GM Racing pre-race notes

Pontiac Solstice GXP And Millen Confident For Race To The Clouds E85 Powering Solstice GXP Up The Mountain "I think it's definitely an advantage," Millen continued. "When you come to a race like this, cooling is very, very important. In year's...

Pontiac Solstice GXP And Millen Confident For Race To The Clouds
E85 Powering Solstice GXP Up The Mountain

"I think it's definitely an advantage," Millen continued. "When you come to a race like this, cooling is very, very important. In year's past we've run all sorts of spray systems, from water spraying the turbo charger intercooler to spraying the radiator. To date, we haven't turned any of that on, purely because of the E85 fuel."

Another advantage the Red Bull Pontiac Solstice GXP team has enjoyed is the opportunity to paddock with a local dealer, Mike Shaw Pontiac GMC.

"It's great. We get to utilize the benefits of the dealership, from cleaning the car to working in their air-conditioned bays," Millen said. "Today we cracked an exhaust manifold, and we had to pull from their resources of people they are familiar with, and we got a mobile welder to come over to the shop. My guys actually did the work, but they were able to use his equipment.

"They've also loaned us a vehicle for the week, which has allowed me to get up the hill, and that enables us to get up the road and view the road conditions in preparing myself for the next day."

Now that he has had an opportunity to test his car over three sections, not to mention a chance to size up the competition, Millen believes he has a good strategy for claiming his seventh overall title at Pikes Peak.

"The power that we've got and the grip that the Bridgestone tires provide should be the recipe for us to win Saturday," he said.

Millen points out that today was a crucial morning for making final adjustments to the car.

"It was the longest run we had, and it allowed us to get a good baseline of temperatures and chassis set-up," he said. "It has a change of asphalt to dirt making up 50 percent of the total climb, where the other days have been either 100 percent gravel or 100 percent paved.

"It also is the lowest section, where the engine tuning is critical. We did the final tuning for race day to get our air-fuel ratios tuned, which makes it safer as we go up the mountain."

-credit: gm racing

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Series Hillclimb