Left to right, Scott Crouch, Technician Jamie Miller, and
Tanner Foust celebrating a class victory at the
2005 Colorado Rally.
Through the years, our team has had a fair amount of success, including winning the PGT National Championship in 2005 with driver Tanner Foust and co-driver Scott Crouch, competing in the 2006 X Games inaugural rally event, multiple class wins with driver Stephan Verdier and co-driver Scott Crouch from 2007 to 2009, and finishing the 2009 Colorado Rally 1st in class and 3rd overall with guest driver Lauchlin O’Sullivan and co-driver Scott Crouch.
Starting in 2010, Scott Crouch moved into the driver’s seat, and he is gaining experience and honing his driving skills as we prepare to reenter the Rally America series.
One way that Crouch has prepared is by competing in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC).
2002 Flatirons Tuning Rally Car with Tanner Foust and Scott Crouch (2004).
PPIHC is 12 miles long, has 156 turns, and climbs 4,720 feet to finish slightly more than 14,000 feet above sea level. It’s one of the greatest single challenges that any race driver can face.
Even though this was Crouch’s first time competing in the PPIHC as a driver, it was not the first time that we had been there as a team. In 2004 (the first year we competed in the Rally America series) and 2005, PPIHC was part of the calendar, and we ran the race both years. Tanner Foust/Scott Crouch won the PPIHC’s PGT class in 2005, so we had been here before in full PGT trim.
However, that was then. The mountain was mostly dirt, and we were competing with similar cars. We had to make a few changes for 2012 because we were running in the Time Attack Class.
The first thing we did was change to 17" wheels with wide, sticky tires. Since Pikes Peak is now tarmac all the way to the summit, we had to leave our 15" knobby rally tires in the garage.
We took the restrictor out of our turbo inlet because its purpose is to limit power in the PGT class, and we needed all of the power we could find to compete in the Time Attack Class.
For suspension, the RS&SP dampers with their three-way adjustable dampening allowed us to set up for pretty much any condition, including Pikes Peak’s tarmac.
In our early testing, we found that even though our differential setup was ideal for gravel and dirt, it left a lot to be desired for tarmac. The issue was that the front limited-slip differential was causing too much understeer, and we decided that we needed to go to a hypoid, or torque biasing, differential up front. Since those are standard in the STI 6-speed transmissions that also have shorter gear ratios, we decided to do a complete STI 6-speed swap into our car.
Read more about our assault of Pikes Peak in 2012.
Flatirons Tuning will return to PPIHC for the 2013 run.
I don’t know if we will ever set a record at PPIHC or win our class, but we will keep going back to meet the challenge of this race and of the mountain.
As with rally, if we cross the finish line, that’s enough.