A heavily modified wagon flew around the corner of a dirt track, spraying dirt and rocks behind it.
“Time!” barked its driver.
“Plus three. We’re a bit late. Let up on the brake, Rainbow. And corners go out-in-out,” said the unicorn passenger through her helmet. A sheaf of paper floated in front of her, pages swapping places occasionally. Racing suits and seats enveloped the two ponies.
“I know, Twilight! There’s something up with the tires.”
“We checked them right before we started, remember? There’s nothing wrong. It’s just an unfamiliar track,” Twilight responded calmly. Dash hated losing time.
“Whatever. How’s the next turn?” The stack of paper shuffled and a single sheet floated just in front of Twilight’s visor.
“Uhh… turn four: Left Hairpin, no bank. Little hill before. Keep it under twenty, ‘k?”
“Got it,” Rainbow slammed the accelerator, attempting to make up time on the straightaway. She had painted the car cyan and rainbow, just like her. Twilight had only just prevented her from attaching wings to it.
Trees whipped by, and just as quickly as it came, the speed left as the turn approached. Rainbow’s left hoof was strapped to the steering wheel, while her right was free to change gears. She flicked her right hoof over the gearshift and dropped down to second gear. The accelerator read only ‘30’ when the turn appeared, just on the other side of a low rise. The little metal wagon jumped down the slope and slid to the right.
Rainbow hit the brakes and turned the wheel left, grinding the front wheels into the dirt. The car threw up a wall of dust as it turned nearly around, just grazing the inner edge of the turn. Going over the line would have resulted in a five second penalty, and Rainbow hated losing time.
Unfortunately, that meant that when she already had lost time, she got reckless. She had taken the turn just a little too hard for her poor tires, and the the front left one, just ahead of the driver seat, blew. The front end of the car dropped half a foot and down onto the nearly exposed rim.
Rainbow cursed and slammed on the brake. “Twilight!”
“On it,” Twilight’s response was terse. The glow around her horn intensified as she simultaneously unbuckled herself, unlocked and opened her door and pulled the car jack from its spot under the car. She was already halfway out and magically grabbing the bolts holding the wheel in by the time the car stopped. She slid over the hood and had the jack set up and ready to go when she hit the ground. She jammed the handle down with her body and hefted the spare tire from the back of the car with her magic. The jack lifted the car off of the injured wheel. The six bolts almost shot out and the blown tire followed them just as fast, quickly replaced by the spare.
The six bolts spun back into place, the blown tire headed to its replacement’s old resting place and the jack’s release was pulled out by a purple aura. The handle threw Twilight back over the hood, then disappeared back into the undercarriage. She jumped into the open door, harness already positioned and waiting. She buckled herself in and shouted “Go!”
“Time!” Rainbow shouted back as she tried to push the pedal through the floor.
Twilight checked her magically-synced watch, then her stack and responded with “Plus two and a half. Two zones left. Minimum times minus one and two, respectively.”
“Are blown tires a penalty?”
“I don’t think so.”
Rainbow took the next two turns far too fast, but still just inside of the boundaries. The zones flew by just as quickly. Rainbow remained silent except for an occasional “Time!”, followed by a rapidly decreasing number.
—[Coincidentally, time limit reached.]—
The end of the second zone flew by and Twilight announced the finish. Rainbow slammed the brake and turned the wheel to the right, sliding the car to a stop and kicking up a wall of dust. The gathered crowd cheered and Rainbow stepped out, head held high in her rainbow helmet. Twilight followed on her side, an amused pair of eyes visible out of her flipped-up visor.
Rainbow looked towards the officials stand and yelled “Time!”
“3:41:110,” the center one said calmly.
Rainbow jumped into the air and shouted. Two bulges appeared on her back as she fell back on her face. “Stupid suit,” she mumbled through the helmet that just kept her from smacking her face into the dirt. Twilight rolled her eyes and unzipped both of their suits. She carefully pulled her helmet off and used it to block the flying rainbow one that had just whipped off of Dash’s head.
“Well, we’ve qualified. There’s still two races to go, Dash. And we need new tires,” Twilight said.
Rainbow Dash hovered over to her teammate. “That’s what I’ve got you for!” She said as she affectionately ruffled the unicorn’s mane.
“Let’s go get the money for the tires, then,” Twilight said with a huff. The pair hopped back in the car and sped off, significantly slower than before.
(A/N: If it wasn’t clear already, I am not an expert on rally races. Therefore, all terminology and techniques presented here are mostly conjecture and hypothesis.)
Well good! I know nothing about racing either, so we’re all on the same page here. That fact notwithstanding, this was a neat story! The tension was high and it was really exciting. Good job!