We are so excited to be back in Colorado today – the team will be hitting the mountain tomorrow morning for our first chance to run the fully paved course!
It has been a VERY long road to Pikes Peak this year. We have been planning and training since before the beginning of 2012. Over the past couple of days the drive from Southern California to Colorado has been a welcome break from wrenching and a great opportunity to reflect on what an amazing race the Pikes Peak Hill climb is and how very lucky we are to once again hold an invitation to race here.
This has to be one of the most beautiful 1000 mile drives in the US. Thru the desert South West up to the Rockies, then over them at nosebleed heights, and back down a bit to the plains of eastern Colorado. And now here we are – back at the Mecca Motel, like home away from home.
Because we are racing in a Stock class, the Multistradas that Greg and Carlin ride are the same as the ones on the Ducati Dealer’s showroom floor. This year our focus has been on personalizing the bikes to fit the individual riding styles of Greg Tracy and Carlin Dunne as much as possible.
We started with the suspension – with the help of Paul Thede of Race Tech we have been working on using the adjustable settings on the forks and rear shock to match each rider’s physical size and also their riding style. During several track days at Las Vegas Speedway and Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, Paul worked with Greg and Carlin to dial in the settings – and both riders say it makes a huge difference to have the motorcycle set exactly for him. We are also running Ducati Designs footpegs which are adjustable so the cockpit for each rider is a little different than the other.
Since weight and horsepower have a direct relationship we also wanted to lighten the motorcycles. Like all racers, Greg and Carlin both are always looking for more HP! Of course, given the unique altitude of the Pikes Peak race course with our starting line over 9,000ft and finish line over 14,000ft, every ounce counts. Since the course fully paved this year we have decided to run without the rock guards, saving a bit of weight, and we have done a chain conversion to DID 520 chain. We are very happy to have SuperSprox back on board as a sponsor so our running gear is lighter and stronger as well.
One other significant change was a fully custom pipe from our good friends at Akrapovic. The special race exhaust they made for us is a boost in horsepower, plus a weight savings. And they have a wonderful throaty sound which is a real pleasure to hear! A significant change like a new pipe necessitated a trip to DynoJet in Las Vegas for a new map for the pipe and for Chris Geiter to give the race bikes a complete going over.
But that is enough about what we have been up to – now we are in Colorado, the sun is starting to get low in the sky and we need to get the motorcycles loaded. Wake up call 3:00am. Wheels up at 3:30. I can’t wait to tell you how tomorrow goes for the team!!