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July 16, 2011

Recordsetting Truck Climb

First time out, Mike Ryan and Freightliner Cascadia set a new record in New Hampshire’s Climb to the Clouds. Ryan, the first competitor ever to race a heavy-duty truck in this event, reached a top speed of 94 mph and completed the course in an impressive 8:02 minutes, establishing a new record.
“The Climb to the Clouds race was a new challenge for me and the crew, and the Cascadia handled the twists and turns beautifully,” says Ryan. “The Cascadia’s steering system, control and responsiveness is amazing.”

Ryan is no stranger to hill climb racing: He holds six Class 8 truck records on the Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, and two at the Queenstown Gold Rush Hill Climb in New Zealand.

While it was new to Ryan, the Mt. Washington “Climb to the Clouds” in Pinkham Notch, N.H., is not only the country’s oldest motorsports event, it’s one of the most dangerous. The 7.6-mile serpentine tarmac and gravel road is lined with trees and dramatic drop-offs as it winds its way to the 6,288-foot summit of one of America’s tallest peaks.

Ryan’s Cascadia is very much a custom racer with an enhanced aerodynamic package and a lighter-weight composite body specifically designed to tackle hill climb races. “I work closely with Freightliner’s engineers to continually improve my truck, and am proud to represent the company during my competitions,” says Ryan. “With the Cascadia, it’s always an exciting experience.”

Ryan uses a Freightliner Business Class transporter to haul the race truck. “Freightliner’s trucks don’t just help me win races, they get me there on time, every time,” he says. “The combination of the reliable Freightliner Business Class M2 106 with the tough Jerr-Dan carrier is ideal for navigating all of the different terrains we travel to get to the event sites.”

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