06 June 2010

2010 Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb: Tire Testing

For a bit of cash you can run Pikes Peak June 5th and June 6th for what they call Tire Testing so that's what we did with Doug Allen in the Gypsy Wind. Each early morning session from 5-8am racers were able to practice on alternating half sections of the hill.

Friday evening on the motel porch: Doug, K and Sistie.

Doug had a blast on the hill, getting about 6 runs in each day. The weather was perfect, though rain Saturday night made for very slippery gravel roads up top on Sunday morning.

Saturday morning came early with a 3:15 am wakeup call. We were running the lower section of the hill so Doug and Todd got to sleep a little longer than the guys practicing the top half. Sistie and I opted to sleep in today, so the boys were on their own. By 8am we were on the front porch enjoying the beautiful morning and wondering how they were faring. The public road up Pikes Peak opens at 8am so the racers have to be done by then. It's a pretty rough schedule but it is magical to be on the hill and watch the sun come up. By about 9 am Doug called saying they were headed down the hill after some really good runs.

On Saturday while the boys napped I enjoyed a fun visit from my coworker Bill and his wife and three daughters. They all signed the car, some of them on the yet unsigned hood and fenders - reworked and repainted after Doug's crash on the hill last year. My old friend, Lonn, visited as well.
Bill's kids sign the car.
Todd, Lonn and Doug on Saturday afternoon.

Kristin & Lonn - old friends.

Todd siping.

Todd had a little bit of tweaking to do on the car and we took it to the carwash where we met a lengendary Pikes Peak racer - Frank Sanborn. Lots of people stop by to chat when they see the race cars but Frank didn't ask the usual questions - he knew exactly what we were up to. He did ask a bit about about the Mustang and where we were from and then he told us about about his amazing racing history.

Frank won PPIHC in the stock car class 4 times and his identical brother won once. His son ran it once but Frank's time from 10 years earlier was faster so he told his son to give it up....and he did. His son now runs the timekeeping at the race. He was also a highway patrollman in the Pikes Peak region.

We had him sign the car and I did a little research at home to find these pictures of Frank racing in the '50s and '60s.

Frank Sanborn on Pikes Peak. Vintage photo courtesy of Artemis Images.

Frank receiving his check for winning the 1968 Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb in the stock car class. Vintage photo courtesy of Artemis Images.

Frank signing the Gypsy Wind.

Saturday night Doug and Sistie treated us to an amazing dinner at the Broadmore at Summit. Highly recommend this classy joint with fabulous food.
After a short sleep we headed up the hill for Sunday's practice - up at 3:30 am and racing by 5:30 am. The Gypsy Wind needed some jetting but that's typical for Pikes Peak and that's why this extra practice was valuable. Doug, as always, got as many runs as they let him.


I love this support rig.

Doug's smile tells it all.

A late model Porsche (someone said it was a Cup car) kissed a guardrail and we all cringed to see the damage. But hey, thank God for guardrails.

Clint Vasholtz of the legendary Woodland Park, CO PPICH family was there with two of his Mustangs, ripping up the course as usual.

Gas goes in the Vascholtz Mustang here......

.....And comes out here.

One guy with "ATA Geez!" on the rear plate of his 1970 Camaro said he was 70 and was returning to racing after a 37 year break. His Camaro was beautiful. I told him about my Geezer - they will have to meet in a few weeks. He thought he was the oldest guy there so he was surprised to learn that Doug has him beat by a few years.

ATA Geez! Bitchin' Camaro.

A 16-year old girl from Loveland is driving a yellow Mini. She will be the youngest female ever to drive the PPIHC! I shook her hand and wished her luck, what a lovely girl!

The 16-year old female pilot, Savannah, from Loveland.

As always during PPIHC, the crowd on the hill was smiling and friendly and everyone had a good time (except for maybe the guy in the Porsche).
Todd and I realized that when you get up at 3am, play for 7 hours, nap a few hours, then enjoy the rest of your day, it's like having 2 days in 1 and the weekend seems to last forever. We like that and we will be back in a few weeks!
The end of a fun weekend.

Doug & Sistie - all smiles.

Heading home through the breathtaking Garden of the Gods.

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