massive semi truck can hang with Camaros, Porsches, and electric supercars, but this beast holds its own. Mike Ryan has been running the truck for years, with varying degrees of success. Baring wrecks and weather mishaps, Ryan says he’s averaged Pikes Peak in 12 minutes, 38 seconds.

The truck is based on a 2008 Freightliner Cascadia. It features aluminum frame rails with steel crossmember. A steel safety cage not only protects Ryan, but also helps stiffen the chassis. Unlike most semi trucks, this hand-built racer runs an independent front suspension developed by ZF. The setup provides better performance and better tunability. Fully floating 17-inch front disc brakes handle most of the stopping duties. The rear also uses disc brakes. Despite its weight, the truck is made from lightweight materials. The cab, for example, is constructed from carbon fiber and fiberglass. Even the number of wheel studs and lug nuts has been reduced to save weight.

This 2,400-Horse Freightliner is Probably the Strangest Pikes Peak Contender
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Unlike most semi trucks, this hand-built racer runs an independent front suspension developed by ZF.

The big story is what motivates the Freightliner. It’s a highly modified Series 60 Detroit Diesel. The inline six-cylinder displaces a massive 14.0-liters and normally makes around 575 horsepower and 1,850 pound-feet of torque. But his Series 60 is anything but stock. It uses a triple-compound turbocharging system with crazy amounts of boost. That, combined with several other modifications, pushes power to 2,400 horsepower and an astonishing 4,000 pound-feet of torque.

Sadly, it seems Ryan and his outlandish Freightliner are not competing in the 2017 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. That’s a shame, because it’s always a blast watching this semi outrun sports cars up a mountain pass.

Read our full review on the Freightliner Cascadia here.

Source: TFL Trucks

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