25 June 2011

2011 Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb: Race Day Tomorrow

I apologize for the lack of posts lately.  We finished out day 3 of practice on the middle section and are now ready to race tomorrow.  Mockett didn't show up for the last practice and we  wondered if he had issues with the car or overslept the 3am wakeup call.  I chatted with him at Fan Fest last night and he said that morning he wasn't feeling well at all and couldn't make practice.  He was feeling much better when we saw him Friday evening so we wish him and Angelica luck.

This is dee's bungalow. JJ thought it was a fancy tire rack with a cover the first morning he saw it - and dee was inside her bivy cot in the parking lot asleep!

This morning we met and chatted with Bobby Unser Jr. and his son in the parking lot of our motel.  I introduced myself at the motel's continental breakfast and asked him if he would do the honor of signing the Phatt Man.  When he showed up to sign the car I gave him a Landon Speed Racing tshirt and a copy of GT Racer's La Carrera Panamericana Director's Cut DVD featuring Todd's winning team in 2008.

Bobby Jr. absolutely loved the Phatt Man and we loved talking to him.  Pikes Peak was dubbed "Unser Mountain" nearly 50 years ago as the Unser family currently holds the most wins on the hill with a count of 38.  Bobby Sr. was born in Colorado Springs and won the PPIHC 13 times.  Bobby Jr. raced Pikes Peak from 1976 through 1983, finishing second in 1981. He set numerous qualifying times records in the Open Wheel category.

The Vasholtz family of Woodland Park, just around the corner from Pikes, is right behind the Unsers with 35 wins.  Good stories and good history!

Todd took Bobby Jr. for a ride in the Phatt Man and then Bobby Jr. took Bobby IV for a ride!

Bobby Unser Jr. signs the Phatt Man's hood.

Bobby Jr with Bobby IV and two of his buddies.

Todd takes Bobby Jr. for a ride.

Bobby IV and his father, Bobby Jr. take Phatt Man for a drive.

Bobby Unser Jr. driving the Phatt Man down Manitou Avenue.

Geezer hard at work with Pikes Peak in the background.

Today we attended a fun bbq at the house of Bob Hill, a local competitor. Bob loves Mustangs like we do and there were about 15 street and race Mustangs at the party. The party was graciously sponsored by the Hills and Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing. My friend Anders Berg from LCP was there, crewing for Ralf Christensen. Unfortunately Ralf's race car didn't make it here from Sweden....the "Vikingos" Falcon, as it was caught up at Customs in California and they wouldn't let it pass. Luckily Bob Hill was able to rent him one of his Mustangs so Ralf will still get to race.

Our gracious hosts, the Hills.

The Hills meet Bobby Unser Jr. and have him sign a Pikes Peak plaque his father signed years ago.

Anders and Ralf from Sweden.
My good friend Judie White and her friend Pat are coming to spectate with us at Devil's Playground. Judie loves Nascar and Pat loves Indy so they are going to show up around midnight and sleep in their car with one other friend to wait for the 4am opening of the tollgate road for spectators.

 Todd's son, Anthony, and team photographer and friend, dee Welsch and I will roll through the tollgate about 315am to secure our perch on the Devil's Playground to watch the race.

Bobby Unser Jr. will be commentating on AM radio from the top and I asked him to be sure to announce when #372 crosses the finish line above 14,000 feet so we can cheer for Todd and Geezer.

I will post stories and photos after tomorrow. Good luck and blessings of safety to every racing and everyone involved tomorrow.
Geezer, Pat, Gene and Judie, around 10:30pm the night before the race - they'll be up all night waiting in their car for the toll gate to open at 4am!

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