Western Motorsports Enters ProTruck into World Famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb San Diego Based Team Uses Palomar Mountain for Testing Tuesday July 7, 2009 Escondido CA -- San Diego's own Western...
Western Motorsports Enters ProTruck into World Famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb
San Diego Based Team Uses Palomar Mountain for Testing
Tuesday July 7, 2009 Escondido CA -- San Diego's own Western Motorsports spent yesterday afternoon testing on Palomar Mountain in preparation for one of the most famous racing events in the world. The team will load up their Eleven Western Builders ProTruck and make the 17-hour drive from Escondido, CA to Colorado Springs, CO for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to be held on Sunday July 19. The event is drastically different from the team's typical off-road series races around Southern California, Nevada and Baja deserts.
Veteran off-road racer Dave Mason will pilot the truck for the 3rd attempt of his career.
Eleven Western Builders ProTruck at Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 2008
"This is more than a race...it's an absolute adventure...an experience," expressed Dave Mason, who just missed a podium finish in the previous two entries. "We've learned a lot in the last two events and I think we've found a solid setup. I learned a lot about how to change my driving style as well in the past events. I like our chances this year."
With 156 turns in less than 14 miles Dave Mason and Co-Driver Mark Moffitt know that they will have to memorize each turn and be flawless in their communication and driving. "You really aren't racing your competitors in this event. It's you against the mountain," said Mason. "Push too hard and you're day can be over very quick. Push too little and you're not going to win. It's a real balance and a major mental challenge. In addition, we have to consider that this race is part of the road to an overall championship point's chase we are in for the ProTruck Series."
"As a driver it's such a different approach than I'm used to. I've always been great at racing in heavy wheel to wheel traffic and pressuring the opponent to make a mistake," added Mason, who hopes to add a Pikes Peak win to his many off-road wins including a Baja 1000 victory. "I have to get into a totally different mindset for this event."
The driver isn't the only one who has to change his mind-set for the hill climb. It's a challenge for Crew Chief Josh Nelson as well. Nelson is used to setting up a truck with lots of suspension travel to go over the tough desert terrain. Pikes Peak setups are closer to rally or sports car racing. The Truck gets dropped to the ground and nearly all of the thought process for the setup is altered for the hill climb. Steve Reeder, the teams Engine Specialist, also has some unique challenges. The Motor must run at full power while traveling through extreme elevation changes during the race.
The event appropriately titled The Race to the Clouds began on August 10, 1916 as an automobile race featuring Barney Oldfield and Eddie Rickenbacker. It was originally created to help promote a new highway to the top of a Colorado mountain and now will present its 87th edition on Sunday, July 19. The 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will spotlight almost 50 auto or truck drivers and 115 motorcycle racers in 11 divisions, including automotive, semi truck, exhibition, open wheel, super stock car, pro truck and motorcycle classes.