Western Motorsports Pikes Peak Thursday summary

Western Motorsports Qualify 2nd at Pikes Peak Wednesday July 16, 2009 - Colorado Springs, CO -- Dave Mason and Co-Driver Mark Moffatt piloted the ...

Western Motorsports Qualify 2nd at Pikes Peak

Wednesday July 16, 2009 - Colorado Springs, CO -- Dave Mason and Co-Driver Mark Moffatt piloted the #265 Eleven Western Builders ProTruck to a 2nd fastest qualifying time early this morning at the 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The team woke up at 3am local time and headed for the start line to make final preparations for day-2 of the 4-day event. With the sun just peaking over the tremendous mountain range, the Mason-Moffatt pair set off for their first of 3 runs up the qualifying portion of the course, which runs from the official start line to Glen Cove (about midway of the overall course). By the second run Mason posted a 2nd fastest time. The 3rd and final run of the day would prove to be the fastest. Mason gained 4-seconds from the previous run and again posted a 2nd fastest time.

"After the second run up the hill I found some areas that I knew I was leaving speed at," said Mason, who hopes to add a Pikes Peak Hill Climb win to his already extensive racing resume. "My line is different than what I've run here in the past and it seems to be working. The truck ran so smooth and today just felt really good and was a lot of fun. I can't really find anything that wasn't fun about today. I had a great handling truck and great communication by my Co-Driver [Mark Moffatt].

"I think I am still leaving some speed out there though," added Mason. "You don't get to run the entire course all at once until Sunday's main event. It's a real mental challenge to piece each day together and then attempt one solid run on Sunday. But I feel better this year than any other and am looking forward to more practice runs tomorrow."

Western Motorsports Engine Specialist Steve Reeder was also pleased with the engines performance for the second day and at a lower altitude verses yesterday's higher altitudes. "There is such major elevation and weather changes here that you really have to have the motor tuned in," expressed Reeder. "We've had good performances now at both high and low altitudes. We'll be sure things are dialed in for tomorrows practice, but I think we will be in good shape for Sunday."

The team's dedication to learning and research seems to have paid off. Along with Mason's new found driving lines and the truck's setup they are posting times over 10-seconds faster at this point in the event compared to last year's times. Despite the successful day, the team knows they are up against very tough competition. They will be working hard this afternoon to make minor adjustments and assure they have a solid machine heading into tomorrow's final practice day.

After Friday's practice the ProTruck along with the team will be on display and signing autographs at the event's popular "Fan Fest" Friday night in Downtown Colorado Springs. Saturday will be a day of rest and final preparations before Sunday morning's 9am start of the 87th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Open wheel driver turned NASCAR Driver Max Papis, will drive the pace car to open the event. Several thousands of spectators are expected to line the road to the summit.

-credit: wm

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Series Hillclimb
Drivers Max Papis