Brake fail­ure at Pikes Peak

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RHYS CHAMBERLAIN

The brakes of his Ford Fo­cus failed and he was forced to abort just three kilo­me­tres from the end of one of the world’s great races but Highlands Mo­tor­sport Park owner and rac­ing mag­nate Tony Quinn is not wor­ried.

He’ll ‘‘go back and have a crack’’ at the Pikes Peak In­ter­na­tional Hill Climb again next year.

It’s the sec­ond year in a row the self-made mil­lion­aire has com- pe­ted in the 20km race near Colorado Springs in the United States.

The course starts about 2700 me­tres above sea level and fin­ishes at 4300m. On race day the driv­ers take it in turns to try and set the fastest time on a stretch of road that con­tains 156 turns.

As Quinn ap­proached a turn known as ‘‘Bot­tom­less Pit’’ - a 1000m drop down the moun­tain - with­out brakes on June 25, he knew it was time to abort.

‘‘Not many peo­ple would sur­vive go­ing down there,’’ Quinn, 60, said from Aus­tralia. ’’There was just no point in car­ry­ing on.’’

The car - fit­ted with a 3.8-litre twin-turbo Nis­san R35 - had been giv­ing Quinn trou­ble for about two weeks af­ter he ‘‘put it off the road’’ 60 sec­onds into his first prac­tice run.

Warn­ing lights kept com­ing on but most er­rors were able to be fixed, or so he thought.

That was un­til, when near­ing the fin­ish, the brakes failed com­pletely. A few things weren’t quite right, he said.

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