Brilliant warm weather and exceptionally fast cars were the order of the day at PPIR. As if that weren’t enough for a good time, I was lucky enough to be hanging out with my Co-Driver, Travis Tollett and Crew Chief, Anthony Perez. Also in tow was Travis’ younger brother, and soon to be recruited crew member, Trevor.
The rainy weather gave us a bit of a worry when I first picked up Anthony at his home in Colorado Springs, but by the time we made our way beyond the southern end of Fort Carson, the rain had given way to mostly sunny skies and a cool breeze. We rolled into the facility shortly after noon and made our way to the Media office where Travis had just checked in and received his credentials. We did likewise and were on our way through the pit area to get a feel for who’s who in the zoo.
A quick walk through the pit had us saying, “hey, look who’s here” on several occasions. We dropped in on Rhys Millen and said hello and I took a moment to thank Rhys personally for loaning his dad the Genesis for the 2WD Time Attack Division. Because, lets face it, unless Rod Millen has somehow lost the ability to be Rod Millen, I’m in trouble. As if my task weren’t tough enough, I now have one of Pikes Peak’s true racing legends in my class. My competition is now officially steeper than Pikes Peak itself. On a much cooler note, however, I was able to get Rhys to agree to let me speak with him and his dad sometime next week for My Life at Speed. So keep an eye out for that.
Shortly after Speaking with Rhys, we ran into Tanner Foust. Other than speaking with tanner on the phone, we had not met before today. As he was finishing up taking photos with and signing autographs for fans, I walked up and asked if he had time for one more photo. He, being the true professional, said “of course” and I walked up and introduced myself and posed for the photo. With a somewhat puzzled look and a handshake he said, “oh you are? Are you really”? I’m used to this expression. When people first meet me I think they’re surprised that I’m not taller. Or thinner…whatever. I don’t exactly fit the mold of a typical race car driver. Anyway, I have a brief but pleasant conversation with Tanner and we head off to watch some of the incredible action beginning to take place on the track.
We make our way in front of the infield tower down to the finish line area and have a great view of the big “Gap” jump as well as the starting line from here. We take up residence there for the better part of the afternoon. Except for bathroom breaks and the occasional stroll through the pit area, this is where we would spend a good portion of the day. The action is as fast paced and exciting as I remember from my visit to round 1 in Irwindale and seeing it this close up just makes me more excited for the five at a time action we will see on Saturday. I snapped a few photos with my iPhone, but Travis really has some great shots that we’ll hopefully have up for you tomorrow.
The afternoon progresses and the winners are determined. We make our way to the podium area so Travis can get more shots. The top three are gracious enough to pose for a few photos behind the cars for Travis. It’s been a really great day with the team. I’m looking forward to next week and what we’ll be able to accomplish on the Hill.
We make our way back to the parking area and say goodbye to Travis and Trevor till tomorrow. Anthony and I stop by to see the Dacia Duster Unlimited car as it’s doing some testing on the infield road course. I’m jealous and wish I had brought my car out to play, as well.