Tragic news comes to us today from Colorado, as racer Carl Sorensen died during today’s practice session for the 93rd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
With the motorcycles on the top section of the mountain, Carl crashed in a fast left-hand turn, known to have a bump on the racing line, near the summit.
Carl’s last run would have been one of the final runs up the course for the day, as the bikes were closing-in on their end time. Conditions reported to Asphalt & Rubber were that it was very cold at the Devil’s Playground staging area, with the road thawing from a measured 32°F to 42°F by the end of the sessions.
Thursday marks the third day of sanctioned practice for the motorcycles entered in Sunday’s racing event, with qualifying being tomorrow, on the lower section of the course (Pikes Peak practice sessions are divided into three course segments, with one motorcycle group and two car groups rotating through the course during practice week.
Familiar with the PPIHC race course, Carl finished last year’s hillclimb an impressive 16th overall, and 10th in the competitive “Open” class on his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. For this year’s race, he made his move into the middleweight class, riding on a Ducati 848 Superbike.
A loyal A&R reader, and an avid motorcycle racer, Carl is survived by his wife and son, and will be sorely missed by all his family, friends, and racing compatriots. Our hearts and thoughts go out to all of those affected by Carl’s passing.
A joint statement from the Sorensen family and Pikes Peak officials reads as follows:
The collective hearts of the Colorado Springs community and the Board of Directors of The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, share the grief and pain of Carl Sorensen’s family, friends and fans over his untimely death.
Throughout the 92 years that this unique race has been conducted on America’s Mountain, we have experienced the ultimate joy in triumph, the disappointment of failure and now, the unexpected heartbreak of the loss of a competitor, whose love of the race brought him to Pikes Peak. We mourn the tragic death of Carlton and he will be in all of our hearts this Sunday for the 93rd Race to the Clouds.
He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend with a tremendous sense of humor and a passion for racing.
He left our lives while doing something that he loved, and it is the only thing that has the ability to deal with the reality of life, the acceptance of the competitors of the dangers in the race, and the heart and soul of a great man.
With our deepest condolences,
The Family of Carl Sorensen and Board of Directors of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Photo: © 2014 Sam Christmas — All Rights Reserved