Carlin Dunne’s Mum pays emotional tribute to her son after racing death

Posted at 11:06 AM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 13:06:58-04

Carlin Dunne’s mother has paid a moving tribute to her late son following his tragic death at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The 36-year-old Dunne — a four-time winner of the race, who was defending his Pikes Peak title — crashed his 2019 Ducati Streetfighter V4 Prototype bike less than a quarter of a mile from the finish line last month.

However, Dunne’s mother Romie Gallardo insists she doesn’t want the race to end in memory of her son.

“Carlin loved the mountain. She challenged and enticed him, calling him back again and again,” said Gallardo in a statement sent to CNN Sport.

“He gave her due respect. He was fully aware of her ability to ‘take.’ With that being said, I know for a fact that he would not want the motorcycle program to end.

“He would want us to learn from this tragedy. He would encourage the official accident reconstruction authorities do what they are trained to do, and for the race officials to implement additional safety precautions required.”

READ: Carlin Dunne’s interview with CNN Sport ahead of 2019 Pikes Peak race

‘Committed to him’

The race is run on a 12.42-mile public toll-road and is comprised of 156 turns as competitors climb 4,720 feet, from the 9,390 feet start line to the 14,115 feet finish line at the mountain’s summit.

Having been crowned the Pikes Peak motorcycle winner in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2018, Dunne had achieved legendary status at the race.

He set the course record in 2012, though that was eventually broken in 2017 by Chris Fillmore.

The race is run on a 12.42-mile public toll-road and is comprised of 156 turns as competitors climb 4,720 feet, from the 9,390 feet start line to the 14,115 feet finish line at the mountain’s summit.

“Three days after Carlin’s crash a reporter asked me, ‘How do you feel about the race now?’ To which I replied, ‘The same way I felt on June 29th, the day before he crashed’,” said Gallardo.

“All his life I’ve known that losing him was a possibility. We went into this with eyes-wide-open. We were aware of the flip side of this sport.

“I was committed to him and his dreams. He was doing what he loved. So, who are we to take away other racers’ dreams of racing Pikes Peak International Hill Climb?”

READ: Four-time Pikes Peak winner Carlin Dunne killed in race crash aged 36

A beloved individual

A huge film fan, Dunne took a break from professional racing between 2014 and 2017 to focus on his passion for film — working on the “Dust to Glory 2” movie. He also had a career as a stuntman.

“Carlin was beloved by all who knew him. He was everyone’s friend. Whether playing the role of little brother, big brother, son, or best friend,” said Gallardo

“From a young age, I shared him with the world because I knew he was bigger than me, bigger than our mother-son bond. He fiercely pursued his passions with my full blessing and complete support.

“He was never reckless in action or deed. I trusted him implicitly. Many years ago, he evolved beyond me.

“The funny thing is, Carlin never thought of himself as a ‘big deal.’ I did, but I was ‘just the Mom.’ He still did his own laundry, picked up Sonny’s dog poop. He always said, ‘please’ and ‘thank you.'”

Public support

Following Dunne’s death there has been outpouring of support for Gallardo.

A GoFundMe campaign was started by Ducati North America and Pikes Peak to support her and has already raised nearly $100,000.

The PPIHC Board of Directors donated $932 to represent Carlin’s estimated time of 9:32 had he crossed the finish line — that would have been a new motorcycle course record, beating the current mark by 12 seconds.

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“I would like to give a massive worldwide thank you to all of Carlin’s extended family and friends near and far!” said Gallardo.

“Our family is humbled beyond words. All of your love, support, stories, videos, and pictures without a doubt have helped me — and continue to help me.

“I am truly touched by your love and the ways in which you honor my son. Carlin would have been in awe at all the attention. He would have loved everyone coming together in harmony. He truly lives on in each and every one of us.”