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Buckeye Current team overcoming adversity at Pikes Peak

With just days away from the big race in Colorado, The Ohio State University Buckeye Current all-electric motorcycle racing team is overcoming sudden adversity, but remains focused on breaking records.

The team's 2015 student designed and built model bike, the RW-3, competes in the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, June 28. The RW-3 features a handcrafted electronics system, carbon fiber fairings and a custom-designed battery pack. Team members said they created a bike that may not only win the electric class, but set the record overall for all motorcycles.

However, tragedy struck soon during practice runs in Colorado this week.

According to Electrical and Computer Engineering student and team marketing coordinator, Lauren Alman, a slick patch of road on a practice run led to a crash that injured their longtime driver, Rob "The Bullet" Barber, who championed the team to success at the 2013 and 2014 Isle of Man TT Zero. His skills secured Ohio State third place wins both years, keeping Buckeye Current the top collegiate team overall to this day.

"Shortly after arriving in Colorado, the team faced a very serious setback. After multiple, successful runs on the bike, a slick patch on the track caused the RW-3 to crash, injuring Rob," Alman wrote on her team blog HERE. "Buckeye Current is deeply saddened to announce that he will be unable to race in this year’s Hill Climb. Rob is, however, now recovering well and is planning on supporting the team from the sidelines."

Buckeye Curent is now moving forward, she said, with the RW-3 repaired. A new replacement driver is also on board, with the arrival of Joe Prussiano - a profesional race instructor at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp who stepped in to help. He is also a three-time Pikes Peak 450 Pro Class winner.

"The team is very grateful to Joe for his immediate response and is looking forward to race day with the team, sponsors and fans cheering him on as he reaches the summit of this historic racecourse," Alman wrote.

Follow the Buckeye Current Facebook page HERE for up-to-date announceemtns leading up to raceday this weekend.

In other team news, Prussiano is getting comfortable racing the electric bike and Tuesday was the students' first day spent practicing on the Pikes Peak mountain runs.