Remember The Alamo: Three Texans Return To Pikes Peak


It’s that time of year again. The mad-crazy dash to rebuild the wicked race car that’s been sitting in the corner of the shop for about a year or two. At least, it is for Pikes Peak veterans Dave Carapetyan and Brianne Corn; and driving new-comer Yuri Kouznetsov.

For those who need need a refresher, two years ago I crewed for Brianne at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) race for the first time. It was a soul-altering experience in every way, and gave me mesmerizing, but also brutally sobering experience of motorsports when co-driver Yuri and driver Jeremy Foley went off-course and tumbled down ~300 feet of rocks and mountain right before my eyes.

I crewed, again, for Dave Carapetyan in 2012. We ran ourselves hard for a week only to have the turbo piping fail under pressure, losing just about all boost through out the run. Racing is a struggle of man, machine, and nature; and rarely do you get to see such a condensed experience of those three outside of PPIHC. 

So lets get down to the party, and meet the crew of Texans we’ll be following this year. 


First up, alphabetically, is Dave Carapetyan. Dave is a character of a very special kind, but is also one of the most phenomenal people in the sport. Punkrocker-turned-rassin’driver, “Texas” Dave has been running Pikes peak for around ten  years. It all started in 2005 with an Integra Type R in the Rally America class,  which was reportedly depressingly underpowered at the 9,300 foot elevation start. He returned in ’06 after supercharging the Type R (moderately less depressing power), and placed third in class. 2007 fired off in a new car, an Evo 6, and a close second place finish; and finally bringing home his first class win in 2008. 2009 brought on the introduction of his current car, an Evo 9 and two more wins in ’09 and ’10. 

After a few rough years with car troubles between the Evo 9 and a his former Rally America WRX STi, he looks to return this year with a class win and beating a personal goal of a sub-ten minute run. The car is currently in California at ODR Motorsport Engineering, getting some updates to the aero-package before getting a little more jam from Magnus Motorsports.


Brianne Corn returns after a short hiatus. The last two years have been spent breeding the sport of rallycross here in Texas, but the mountain’s calls can only go unanswered so long. Her Pikes Peak career started in 2009, driving up to Colorado in her 1993 Subaru Impreza and towing along her Honda XR600R to enter in the Pro 750 Motorcycle class. Despite qualifying in the front of the field, the bike had oiling issues and lost compression early on in the race, but still managed to finish. She returned in 2010 after a major motorcycle crash that broke her leg, and ran the race partly as practice for a run up the mountain in a car, but still finished mid-pack.

2011 was her debut in AWD Time Attack, with an ’05 WRX STi. With the war of attrition on her side, and clean driving, she battled a failing clutch to a class win, taking home the AWD Time Attack Championship. 2012 came another run at the Time Attack class, but race delays and poor weather put her out of the running against the earlier Time Attack cars, which finished in clean weather.

This year we’re returning with an updated version of the STi we ran in 2012; a little more power, a little more transmission, a little more suspension, and a little more brake are all planned; as well as updates to the cage and fuel system for PPIHC’s new Time Attack 1 classing. All of this is taking place at Vorshlag Motorsports and at her shop in San Marcos, which I’ll be helping on.

Yuri Kouznetsov is coming to Pikes Peak as a driving rookie, but with the purest goal one could ask for in Pikes Peak: Conquer the mountain. After recovering from the ’12 accident, Yuri has been racing anything that moves… And some things that don’t. The last few months have been spent on driver training, including a recent test day at the Circuit of the Americas with Evolution Dynamics supporting the car. Yuri purchased Jeremy Foley’s former time trial/autocross car, which is being rebuilt for PPIHC duty by Evolution Dynamics; the same builder for Foley’s PPIHC car in ’12. Most of the changes are just updating the car for the higher demands of PPIHC, and building a new cage.

We’ll be following along with Dave, Brianne, and Yuri as they move forward to Pikes Peak, this year. As the cars come closer to their final forms, we’ll cover each in depth; and each car displays a very different level of prep. Dave’s Unlimited Class Evo 9 is long gone from its sensible street car days in the quest of aero and weight reduction, and is demonically quick. Brianne’s STi is a well developed Time Attack class car, and looks to further fine tune the package. Yuri’s Evo will be a complete rethink on a successful autocross platform, and likely will be the most conservative of the trio. 

Lead photo: Phillip Thomas (Brianne Corn’s STi, Dave Carapetyan’s Evolution), Jon Etkins (Yuri’s Evolution)
Driver Photos: Brandon LaJoie

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