Friends Become Rivals When They Take On The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

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CHARLOTTE, N.C — Dozens of drivers, including 3 from North Carolina, will take part in an extreme motorsports race in Colorado Springs, Colorado this Sunday. Bahakel Sports, a division of our parent company, will stream the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb live on wccbcharlotte.com/sports/pikes-peak and our mobile app on June 27th.

When you bring together three separate race teams, who outside of the cars are friends but inside of it want to win, you’re bound to have some trash talk before the Race to the Clouds begins.

James Clay says: “It should be a 10 minute run, well Mike and Betim will be a little under it, we’ll be way under that, it should be about that length of run. By the time you get in the zone to do that event it just feels like it flew by.”

For James Clay, Mike Dusold, and Betim Berisha, the event is not only the thrill of a lifetime but also the opportunity to rub elbows with their OPTIMA Batteries family.

When asked “What is it like amongst the three of you guys?” Betim Berisha replied, “Well if you have big and little brothers, this is what it’s like. I couldn’t have asked for better partners under the Optima umbrella. But we do mess with each other quite a bit.”

The messing around carries over to race day where the three have a bet going.

Mike DuSold says: “This came from Rastas, who’s one of the guys at Optima, where whoever gets the fastest time up the mountain in our group, the other two have to wash that person’s car. I think Betim and James said they would wear a Speedo while washing my car. Just to make it that much cleaner. I don’t know if that’s true.”

James says: “Well that was actually a request from Mike, which I thought was kind of weird at the time, but then I realized that he was actually going to be washing my car, and he was trying to put himself in a Speedo, which again is a little weird, but that’s what he does, so okay. If you want to wear a Speedo and wash my car I’m good with it.”

Betim says: “Yeah I’m fine with James and Mike washing my car in a Speedo, I actually bought them their Speedo’s already, so we’re in good shape. You guys don’t worry about shopping.”

The joking could go on for days, but the OPTIMA Batteries family lasts even longer.

Mike says: “It’s really fun, it’s a bunch of great guys, and great people at Optima, and it makes it really fun. Having Optima there to help with logistics it’s definitely a great experience.”

Betim says: “When Mike says family it is family, we go to coffee, we talk all the time. It all happens because of Optima Battery, having them on board and bringing us together.”

James says: “I love being a part of the Optima family and just like Mike and Betim it’s been a long-term relationship. It’s an enthusiast brand, they make a top-level product that’s perfectly at home in these extremely harsh environments in torture tests like this. I was buying Optima’s well before I was a part of the team just because I think they’re the best.”

Watch live race coverage on our website and mobile app starting at 9 AM EST on June 27th!