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22ClassicTouringCarRacingClubMemberFeatureTalesfromtheMountainPikesPeakWeek2WellwhatadifferenceadaymakesorinthiscaseawholeweekAfteraverydifcultstarttothe2014adventurewithnumeroustechnicalissuesTestWeekstartedwithadegreeofapprehension.TheTeamhadspenttheweekworkingonthecartosorttherunningissuesandthisleftmenoseattimeatallpriortotheTestingWeek.TechnicalInspectionScrutineeringtoBritswentwellwithnoissuesatallfortheMiniordriver.ThedriversbriengswereverycomprehensiveandprovidedanexcellentoverviewonhowTestingWeekwouldrun.IdecidedtojointheRookiesmeetingagainthisyearaswellyoualwayslearnsomethingnewbutitwasgreatnolongeractuallybeingaRookie.Thersttwodaysoftestingwerecritical.WewouldbestartingonthebottomsectionoftheMountain.Day1isforpracticewhilethetimesonDay2decidedbothwhichcarswillbeallowedtocompeteintheraceonSundayandalsothestartingorder.A3amalarmcallanda4amstartontheMountainkickedofanexhaustingfourdaysofearlymorningtests.ThiseventisasmuchatestofstaminaasitisaboutspeedanddrivingskillOntherstdayoftestingduetovariousissueswithsomecarsweonlygottworunsdisappointingasIwasdesperatetogetmoredrivingtimeinthecar.HoweverafteralltheworkthecarwasrunningsuperblywithnosignsofthepreviousissueswhichmeantIwasreallyabletostartappreciatingthedifferencethatthenewgearboxandsuspensionsetupmade.ThankstoMinisportthedrivabilityofthecarwashugelyimproved.OntheseconddaydespiteworryingnewslteringdownfromthetopoftheMountainaboutsandandgravelonthetrackfromthepreviousnightsmassivestormsIslottedinaninitialholdertimeincaseofissueslaterinthesession.AsomewhathairyspinonthatrunmeantaslightlyslowertimebutatleastImanagedtomisseverythingandnishupfacingintherightdirectionMytimesthencamedownsignicantlyoverthesubsequentrunsasIgainedmoreandmorecondenceinthecar.SadlytheMiniwithits200bhpisnevergoingtobethatcompetitivewhenrunningagainsttheSubarusEvosand650bhpPorscheswhicharealsointheTimeAttackClassbutIwashappytohaveimprovedmytimesoverlastyearandnotbelastintheClassOnceagaintheUSdriversandTeamsmadeusverywelcomeandtheMiniwasarmfavouritewiththecrowds.HoweveroneofthekeyproblemswasthelargenumberofcarstestingwhichmeantthatwhileImanagedsevenrunsatracespeedlastyearinqualifyingthisyearIonlygotfourbeforewehadtocleartheMountainat8.30.Day3TestingThroughtheWsAfteranightsstormsthemorningthankfullywasdryandclear.Itwasanevenearlierstarttodayaswewereusingthemid-sectionsohadtobeinplacemuchfurtheruptheMountainby4am.ThissectionhastheinfamousWsaseriesofhairpinstakingthetrackupto12000ftveryquicklyTherewasthenormaldriversbriengat5amatthestartlinejustasdawnwasbreakingovertheMountains.Itwasalmostworthgettingupsoearlytoseethatamazingsunrise.WithallthecarslinedupthishasgottobeasneartotheexcitementoftheoldMotoringNewsdaysasyoucangetThistimeIgotinlineearlyandwentupsecondontheMountain.TheMiniscreameditswayupthehairpinsitsexhaustechoingroundthepeaks.Nonoiseregshereandwithmanycarsrunningwithopenexhaustsitjustaddedtotheoverallexperience.IreallyenjoyedslingingtheveryagileMinithroughthehairpinswiththenewgearboxmakingthissectionamuchmoreenjoyableexperiencethanlastyearwhenthestandardboxratioslostthecarsomuchtime.Imanagedthreerunsbeforetheycloseditalldown.AgooddayDay4TestingThelastdayoftestingupatDevilsPlaygroundataround12000feet.Margaretsensiblydecidednottogoupandoneofthecrewstartedtosufferfromaltitudesickness.Itwasa3amstartandIdroveuptoCrystalLaketojointhecrew.Itwascoldbutabeautifulclearmorningwithnosignofrain.IdrovetheMiniuptoDevilsPlaygroundServicearea.RaceRulesmeantthatIhadtowearallmyracekitwhileinthecarevenwhennotcompeting.Onedrivergota100neforcomingdownfromthetestwithouthishelmet.IhadtheoxygenonthatIwoulddenitelyneedonraceday.Therunupworkedtowarmupenginetyresanddriverbutwasalsoagoodchanceformetorefreshmymemoryofthebottomtwosections.ArrivingatDevilsPlaygrounditwastheusualpandemoniumofoodlightsandnoiseasthecrewswarmeduptheengines.Denitelyahairsonthebackoftheneckmoment.ItwasbitterlycoldwithaverystrongwindThispartofthemountainisbarrenandbleakanddenitelynotagoodplacetobe.Driversbriengwasagainat5amjustasitwascominglightandthenIgotintheMinitowarmupandgettheoxygentowaitforanotherspectacularsunrise.Iwasinthequeuefortherstrun.DevilsPlaygroundtothesummitisthemostdangerouspartofthedangeroussectionoftheMountainwithlotsoflongsweepingbendsinsixthsometighteningandsomeopen.Thetrickisrememberingwhichiswhich.AllthreerunswentreallywelltheMinihowlingaroundthesweepingbendsandgettingquickerastyrestarmacanddriverwarmedupTheMinisportgearboxwasreallycomingintoitsownnow.Mypainstakingrecce-ingonthissectionintherentalcarwasreallypayingoff.Sadlyitnotgoodnewsforalldrivers.TheColoradoSpringsPorschewhichhadbeenleadingitsClassgotoutofphaseoverthebumpsandendedupat45degreesupthebouldereld.DriverRobwasunhurtbutthecarsustained