Final Practice Concludes at Pikes Peak: Western Motorsports Consistently Fast Heading into 87th Running of Hill Climb Race
Friday July 17, 2009 - Colorado Springs, CO - The final practice concluded today in preparation for Sunday's World Famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Race to the Clouds. The Western Motorsports ProTruck team practiced from Cove Creek to the Devil's Playground area, which is a short but extremely technical and treacherous 2.5 mile portion of the course. Driver Dave Mason along with Co-Driver Mark Moffatt piloted the #265 Eleven Western Builders Ford to another strong finishing day. The team was allotted enough time for a total of five runs. The first two were spent getting used to the extremely tight switchback turns and exploring various driving lines. By the third run Mason was feeling good and their speeds were increasing. Mason especially felt good on the fifth and final run of the day. And he had good reason to as his average speed increased by 4-seconds. Unofficially the team posted the 3rd fastest time for today's final practice.
"The first few runs I was just re-familiarizing myself with this part of the course. I was happy with the speeds we picked up in the final two runs. I adjusted my entry into these tight turns and seemed to be able to really keep up momentum," said Mason. "This area of the course is only a few miles, but there are extremely tight turns."
"You really have to find a balance of aggressively charging the corners, but not too aggressive or you overshoot the turn and scrub off so much speed that you lose time for the next few turns," added Mason. "One turn leads to the next and there isn't room for error yet it's pretty easy to under drive or overdrive. Sometimes even both within the few miles. These trucks don't have the horsepower to make up for any mistakes. Carrying momentum through this part of the course is key."
The Western Motorsports team led by Crew Chief Josh Nelson has spent the last 3-days running the top, bottom and middle portion of the overall 12.42 mile course. Overall the team is pleased with a 2nd and 3rd fast practicing time and 2nd place qualifying run. The truck has handled extremely well and all its components including Engine Specialists Steve Reeder's tuned engine have run flawlessly. Today the team will finish final prep of their ProTruck and look forward to what they really drove 17 hours for, the 87th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and the chance to be crowned champion's of the ProTruck class.
"I like the way the picture is looking for us," said Crew Chief, Josh Nelson. "It's a very tight field and the times in the ProTruck class I'm sure will be really close. We didn't post a fastest time over the three days, but we have been very consistently gaining speed. This time around at this event things are going smoother and just feel different than in the past. Our truck has been good and our driver and co-driver are focused and running great. I'm really looking forward to getting this race under way on Sunday."
The Western Motorsport team and truck will be on display tonight at the popular "Fan Fest" event held each year in Downtown Colorado Springs. Saturday will be a day off for the team as the Pikes Peak hill fills up with thousands of Camping Spectators from all around the nation. License plates from as far away as New Hampshire were spotted today rolling into town. The second oldest motorsports event in the United States will kick off Sunday morning sharply at 9am. Along with Mason-Moffatt's attempt at a ProTruck win, will be 51 auto or truck drivers and 115 motorcycle racers, including automotive, semi truck, exhibition, open wheel, stock car and even a first-ever all electric vehicle brought over from Japan.