Seven-Time Champion Jeff Zwart Will Drive the Car this Saturday June 18th From California to Colorado
Atlanta – June 16, 2011 – Seven-time Pikes Peak Hillclimb champion Jeff Zwart, from Woody Creek, Colo., will not only take Porsche’s fastest road car ever up the mountain next week at the world’s most famous hillclimb, but he will drive the street-legal, 620 horsepower 911 GT2 RS the 1100 miles from Porsche Motorsports North America in Santa Ana, Calif. to the event.
Zwart, a commercial film director, will defend his 2WD Time Attack class championship from last year, when he smashed the class record by more than 30 seconds in a modified Porsche 911 GT3 Cup road racing car. He returns to his roots at Pikes Peak – testing the limits of the ultimate street Porsche on the mountain.
Porsche on Nov 24, 2010
Footage of Jeff in one of his shakedown runs in the 911 GT3 in preparation for his record setting Pike’s Peak hillclimb. by
With technical support from Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) and Michelin Tires, Zwart will be contesting the 89th running of the hillclimb classic, the second oldest race in America (behind the Indy 500).
Zwart said that running a 2WD car – only the third time he has done that in his previous ten starts – will be easier because of last year’s experience, but the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, one of just 500 produced, will still be a bit of a handful. He also entered a previous generation Porsche 911 GT2 in 2003.
“Although I have gained more than 150 horsepower from last year’s car, I have also gained a lot of chassis weight – the difference between a street car and a race car. Also, I made good use of the sequential-shift transmission last year in the race car, and now have a six-speed manual gearbox to operate through Pikes Peaks’ 156 turns,” said Zwart.
The course is even more challenging for the veteran Pikes Peak competitors this year, as there are only two miles of gravel left on the mountain, which is slowly being paved completely to help attract additional tourist traffic. By next year, the road, which starts at 9,390 feet above sea level, and ends at 14,110 feet above sea level, will be all tarmac.
The road trip
This Saturday, June 18, Zwart and his crew will pick up the car at Porsche Motorsports North America in Orange County, California, and drive it over the Interstate Highway system to Colorado Springs, arriving sometime Sunday evening.
“We wanted to show the sports car enthusiasts that the Porsche 911 continues to be a car that meets multiple transportation needs, something its owners have known for years. You do not have to hit the top speed of 205 miles-per-hour to enjoy this car on the road, yet we hope to use the 600-plus horsepower to get us up Pikes Peak fast enough to win the class and break our own record,” said Zwart.
Last year, Ex-DTM pilot Roland Asch (Germany), race driver and TV commentator Patrick Simon (Germany), as well as journalists Horst von Saurma (Germany) and Chris Harris (Great Britain), drove a street-legal Porsche 911 GT3 RS, from the factory race shop in Weissach to the Nurburgring in Germany for the 24-hour race. The German and his three teammates completed a total of 145 laps without any technical mishaps.
Zwart has won his class at Pikes Peak – all in Porsche Turbo street cars – in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2002 – plus his 2010 win in the naturally aspirated 911 GT3 Cup, setting new class records four times. Recently, he co-drove a Porsche Cayenne with Pikes Peak veteran Paul Dallenbach at the challenging TransSyberia Rally (Moscow to Mongolia) in 2007. He also has an SCCA PRO Rally Championship (1990 with Rod Millen) and a SCORE Baja 1000 class win (2004) to his credit.
The 89th running of Pikes Peak will start official practice on Wednesday, June 22, with Zwart scheduled to run the bottom third of the 12.42-mile course. The Porsche will run the middle part of the course during Thursday practice, and the top part of the course on Friday.
Friday is also Fan Fest in Colorado Springs, and the race Sunday begins at 9:00 AM MDT.
Results will be posted on the official Pikes Peak web site – www.ppihc.com.
SOURCE: Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA), based in Atlanta, Ga.
JEFF ZWART – A MAN, A MOUNTAIN AND A PORSCHE
Porsche Motorsports of North America, Inc. presentation with Jeff Zwart at Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion – August, 14th, 2010. Jeff Zwart talks about his record setting Pikes Peak International Hill climb
video by Dede Seward
More updates to follow as they come in regarding Jeff Zwart Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
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