Larry Chen: Pikes Peak 101st Running Special Coverage Video

Pikes Peak 101st Running Special Coverage

Posted: 2023-09-13 15:00:01
Author: Larry Chen
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Larry Chen Video Transcript

Look at that it’s probably the prettiest Sunrise I’ve seen What’s up Richard just Vlogging Here all right so absolutely redneck Rodeo I think this is the first time we’ve ever had a legit breakfast ever eggs are bacon thanks Susie this honestly should have started in the supermarket because we loaded up thank you pretty good with all the snacks and

Everything I I just got to show you guys the fridge it is so packed with coffee and snacks and stuff anyways first day of practice we were kind of waiting on the mountain to see if they were going to open the top section because it’s been

Snowing a lot there was a blizzard last week and they weren’t sure if they were going to run practice at all but uh they’re going to run practice and it’s going to be really cold it’s the 101st running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb this is the official photography team unfortunately

We had to split our team because it’s the same weekend as Formula Drift New Jersey so Lewis and Tyler they’re going to New Jersey with another team and me Luis Jason Izzy Charles we’re here basically handling Pikes Peak so I forgot to mention Richards because here doing video what are you working on

For the first time ever we have a good low-light Vlog camera shooting on a Canon R8 so that way we can bring you guys good news homie it could be nice sir all right so we’re at Glen Cove this is the toll booth and the air seems thinner this year

Plan for today I’m shooting up top with Richard behind the camera right now Jason and Izzy are gonna shoot the middle section and then Luis and Charles they’re gonna shoot the bottom section so we’re all split up two two that way we can get maximum coverage what I’m curious about is the snowpack

Everybody’s been telling me that the snowpack is crazy up top and this is the most snow that they’ve ever seen on course it will look different this year the wind is crazy right now just got our stuff together I’m gonna shoot 20 minutes of the pits and then we’re gonna go up Let me see that Bell yeah I can’t feel my fingers let’s go we’re going to the top we got magic here got caught up hey what’s up who’s up let’s do it it’ll be a nice morning it’s so pretty Pleasant morning I’ve never seen this much snow so let’s go look at that it’s probably the prettiest sunrise

On this side here look at that cloud formation I’m gonna try to get that downhill shot of that Audi foreign a couple years back I got a this crazy photo um she was shooting with his flash I was like a corner or two up and uh I caught his flash down below so

So it’s not it’s too bright for that right now but uh I I hope to recreate that one day my shot is uh all right oh my God don’t die dude Oh oh no Rob we gotta try to push her off down right hand down you feel the left hand go go go go push push push push push push crank it Cotto’s Recovery Service well it didn’t work out that great I guess that’s probably one of the worst

Shooting sessions that we’ve had up here at Pikes Peak my lips are still frozen but um what’s crazy is oh my God the camera is Frozen like I can’t feel my fingers I saw in the forecast the wind chill was 23. and uh Rupert the native here said he

Thinks it feels worse than 23 especially with the wind the wind is crazy I mean I almost got blown over a couple times I made the turn here right where my car is parked and then I just stood up and the wind was just blowing me uphill

So that was fun look this is what’s in front of me this is this is all snow this this just looks so different yeah get in hey careful with the door wash the door watch the door I went out to that Hill I saw I saw it crazy you crazy you crazy

3 28 a.m Breakfast of Champions Pikes Peak fuel and ribs and morning ribs The traffic is backed up all the way to the highway in a quarter mile slide left onto Pike’s Peak Highway we got up earlier but the traffic is even worse just got up to Devils I’m solo today get out of here They’re gonna Park and they’re gonna shoot for a little bit but um I’m going to get some pit stuff and for maybe about 30 minutes and then once I’m done with that then I’ll go up to Boulder Park every year I guess I try to explain how we’re able to cover this

Massive race once I get a moment I’ll kind of run you guys through what’s actually happening but uh gonna run two bodies today prime lenses fast lenses and just try to get some really good low light stuff Yeah dude you got a little Foreign Thank you thank goodness it’s not as windy today I hope but uh birds are out I can hear them chirping hopefully the marmonts stay in their holes and they don’t come out and get hit by race cars but uh not a cloud in the sky today it looks

Like it’s going to be a really beautiful sunrise for our second day of practice I’m excited because my good bud Mad Mike is going to be practicing the upper section here I’m solo up here today but uh got a couple friends with me got my buddy Tommy here

What do you think Bud face on how wow is this your first time I’ve Hector no I’ve been like back in 2015. it’s been a while yeah I shot it for four years but thank God Larry saved us pick this up give us a ride Mike’s taxi I’m

Glad to be the Pike’s taxi because when I first started um you know other veteran season photographers were giving me rides and taking me around so I got to return the favor to everybody you know yosuke yes thank you first time last time from Japan from Japan what part of Japan are

You from hello so cool look how pretty this is you know what I’m sad uh that there’s not like really high altitude clouds today but uh I’m actually glad that we’re probably gonna have Sun pretty much all day today um we’ll get some good shots we’re gonna

We’re gonna get some bangers we’re gonna get some bangers a lot of pressure shooting with Larry a lot of pressure I’ll give you a grade after this too okay yeah there you go I granted myself a c minus yesterday no no yeah yeah dude yeah no way hopefully

Today I get a little bit I got an F Holy crap that was so cool he’s just like fully sideways coming out of that corner down there that was awesome Oh so we just had their third run on I set up this neat little um drop gun I’m here yeah 200 F2 with the extender one for Extender on the R3 on the world’s tiniest tripod luckily there’s no win today so I’m able to do this but

Today is so much better than yesterday Sunrise wasn’t as good but overall it not being so windy and uh the sun’s out it just looks a lot better plus you know being able to see Mad Mike and Tanner Faust so so cool that mic is just ripping it

Out there just getting sideways almost every corner in his four rotor uh Mazda3 but uh I think we’re gonna be able to get one more run yesterday we only got two runs which really sucked but I think we’ll we’ll be able to get four runs in

I think next I’m gonna try to do another drop count but I’ll probably go a little higher because uh I haven’t shot there yet today was a little bit of suffering not as much suffering a lot more fun [Applause] this is my little setup here um past Boulder Park just doing a little

Drop Camera Boulder for some video we’ll see how it goes few moments later Richard let me see your hair the next day good morning Richard Kim I’m a little more dressed today it’s because I want to be on time it’s gonna be colder today because there was a flash flood warning

And it’s been raining and thundering all night so we don’t actually know what is in store for us but uh yeah we’re gonna get ready and go early and then then I have some time to explain this whole thing about Pikes Peak practice Morning Has it really been raining I don’t know yes

Well this is not one bit ideal at all but it was raining really hard there was a storm I guess and uh it was really coming down when we got to the starting line and the officials told us that they canceled practice for the middle and top section

So now we’re at the bottom section which is where Rhys milling and Tanner house that they’re actually driving that today and today is qualifying for them so we kind of just regrouped and all six of us are split through just the bottom section we have two guys at the start

Line us to Richard and I in the middle and then Jason and Izzy up top for the finish line of the bottom section which really sucks hey Larry somebody’s calling me what was that golfer Larry what’s up meeting they say today is canceled okay uh keep us updated

Well I guess uh you just you just heard it on the radio today’s canceled I’m so sad about that I guess we’re going go-karting I don’t know I was actually really excited to have my think tank covers on the three or threes I had a pretty good setup going got my

200 F2 with a 1 4 extender but I guess we won’t need that today it’s rough because that means we have to move everything to tomorrow which means we won’t be able to get as much rest and sleep just before race day so now Thursday practice is canceled but

That’s okay because Friday was an optional practice but now it’s mandatory especially for the rookies because as I will explain in full detail later every rookie has to run every single portion of the mountain for them to be able to run the full race on Sunday rip Thursday practice and qualifying let’s go

Let’s get in the Escalade it’s definitely a bummer I’m bummed out because we miss a whole day of shooting but honestly for the safety of the drivers I couldn’t even see coming up here and I was going like 20 miles an hour it was fog there’s rain there’s lightning

I mean that’s Pikes Peak for you you know the mountain don’t lie she will let you run if she wants to but if she does not want you to run you’re out honestly we were even talking about the probably one of the most dangerous corners on the mountain engineer’s

Corner is where Levi’s Charlie actually flipped and kept going but with it being this slick right now it’s gonna be so dangerous for Levi oh let me see baby ride do you guys need a ride with the ground being wet and it hasn’t rained in a while it’s probably just all

The oils and everything are coming up on the surface which makes it even more slick so my prediction was that there was going to be a lot of people going off in Engineers today and thank goodness they canceled it for that reason like I was actually quite excited about

Today yeah I was like I might actually do pretty freaking well these are my type of conditions so the way it works the qualifying I’ve had this wrong all week I thought like each of our qualifying times from each sector we add them all up that’s our qualifying for Sunday but no it’s

Just everyone’s runs from the bottom section which we’re on today’s our group and I feel like in our group in this weather a few of the like drip there was a few drift drivers we’ve got a few rally drivers I feel like this was our time to shine and wait whatever the top

Wait a minute you’re telling me you were going as fast as you can oh I can’t even talk I’m behind the steering wheel that is amazing well not now because now you’re saying everyone else hasn’t been trying is that what’s out on the front of your car what’s that thing the the

Glass there’s a little thing yeah with the wipers what happened to your turbo dude so yesterday basically the the manifold failed and we had to uh redo the whole thing so on no sleep we came here ready to party in the rain and I was the only

One that voted to run in the rain so I got outvoted so we’re all running tomorrow Rod can we just talk about the saver of the year last year you know what I’m talking about I was enjoying the road and uh you know the car was running good and I thought I think I can push on here a little bit and at the end of picnic ground I said

You know what I think I can go in deeper here and you know because I knew I had good grip but I jumped on the brakes too hot and it momentarily locked up which got it got the truck loose but it’s straightened out and that was just good

Luck like my question is did it have anything to do with the paint lines or was it just because you were just too hard on the brakes you know I don’t know about the paint lines but I have a feeling I was just too hard on the brakes

Um and just momentarily locked it up but as soon as I release it just naturally straight you were just so quick to correct yourself but after watching that clip you know we just watched it over and over everybody was like go Brown at whatever a minute Mark you know yeah

Yeah that was your reaction time just so quick to correct that yeah no it’s it’s still it’s still a fun truck to drive and uh yeah you know I haven’t haven’t slitted around at all until I did that you know but it still responds quickly which is great yeah and you ended up

Putting down a pretty good time you know I think I was quite good up until we we got to Devil’s Playground but then it just got so foggy and I just said you know nothing nothing to win here you know so nothing again so I just put it

In a high gear and chugged along which was you know sort of sad if you if you looked at it if it had it cleared up my my really poor qualifying position could have really paid out fantastic you know so um that’s that’s the nature of Pikes

Peak it’s different every year you know so no matter how hard you practice and prepare and whatever the weather’s going to determine what happens and it’s it’s been like that ever since I started competing here in 1981. yeah well I’m glad I had a chance to see you drive it

Because when you were driving it as a new vehicle I wasn’t shooting yet uh yeah yeah yeah awesome good to see you as always yeah you too Larry thanks I just want to talk about what happened just now I mean proper Legacy Legend For You especially

I mean I I know you probably looked up to uh Henry’s also yeah but you actually had a chance to drive with this a couple times yeah yep but now the fact that you are here Miller Mountain yeah it’s crazy and well we look even back at like just

The Legacy they’ve left brought obviously huge inspiration to me as well also being Mazda you know he was here racing rx7s 30 me peripheral ports the last Factory Mazda supported program was Rod Mellon so we’re it’s crazy that Mazda at Pikes Peak all all the way Factory programs have been with kiwi

Drivers so a lot a lot of inspiration there um you know and just this yeah you know just the little words of advice even yesterday we’ve reached up on the hill because I’d have been running my wits because I just felt way more comfortable on the wet with attire

And you know he just mentioned like if it’s dry you won’t make it to the top on the wet so you’ll just be frustrated you’re going to burn out you’ll run out of tire um and just being a rookie not just on the mountain but a rookie on slicks

Um and finding the edge the Slicks have so much grip but when they break there’s nothing it’s just like your ice skating so they don’t really make any sound not that you can hear it yeah it’s um I don’t know it’s just a very different feeling I just haven’t got enough track

Time but anyway recess that I said to it in the morning like four o’clock in the morning it’s like oh man you should really try you know run the slick so I ran the Slicks yesterday and actually got pretty confident on the fastest part of the track so little words of advice

You know that like I say those guys are freaking Heroes and my world man Rhys massive Ambassador Ambassador for drifting uh he was the first Red Bull athlete to get um you know with drifting and for our sport of drifting was huge like instantly like gave credibility to

The sport that it’s not just a bunch hoons and boy races banging bumpers off and hanging doing dirt drops and having those credible Brands and then obviously you know response stun driver for Tokyo Drift and um of course my my kids will link especially is uh Rod invited link to be

The youngest ever driver at Leadfoot Festival which is his like it’s our kiwi Goodwood Festival if he does it again yeah you’re coming I want it you can stay at my house yeah I’ll stay at your house but um you competed against Rhys at the Red Bull World drift Championship

In 2008 yep in Long Beach so for me that one that was crazy I just got picked up by Red Bull that year going to a freaking living out my California Dream you know again like go back to you know Rhys were worked out of his shop actually

Um so little bits of words of advice and stuff there but yeah for the Reese win the championship um huge manufacturer support yo I look at like Reese Tanner and Samuel like Precision freaking drivers then you have a Tanner and Reese here I know this morning with you guys yeah yeah you’re

In the same um scene yeah same session same class yeah yeah so I discovered Rod melon and Pikes Peak nine in the 90s with rotaries rx7s at me outside and this dude’s a kiwi and then like freaking 30b peripheral ports and old school rx7s and yeah so that was like

Where I started kind of following plus I think like Pikes had come out on um like the first Gran Turismo like I don’t even have a freaking PlayStation back then but my mate had it yeah and you could just drift the whole that it was that and Monster tajima’s escudo Suzuki

Um and you could um just drift them the whole way up the freaking Mountain we’re doing this when we were like I don’t know I think we’re about 11 12 years old so incredible it’s crazy for me man to be here after like I said back in the 90s to

Actually be racing the mountain and it’s a proper mother man I have not had nerves like that in my life and I think it’s because like if I was drifting this mountain I’d I’d become I’m in my comfort zone because you’re already you’re sideways you’re already broken

That edge and that’s like my Dimension that I play in you know but when you’re doing these Corners so fast there’s so much grip but you’re if it does break traction it’s just uh yeah it’s just it’s scary yeah I we watched you yesterday up close at the top section and pretty much

Anytime you’re coming out of the corner oh it’s just fully sideways yeah we’re running no assists and I kind of want to prove a point as well to just showcase the world how fast drift cars are now like look yeah I mean Reese won that’s

Right he had a world record here for the overall record yeah for a year yeah drift car yeah and that was coming from a Formula Drift Las Vegas win yeah packed it into a trailer brought it here changed the brakes yeah put some slicks on it yeah put some sticks on it put

Arrow yeah one and then Rod actually then drove I think the following year or the year I don’t know Rod drove it yeah yeah yeah yeah because Rod’s a Drifter at heart too mate of course yeah of course yeah I mean I remember if you’re into rotary mate there’s nothing but

Drifting yeah he competed in Formula Drift in RX8 yeah yeah yeah no it’s cool a lot of a lot of Heroes out here mate on the on the mountain so it’s cool it’s good to see you out here yeah good to be here cool see you uh tomorrow yes

Why why did we wake up today that’s the question you know why we did for Mountain Shadows all right I don’t even go to sleep [Laughter] all right what’d you get corned beef hash omelette no cheese because I’m intolerant of cheese the pancake hash browns

To go to this is kind of a tradition for us to come to this restaurant it’s like a house it’s good huh if you’re in uh Colorado Springs area what do you think good diners what is it Diners Drive-Ins and Dives diaper oh it’s good there’s an extra hair on it

Oh you are hairy like animals I don’t know draw weather not really [Laughter] so since the practice was canceled today I figured we’ll go go-karting instead laughs Don’t beat me I’m not bad at all someone’s a sore loser I need you it’s like what do you have to say nothing I lost okay two of us got on the weak leaderboards okay this is the week leaderboard team right here I was 12 I do it first actually crashed pretty hard thank you

What are we all doing in the Escalade sleeping so our Dodge pickup truck decided to not start this morning dead Dodge dead Dodge unfortunately um so luckily we have Escalade and all six of us can ride in Comfort all the way up to the summit but this is gonna suck

Very close your mess it’s just gonna last day of practice of course something like this happens I’ve been renting vehicles for almost 20 years now never ever have had a dead battery but there’s a first time for everything first time I kind of like it because it’s the first time Larry gets

Technically dropped off I hate you the clouds are so beautiful right now Let’s double cut it’s the it’s like one Cove for the lower section that’s Richard setting up his tripod Canon R3 on a 100 or 500. getting ready to do some video shots today I’m rocking the setup that I was supposed to run yesterday which is

Copy that I copy you loud and clear copy that uh Roger that over and out so yeah yeah 200 F2 with a 1 4 Extender on the R3 because they don’t make a 300 MRI yet so I’m just using that ah 3514 EF on adapter I’m on R3 7200 yeah mono adapter R3

You may wonder why I’m using that instead of the new one well while the new one is amazing it’s good and it’s sharp and it’s fast and it’s light it’s a push and pull system so the problem is when we’re shooting Outdoors which we’re shooting Outdoors every single day

He pumps dust into it so we can’t use that so that’s why I’m using the old lens so I kind of have a pretty epic sunrise today so look at the clouds it’s so pretty hopefully we get something really good I’m gonna probably go up on the Snow

Hill and get some shots up there but uh looks like the rest of the media are up there so Pikes Peak Week is essentially an entire week just to get ready for the race on Sunday this year we came on the Sunday before the race

And then the next day on Monday was Tech inspection you know they have to make sure all the vehicles pass Tech to make sure they have all the safety equipment all the fire suits this that and other the tires they have to make sure they

Have rain tires all that is the spec and then on Tuesday is the first day of practice uh Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday are the three official days of practice and qualifying there’s three sections there’s the bottom section which is basically tree line and Below all the way to the normal start line then

There’s the middle section which is the start of the tree line up two doubles which is that area right there that’s pretty much the most lightning struck area in North America so then it’s this little section here which is which starts right there in those pits goes drives all these roads all these

Switchbacks all of this goes around Ken Block’s Corner comes around this hairpin finishes right there right at levels playground the top section is basically Devil’s Playground to the summit alright so with that said they split it up into three sections there’s quite a few competitors I don’t

Actually know how many this year but it seemed like there’s about 20 to 30 vehicles in every single section as the week progresses on Tuesday a certain group runs the bottom another group runs the middle and another group runs the top then as the days go everybody shifts up

And the people up top go down so then by the end of the the three days everybody’s driven hopefully Unfortunately they weren’t able to drive yesterday because the adverse conditions so that’s why they pushed it to today traditionally Friday is uh just a free practice it’s optional if you want to

Drive more you can if you want to save the car or if you need to do any other testing you can do that too Saturday is a day of rest because they have to get ready for the actual race and then Sunday is the actual race so yeah that’s it copy what about

Richard’s over here setting up a drop cam this is a good way for us to get more video angles without having another video person and what is that a 35 or 24. 24 24 so we’ll get like a nice shot of the porta potties here perfect nice that’s what I was going for You baby Oh my God I got dressed for warm weather Is I just haven’t pushed as hard in a long time because this is my only time shooting the middle section so like I kind of did things out of order for the light I went down further because I knew the the sun was gonna hit the clouds so it

Was going to be cool lightwise which means I skipped a really staple shot here which is like all those mountains and the city in the background over there but right now I’m just setting up for uh um just a downhill shot this is one of my

Favorites I actually got a shot of this of the Unicorn V2 uh with the 200 mil of Ken going down here I think it’s kind of one of my all-time shots from this location so what I like about the shot is this is basically impossible without a mirrorless camera and being able to

Shoot with you know either the R3 or the R5 right now I have r3s all three of them uh it allows me to frame even though the the cameras on the road and when I had my 1dx it was basically honestly it was dangerous because I was basically laying down on the road

Looking through the eyepiece to get that shot but when I was doing that before I actually had a spotter with me today I’m solo so Robin came too early and uh he actually he actually the whole car got lit by this wall of snow um it was like a fill light totally unintentional pretty cool Oh It’s so steep I just gotta be careful it’s so steep here it’s this steep That was a rough one man uh but that was a rough one for a different reason the conditions were really good it was just physically demanding um what I mean we started all the way up there and I walked down that crazy Hill that was something else I’m really happy with today’s shots I haven’t even looked at the pictures yet you go ahead and disconnect but I think I’m gonna give myself an A minus Between a minus and B plus so the reason why it’s not an a is because I lost my back because that bad girl down the hill and almost went on the track but I found it and uh yeah I kicked I must have kicked it with my

Foot but the think tank bag you know it has pretty good cushion and this camera that I’m recording on right now this R8 was in there and it didn’t get damaged and rolled all the way down the hill but I found my bag so thank you yes All right away Whatever One two three four five What the Hey thanks for watching if you want to support us directly go to I print and sign every single one of these this is the perfect gift or it’s the perfect piece of art for your wall Let’s go You need me [Applause]