ProRally: Pikes Peak: Thursday practice/qualifying notes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Open Class got its first look at the Pikes Peak during this morning's qualifiying run on the lower section of the stage Start to Cove Creek in preparation for Saturday's 81st "Run to the Clouds." And after...

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The Open Class got its first look at the Pikes Peak during this morning's qualifiying run on the lower section of the stage Start to Cove Creek in preparation for Saturday's 81st "Run to the Clouds." And after the morning runs, the SCCA ProRally drivers made some noise, posting times just about five seconds behind the fastest times of the pace-setting Open Wheel division vehicles. Drivers, co-drivers and crew arrived early this week have been acclimating themselves to the high altitudes for several days now, and are all looking forward to their chance to win one of the most prestigious and unique racing awards in the county and the world.

Late Breaking News:

* Weather: The latest forecasts have just a small chance, under 20 percent, of precipitation virtually anywhere on the mountain for Friday and Saturday. However, this past Tuesday, snow was reported falling as low at altitudes as 9,000 ft. up on the peak. Temperatures are expected to be very cool in the early mornings, somewhere in the lower 40s. Highs are expected to be in the 50s. Also, as is typical for the mountain region, rain chances will increase with height as clouds crest and blanket the peak, especially in the afternoon.

* This is only the second time the PPIHC event has participated as a Championship round for SCCA ProRally, last year being the first. While no overall (John Woolf Cup) points will be awarded to the drivers, Group and Manufacturer (Subaru and Mitsubishi) points will be. And with just one shot at the 12.5 mile stage and substantial points up for grabs, Saturday morning's Race to the Clouds promises to be one of the most intense runs of the entire ProRally Championship.

* Early Retirements/Disqualifications: FIA-Group N entry Jeff Zwart, who is a Pikes Peak regular, will not run this weekend after it was discovered that the center differential on his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was not within FIA-Group N specifications. He was given the option to run in the Open Class but chose to withdraw from the event instead.

* Open class entry Doug Havir did not participate in Thursday morning's practice session due to some engine concerns. His status for Saturday is uncertain as of now.

* Open Class entry Leon Styles' car, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6.5, had mechanical problems about an hour into the morning practice session. The car is being evaluated and Styles hoped to be back in the car by late Friday or the race on Saturday.

-scca pro racing-

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About this article
Series Hillclimb , SCCA
Drivers Leon Styles , Doug Havir , Jeff Zwart