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Unser and Dallenbach declared co-champions of Hill Climb

SportsLine.com wire reports

CASCADE, Colo. -- Robby Unser and Paul Dallenbach were both declared the overall winners of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday because officials were not sure the racing's timing equipment was reliable.

Saturday's race was cut short by snow and only about half the field was able to complete the 12.42-mile course up the mountain road. As a result, race director Phil Layton said he would declare a winner based on the split times for the 5.5-mile leg of the race to Glen Cove, the only portion all the drivers ran.

Unser got to Glen Cove in 4:27.80 while Dallenbach's time was 5:06.23.

However, Layton said there was a problem with the timing equipment during the first run, when Unser drove, and he didn't want to rely on the backup system to declare a winner. There was only one person holding a handheld timer at Glen Cove.

"I wasn't going to base a critical decision like that one individual's ability to start and stop a time-tech machine. The electronic (system) was down at the time," Layton said.

Unser's recorded time beats the old division qualifying record by almost 26 seconds.

Unser, who qualified at 5:06.40 on Glen Clove in what he called an "off run," said he thinks his race time is correct.

"I had a great car. I had a fast run," Unser said. "They're not sure about the time on the bottom, so I can understand that. I know what I did in my heart."

Dallenbach said he thought declaring co-champions was fair.

"It's what they had to do," he said. "It was the best thing."

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

eating dust taking photos
3,740 Posts
Eric, you have no idea the number of people in Colorado simply dumbfounded as to those statements made by Phil Layton.

PPIHC is a classic and great event but its becoming a greater and greater challenge with what has happened to make that clear.

Its sad really, hopefully the SCCA ProRally will continute its involvement and we'll continue to draw bigger and more prestigious PPIHC contenders as well.
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