Clint and Codie Vahsholtz Gear Up for Sunday Race Day
The Vahsholtz dynasty is hoping for a winning rebound in 2023 as the father/son racing duo, Clint and Codie Vahsholtz pf Woodland Park, both return to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
After a several-year hiatus, two members of the famous Vahsholtz racing family will be back on the Peak once again this week.
It has not been since 2019 that the father and duo both competed together in the famous race on America’s Mountain. In 2020, Clint Vahsholtz earned the title “King of the Mountain” for getting up to the 14,115 foot peak with the fastest time, beating every other competitor.
The elder Vahsholtz then took a year off in 2021 to give his son Codie a chance to race in a car instead of a motorcycle. Last year, Clint was slated to race an Aston Martin, but car parts ended up getting stuck coming through customs so the car was not ready on race day.
Codie Vahsholtz raced motorcycles up until 2019 when his teammate Carlin Dunne was tragically killed just short of the finish line. This death permanently cancelled motorcycle racing on the mountain. Codie took a year off, but he returned the last two years racing in a car for the first time.
This year, both racers make a big return with Codie racing the famous Vahsholtz Racing Open Wheel Car that his dad raced for years. Clint will be coming back to the mountain this year in a mind-blowing 2018 KTM Reiter X Bow GT4 Evo that resembles the bat mobile.
So far though, Mother Nature has not been real kind to the racers in getting in their practice runs. Due to rainy weather, the team was only able to practice a few times mostly on the lower portion of the course up until race week, which starts on June 20 for practice runs (June 25 is the actual race).
Clint’s car this year was built by KTM, and it runs a turbo charged Audi engine. The car weighs about 2,300 lbs. and it gets 450 horsepower.
This year Clint will be racing on a team put together by Tim Moley who owns the Chocolove gluten free candy bar company based out of Boulder. Clint and Codie both tested the racecar, but they decided that Clint would be the best fit for the KTM racer and the new team.
Clint said that he was thrilled that the car came in through customs last September so he avoided what happened to him last year. “We have worked diligently on the upgrades you need for Pikes Peak like suspension, power plants and engine,” Clint Vahsholtz said. “I am excited to work with a rookie team and try give them the veteran status. The car is comfortable to drive and really cool to look at. It’s really unique.”
This year Clint will be racing in the Time Attack One class because the car fits best into that category. Clint said that the division has the best competition out of any other class.
The division has around 16 competitors including last year’s winner in the division David Donohue. “To get on the podium this year, we are going to have to work for it,” the racer said.
He said that despite not having as many practice times as he would have liked, the car handles well in the rain. He said that getting practice on a wet course is essential because the course has experienced rainy weather in previous years.
“It was maybe a God send that the weather was crappy so I know what the car is going to do in the rain because I tested it in the rain,” Clint Vahsholtz said. “The course is much more bumpy up top and frosty. We didn’t have a bunch of moisture, but we had it late in the year and we had a cold winter in my opinion. So, the top section is quite rough.”
Clint said he would like to thank his sponsors for the new car including Chocolove, Toyo Tires, and IE Manufacturing.
Codie Vahsholtz Returns to the Open Wheel Division
Codie Vahsholtz this year makes a return in the Vahsholtz racing open wheel car that his dad won the top spot in. Every year he has raced the car, his team has made changes to better fit the younger Vahsholtz as a driver.
“We have made a few changes, we added some underbody aerodynamics,” Codie Vahsholtz said. “We did a little bit of that last year, but we added to it quite a bit this year. We changed up a little bit of suspension geometry and dynamics. We made the overall chassis and everything more happy with my driving style.”
The racing team also changed the cockpit so he is more comfortable driving it. Since his dad is taller than Codie, the car is now fitted better for him.
Codie said there are some new racers in the division this year and he will be up against some veteran competitors as well. Paul Dallenbach will be returning to the division. According to Codie, he will rank as the division’s premiere competitor and the racer to beat.
Codie said that he anticipates that the racers will once again be dealing with inclement weather as they have the last two years. “I hope it plays out better this year because I think we have a record-setting car,” Codie said. “We just have to have the right weather to make it happen.”
The green flag for the race will fly at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. The race is sold out, but those who didn’t get tickets can listen to radio coverage on KRDO or watch the live stream online on the Mobil One YouTube page.