Rennie and Aprilia top Pikes Peak
The 97th running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado produced the first-ever Australian winner – none other than Rennie Scaysbrook, our California- based son and motorcycle journalist. Rennie was making his fourth attempt at the daunting 20km climb which rises from 2,862 metres at the start line to 4,302 metres at the summit and contains 156 corners. After three years on KTM machinery, two pole positions and a trio of top-three placings, Rennie switched to an Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 for the 2019 event, running in the Heavyweight Motorcycle Division. After qualifying second to four-time winner Carlin Dunne, Rennie rode what he described as a ‘controlled’ race that saw him blitz the official motorcycle record set by his former KTM team mate Chris Fillmore in 2017. Rennie’s time of 9 minutes 44.986 seconds eclipsed Fillmore’s 9.49.712 by nearly five seconds and gave him the outright victory as well as the Heavyweight class win. Rennie headed German rapid lady racer Lucy Glockner (BMW S1000R) and American Codie Vahsholtz (Ducati MTS-1260) in the overall motorcycle results. Tragically, Carlin Dunne received fatal injuries when he crashed his prototype Ducati Panagale Street Fighter within sight of the finish line after setting a record-breaking pace in the earlier sections of the climb. The winning Aprilia The Aprilia Tuono was supplied by the US distributors and expertly prepared by former Pikes Peak winner and Isle of Man racer Jeremy Toye from San Diego. The vastly experienced Toye also provided a vital mentoring role for Rennie in the long and stressful lead up to the event. “This was the first time I have ever had a real team behind me,” said Rennie in a television interview after the event. “I mean no disrespect to KTM by saying that, but in the past three years it was just a bike, me and one or two helpers. This year I had an experienced crew chief in Jeremy Toye, who has won here (Pikes Peak) and raced at the Isle of Man and Macau. There was also a tyre guy, a suspension guy, and early in race week, Aprilia flew out Nicola Marcato from Italy to re-map the electronic side, which made a big improvement, especially with the fuel we were required to use – VP Racing Fuel U 4.4 mixed down to 2.5 per cent oxygen with pump gas as per the rules; standard U4.4 is about eight per cent oxygen. It meant that all I really had to do was concentrate on my own riding.” “The Aprilia’s engine was standard aside from the Magneti Marelli Race ECU, as was the frame and swing arm. We had an Ohlins TTx36 race shock and .90 spring, Aprilia RSV4 RF forged aluminum wheels and RSV4 1100 Factory forks, Brembo T-Drive rotors, a Brembo thumb rear brake, Brembo RCS 18mm front master cylinder, Attack Performance rear sets, Akrapovic full titanium exhaust and carbon race muffler. We also had Vortex sprockets with D.I.D 520-pitch chain, Dynojet Power Commander 5 and map with an Aprilia Racing air filter, and we ran Pirelli Superbike SC0 super soft compound tires front and rear.”
“Typically, it took all the time we had to get everything just right, but by race day it was perfect, thanks to everyone involved, and especially Aprilia for getting behind the effort 100 per cent.”
LEFT Rennie (left) with crew chief Jeremy Toye.
The winning Aprilia Tuono 1100.