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TheFlyer23seriousdamagesome80000theyestimateandsadlydenitelywouldnotberacingonSunday.Wehadbecomeveryfriendlywiththisparticularteamandsowereverysadforthem.SadlytheotherlosswasMikeRyanstruckthatsustainedmassivedamagehavingfailedtomakealefthanderandgoingdownasteepinclinethroughthetrees.ItwasagreatlossasitisamassivecrowdpleaserandanawesomesightpoweringitswayuptheMountain.At8.30amtheroadopenedtothepublicandwemadeourwayofftheMountainnotsorrytoleaveDevilsPlaygroundwhichisaptlynamedandmakeourwayintothewarmsunshineofManitouSprings.AsalwaysFridaynightwasFanFestwhereallthecarswereondisplayinColoradoSpringsMainSt.Lastyeartherewastorrentialrainbutthistimetheweatherwassuperbandthefansturnedoutintheirthousands.Thiseventhasagreatatmosphereandreallystartedtheweekendinanamazingfashion.AsalwaystheMiniattractedahugeamountofattention.IwasalsoaskedtodoaradiointerviewreadyforbroadcastontheSundayduringbreaksintheracing.RacingBritsareararityontheMountain.JusttwoofusagainMarkRennisonina600bhpRS200andmyselfintheMini.Quiteacontrast.NotlongtoRaceDay.RaceDayFinallyArrivedAfterthetrialsandtribulationsofgettingtothispointtheRaceDaydawnedbrightandsunnywithnorainforecast.ButontheMountainnormalweatherpatternsrarelyapplyandsoitwasstillngerscrossedtime.At8.30amIwasoffupthemountaintomeetupwiththeCrewandtheMiniinthePaddockareasetupbytheStartLine.ThepitactivitycertainlyprovidedarealsenseofatmosphereandatingledownthespinehearingthoseracecarswithopenexhaustsalongsidetheshriekoftheMotorBikeenginesastheywereunloadedandwarmedup.TheMiniwasparkedupandallreadytogo.Theteamhadsetupcampinadelightfulshadyareaasthetemperaturewasalreadymovingupto28c.Withcolddrinksandsnacksonhandwecouldrelaxchatwithotherteamsandgetreadyfortheraceinrelativecomfort.Thecampprovedtobeaveryattractiveplacetomanyofthefolkwehadmetboththisyearandlastyear.NothingtodonowbutsitunderthetreeschattingtootherdriversandcrewtellingjokesandracingtalesandtryingtostaycalmMystarttimegotlaterandlaterasaresultofbothcarsandbikescrashingoutontheMountainandhavingtobemovedoutofharmsway.Asthesuncontinuedtoshinethetemperaturesoarsandisalready30c.At2.30pmtheCrewnallystartedtomakeamovetogetmeinlinefortheGreenFlag.TheMiniwasbeingwarmedupsoitwasracesuitandhelmetonandfocusonthejobinhand.Intothecarbeltsonoxygenonafterlastyearsstartlinepanicwiththeoxygenallwentwellthistimeandgoodtogo.ThenwithtwominutestogotheredaggremlinsstruckagainThecoursewasclosedasthecompetitorbeforemehadgoneofftheroad.DriversarenotallowedtoleavethecaronceitisatthestartsoIsatthereintheincreasinglyhotcarasthetemperaturethatafternoonhit38cinfullracegearfornearly30minutes.ThecrewwasgivingmecoldwaterthroughastrawasIhadmybalaclavaondesperatelytryingtokeepmeintheshadeasmuchaspossible.LastyearthemountainthrewathunderstormatmewhileIwasattheagandonslicksandthisyearitwastryingtobakeme.PerhapsbynextyearitwillbeaplagueoflocustsTheredagnallycamedownandIwasunderstartersorders.ThegreenagwaswavedandIwasoff.Mygoalforthisyearwastodoasub13minutes.TheMiniwasyinguptheMountain.TheMinisportcloseratioboxthesuspensionmodsandallthehoursrecce-ingandtestingonthemountaincametogether.TheoverheatingofbrainandbodyforgottenForsafetyreasonsthenumberofspectatorsontheMountainforthisyearhadbeenreducedandtheyhadbeenrestrictedtocertainareasbuttherestillhadbeenthousandsatthesideoftheroad.IpushedtheMiniashardasitwouldgothrough156bendstothe14.100ftsummitpulling6thgearonoccasionsome110mphbutonlymanaged13mins10secs.Howevercaranddriverwerestillinonepiece.TheMountainwaslitteredwithcarseitherofftheroadorbroken.IwasfollowedbymyTexanTeammateinhis500bhpRadicalwhoonlybeatmeby40secondssomaybemytimewasnotsobadandwas45secondsfasterthanlastyear.LotsofHighFivesatthetopandcongratulationsallroundtothenishers.HoweverthejubilationwasovershadowedthisyearbynewsofthedeathofaMotorCycleCompetitorfollowingacrashrightontheFinishlineearlierintheday.Iwaswhiskedoffforaninterviewwithalocalradiostationthesecondoftheweek.Thisfeltabitsurrealat14000feet.TheywerekeentounderstandwhyanEnglishdriverhastravelledsofartodotheirlocaleventThenextbigeventwastheVictoryparadedowntheMountaintoapplauseandcongratulationsfromthethousandsofspectatorsliningtheroute.TheMiniwasnowyingtheUnionFlagandattracteditsusualecstaticwelcomefromthefans.IthinktheycanrelatefarmoretotheMinianditsthree-wheelinganticsthansomeoftherealexoticaamongthecompetitors.BackinthepaddockitwaschampagneallroundforTeamandDrivers.AclasswinfortheRadicaladdedanadditionalreasontodrinkthechampagnethisyear.DidweneedanexcuseRollon2015.Iclearlyhavetokeeptryingforthatsub13minutes