Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pikes Peak Day 3

Another easy morning, up at 6:30 for breakfast before hitting the road for tech and registration. Everything went smoothly at registration as everyone now has their credentials. Tech followed suit and no major hiccups meant we were ahead of schedule for the rest of the day. First on the agenda was a trip to the local Brakes Plus where we got our suspension aligned to suit the road conditions, tires and new suspension. A few overly-rallied parts made adjustments a bit tough but we managed the settings we were looking for eventually. While aligning, our California contingent arrived on the scene with a truck full of scooters and the pieces of our Subaru engine we've been waiting on for 2 years. It may be in pieces but at least it's on its way back home. We split them up and sent our rally tech Roy off with Paul C and Wes to Denver to get the car dynoed. The remaining 3 cali techs went off to the campsite to get settled in while we made our first trip up Pikes Peak.

The handful of us left from the campsite for the mountain and made it up to the toll booth only to realize I had about 1/8 of a tank of fuel to get to the summit and back. A trip to the nearest gas station followed. As this is my fourth year up the mountain, everything is extremely familiar and it's starting to feel like I was just here yesterday. Just driving the car along the start line, I start to feel the excitement of race day and the pressure from the mountain. I have three guys who have never been on the mountain who are quietly taking it all in while I describe each corner in detail along with the driving line necessary not just for the corner but to properly set up for the next corner as well. I know most of the 156 corners, a few I still mix up but overall I'm prepared to climb the mountain for the second year without a co-driver. We struggled last year on the top section with an extremely loose gravel surface we weren't properly prepared for. I spent a good deal of time studying the surface today and will do the same every day up until the hillclimb noting any change. After the climb, we did lunch at Mildred's cafe at the bottom of the mountain who we learned serves one of the meanest cheesesteak's the world has to offer.

While I was studying for the week ahead, the car was on the dyno in Denver putting out impressive numbers. A few adjustments to the air/fuel ratio among other things brought us horsepower that is significantly improved from last year. Barring any unforeseen problems (at the mountain's discretion), we are looking good for a significant improvement on last years time of just under 13 minutes.

While the car was on its way back from the dyno, I left the guys to clean up camp and went into town for the drivers meeting. The usual was covered.. parking, new regulations, timing transponders, etc. Nothing too exciting and as usual my name was called as "Dave....Ca..Cara....... Dave C?"

Back at camp now, a new master cylinder for our handbrake just arrived and Wes and Roy are at work on that along with a few other adjustments in preparation for our first practice in the morning. Paul C is working on preparing dinner and has a handful of people filling fuel jugs, loading tools, lighting fire for BBQ and making service lists.

That's a wrap for day three, more to come tomorrow morning after practice.

1 comment:

Lucy said...

I am so sad not to be there... but Im fixin to get on a plane Ireland so I guess I could be sadder. Glad you're keeping us updated. xox