Winning Pike's Peak
with Bobby Unser
Filmed January 2009

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Interactive Transcript

"Wow. We didn't even do a contract. No agreements for money. Nothing." I was just so happy to work again and to go fast again and to do my thing that I always do.

I felt like a real live human being again. So then I got to thinking, I knew that Audi has a real, real high tech car, which they won't talk to me about, to run Pike's Peak.

They have technology that we don't understand. Period. I called up Hoppen and I thought, "Wow. I'm going to go back to Pike's Peak." Remember, I'd been gone for 12 years.

I told Hoppen, "I need to run Pike's Peak for you this year." He said, "No, you can't do that because Piech, who's the chairman of the board of Audi, has his favorite German driver, Walter Röhrl, who's very good.

He's going to run Pike's Peak." I said, "No, you don't understand. Bobby Unser's gotta do it and it's gotta be this year." I said, "If necessary, build two cars. Let him run one; I'll run the other one."

But I said, "I have to have equal treatment." So finally they gave in because I told them there were no contracts over these 14 world records that I set for them.

So it's either all or nothing. In other words, they can't advertise that unless they give me the Pike's Peak car. This is hardball. This is racing, see?

At any rate, I just kept saying, “No, we're gonna do it or you can't advertise the Talladega runs that I did.”

Well, they finally gave in. So, I went to Germany. I went over there and did a very, very, very successful testing and development over there. I won't get into all of that, but we come back over now.

I am their only Pike’s Peak driver, and, again, I have been gone for 12 years. You can read some articles I have on the walls around here
about it.

A lot of people said I was gone for too may years. You can't be gone 12 years and go back and have my timing back again and have everything back like it used to be.

Well, I did it again, set a new qualifying record and set a new race record and just blew everybody's doors off. I did it in a very big way. More importantly, I showed Audi that Americans are okay.

That we can go fast. Even though I'm an American-German, you can go fast. I became very good friends with them.

In fact, so much that even the next year, they brought Walter Röhrl over, and darned if Audi didn't hire me and demanded that I go up there and help with that operation.

They paid me the same amount of money to go up there and make sure everything went right and help Walter Röhrl to do the mountain.

Which he did win, but it was like me winning again because it was my car all over again, just some more technology. But they had technology that was just way above what anybody in the world had.

We just really got to working together good.

With innovations, I had a Roger Penske type of a deal with Audi is what I had. Once they had me, they supported me one hundred percent. I got the best of everything. Whatever I asked for, I got.

If I had ideas, as long as my ideas were working, boy, they would follow me right off the end of the world. I mean, they were really good that way.


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