The cyan pegasus known as Rainbow Dash stared out into the vast crowd out on the racetrack as she rested her front hooves, covered by a full body leather race suit up against the pit wall. Seemingly dazed, there was a feeling in her stomach, a feeling that every racer gets before a big race, it's that stone that forms in your stomach, knowing that something big is about to happen. As Rainbow gazed out among the hundreds, even thousands of ponies crowding around the race cars lined up against the pit wall, she had seemingly let go of this feeling. Even though it was only half an hour until formation lap, Rainbow still took her time getting ready. Soon, a lavender unicorn known as Twilight Sparkle came up behind Rainbow and put a hoof on her back,
"Rainbow... I know this may seem stressful, but I just want to let you know, that we're all going to be there if you need us..." Twilight spoke to the Pegasus who was seemingly in a daze,
"Twilight, we all worked so hard for this, but we can do this. It may be nerve racking at times, but if we can run that bad boy for 24 hours on end, oh it'll pay off" Rainbow Dash replied,
"And also, I'll always be at the radio if you need me" Twilight started speaking, until the announcer came on,
"ATTENTION ALL SPECTATORS, WE ARE 10 MINUTES AWAY FROM FORMATION LAP AND AT THIS TIME, PLEASE CLEAR THE TRACK OF ANY SPECTATORS AND RETURN TO THE GRANDSTANDS, REPEAT, ALL SPECTATORS MUST LEAVE THE TRACK AND RETURN TO THE GRANDSTANDS" The announcer spoke over the loudspeaker,
"Well, I'll be in my dressing room if you need me" Rainbow Dash said calmly as she then proceeded to head back into the garage, where tools and parts lay scattered around the floor. Rainbow went into a small room incorporated on the side and shut herself in, "Alright Rainbow Dash, you can do this and do it so everyone's jaw drops" Rainbow Dash said aggressively into the mirror in her room, "This is gonna be the time where everything comes together, and we burn the rubber that took so long to make" Rainbow said to herself, growing more and more fierce for the race, "I'm not letting anyone else get away with that gold trophy besides ME!" Rainbow Dash competitively shouted, then dunked her front to hooves in little petri dishes of Rainbow water and made her signature commando stripes, "THIS IS MY TRACK, AND NO ONES GETTING AWAY WITHOUT A FIGHT!" Rainbow shouted to the mirror, making it shake a little. She then calmed down a little, quickly reaching for her racing helmet to buckle it on. Once everything was in place, Rainbow Dash left her dressing room in the nick of time,
"ATTENTION ALL RACERS, PLEASE START MAKING YOUR WAY TO YOUR VEHICLES, AS WE ARE ONLY 3 MINUTES AWAY FROM FORMATION" The announcer's voice echoed throughout the speedway. Rainbow Dash grew even more competitive as she sprinted over to the other side of the pit wall, and made her way towards a light blue, sleek le mans prototype, facing diaganal right toward the rest of the speedway. It's cockpit doors were open, inviting the Cyan pegasus into it. All over the car, there were decals of Rainbow Dash in incredible flying positions. Down the center was a large Rainbow Stripe following the top view of the dashing pegasus on the hood. On the sides lay a rainbow of sponsor stickers and the number plate, which held a big, proud "4". Rainbow Dash was pumped to drive this lean machine, so she got in and immediately started fastening her lap belt, chest belt, neck harness, water supply and gobs of other safety features. As Rainbow was concluding her harnessing, Twilight Sparkle approached the open cockpit,
"Rainbow Dash, all I have left to say to you is good luck out there" Twilight stated, then went up to the front of the machine,
"Sugarcube, I know you've worked so hard for this moment, and now, shucks, I don't even know how to express it, but best of luck to you and everyone else" Applejack said to Rainbow. Up next came Fluttershy, who simply stuck her head in, letting Rainbow and Fluttershy engage in a small head nuzzle. Then Fluttershy flew back to the pits, and Pinkie Pie came bouncing up to the cockpit,
"Ohmygosh youregoingtobeinthebiggestraceINTHEWORLD!!! IcansoseeyoulikeVROOMandVROOOMdownhereandOHMYGOSHwillitbeawesome!! AnywaysdoyourbestandIhopeyouWINthisracebyaLONGSHOT!" Pinkie Pie spaztically stated out of excitement. Rainbow dash lifted her visor up and proceeded to say,
"Cross my heart and hope to die" "Stick a Cupcake in my eye!" The two of them said together while doing said motions. The two laughed each other a goodbye , gave each other a brohoof, then Pinkie bounced back to the pits. Just now the announcer spoke one more time,
"ATTENTION RACERS, PIT CREWS, AND CREW CHEIFS, START THE ENGINES OF YOUR RACE CARS AND PROCEED TO FOLLOW THE SAFETY CHARIOT AND LET US BEGIN THE 24 HOURS OF CANTERLOT!" The announcer shouted, causing the crowd to go wild. Twilight Sparkle now put the tip of her horn against one of the engine cooling vents and began to work her magic. A few seconds later, the engine of the sleek machine roared to life, revved for a few seconds, then fell into an idling sound. Twilight blew a kiss off to Rainbow Dash who was now locked inside, then ran off to the pits as 29 other cars roared to life. Rainbow squirmed a little in her seat to make herself comfortable, then tapped the gas petal a few times to get the motor running, shifted up into first gear, and proceeded to follow the top 2 leaders as all the race cars began their formation lap.
The long line of race cars made a long, slight bend to the right at the start, up to a chicane which smoothed out under a huge wagon weel that had big black letters across the top saying "PONYUP". This was known as Ponyup Chicane. The Chariot, being pulled by two burly pegasi, worked its way down a slight right hand bend, then up a minor left hander, and smoothing out with another right bend. Rainbow Dash stared passed the steering wheel which had a vast array of buttons and switches, and the huge number "3" displayed on the large screen in the center. Rainbow Dash carefully moved the steering wheel in a long, slow, fluent motion as she moved the car through a tight right hander known as Tetre Rouge, with alot of excess road on both inside and out. This corner smoothed out to a long, flat-out straightaway that was the tracks icon. There was a valley in the center, in which racers would dive down a fairly steep slope then come back up a steep incline, this whole area was called Gravity Cavity by racers. Speed control was critical here, as going 240 Miles an hour could cause some serious wrecks. As Rainbow Dash slowly descended, she noticed that she had fell a little behind front the front 2 cars, so she revved the engine a little and caught right back up to them, creating a tremendous sound. Rainbow knew who these racers were, they were the two cars of the Wonderbolts. They were here for their 6th time, and had won this epic race all of the previous 5 years. They had obviously claimed the top 2 starting positions, and another Canterlot racing team took 3rd, putting Rainbow Dash in 4th place.
The cars slowly neared the tight right hand turn after the long straightaway. As the end of the line rounded the corner, there was now another flat-out section of raceway. Down the section the cars moved along, the Safety Chariot still leading them through the course. After moving through the straightaway, the snake of cars came through a banked right hand turn known as Manehattan, and into the tightest section of the course called Arnage. This was a double 90 degree corner that required heavy braking to pass through safely. Rainbow was growing more excited as she carefully tapped the gas pedal through the series of tight corners and caught back up to the Wonderbolts. Now they entered into a series of 4 swooping s-curves known as the Champion's bends that got smoother as the racers progressed. Each corner was named after a previous champion. The first two, also the tightest were named Diamond Sprint and Kritzkrieg. These were the two drivers for Foaldi from Germaney, claiming 2 victories before the Wonderbolts came onto the scene. The snake of vehicles moved slowly through the last two curves, named Spitfire and Soarin, after the Wonderbolts of course.
Now, the long line of 30 cars came down a small straight section to the last few corners before reaching the start/finish. These were two simutaneous chicanes well known for how the drivers sped through these like nothing. The formation lap was almost over, and Rainbow Dash started pumping adreniline like crazy, "This is it" She thought to herself as she rounded the last chicane, the Safety Chariot pulled off the course, the roar of deisel engines blared through the sky, the Equestrian Flag dropped over the start line, and now, 30 cars were now madly dashing for the golden trophy. Taking up the entire track, all of them rounded the first bend aproaching the Ponyup chicane. Rainbow Dash was being jockeyed between 4th and 5th place, struggling to deal with the plethora of cars surrounding her. The huge bunch was now speeding down into the quick left-right bends. Rainbow had her game face on and was now starting to make her moves through Tetre Rouge. Now, coming onto the Iconic Gravity Cavity straight, Rainbow Dash threw her hoof on the gas petal and the car began accelerating quickly
Shifting up into 5th... 6th... 7th gear, Rainbow Dash had put some distance on the pack behind her, putting her in 3rd place. However, 4th place, which was now some team from Neighpan, was right up on her tail. As Both of them descended into the steep valley, Rainbow could see the two Wonderbolts cars beginning their ascent, so she started to accelerate faster. Rainbow immediately started putting distance on 4th place, and now starting to catch up the wonderbolts. As she neared 230 miles per hour cresting the hill, everything in the car seemed to kind of get jerked upwards from the downforce sticking Rainbow's car to the ground. Now on flat road, Rainbow Dash burned down the remainder of the straightaway, then slammed on her brakes for the tight right hander at the end. Expertly stick shifting, Rainbow started to hunker down on the second high speed section, getting back into 7th gear. Looking in her mirror, she noticed 4th place still hanging onto Rainbow's slipstream, but not close enough to cause a threat.
As the Wonderbolts both went side-by-side through Manehattan, Rainbow Dash was only a matter of 7 seconds behind the leader, who was currently Spitfire. Rainbow Dash was going well into the Rev limits by the time the braking markers started popping up on her left. With perfect timing, Rainbow tapped on her brake petal not too hard, but not too light, allowing her to speed through the banked corner at 190 Miles per hour. After this high speed corner, Rainbow now slammed down on her brakes, shifting all the way down into 2nd gear. Rainbow clipped the apex of the first tight left hander, then regained some speed as she went hard on the brakes again, now turning right in an even tighter corner. After that, she stepped back down on the gas petal, as the wonderbolts, now a small car in the distance, rounded the first of the Champion's bends. Rainbow Dash refused to stop fighting for 1st place, so she heaved the car through these bends, putting immense stress on the vehicle. As she came out of Spitfire at 150 Miles per hour, she could see the immense crowd packed into the grandstands, all on their hind hooves, and wildly cheering. Rainbow sped into the first chicane at 100 miles per hour, causing intense shaking to occur. Rainbow repeated this for the second one, then speeding back up into 5th gear, the crowd going nuts as Rainbow crossed the start/finish line, "One down, celestia knows how many more to go" Rainbow thought to herself as she entered the first right hand bend once again. As she intensely forced the car under the Ponyup wagon wheel bridge, static started to be heard on her earpiece radio,
"Rainbow Dash... can you hear me?" The familiar voice of Twilight Sparkle said over Rainbow's earpiece,
"Loud... and clear" Rainbow said while heavily concentrated as she rounded the swooping left-righter, again making the car shake violently,
"Listen, I just want to say that just after that 1st lap, you're tires are al...read...y" Twilight's voice broke up as the car rumbled through tetre rouge before the back straightaway, "20% worn out, and you've put immense stress on the frame" Twilight concluded,
"That's just how much cooler I am, now if you excuse me, I'm trying to catch the wonderbolts here, you wanna win this, don't you?" Rainbow snapped competitively as she descended into Gravity Cavity, the Wonderbolts still in plain sight,
"I know, but you have to take it down a notch, we can't have you pitting every three laps, and you have 24 hours to catch them, so please just tone it down a little" Twilight requested over the radio,
"If you insist" Rainbow Dash replied as the vehicle crested the top the hill, making everything jerk upwards once again, and now on some more flat straightaway. As she sped towards the small corner at the end, Rainbow could see the markers start flashing on her left. Panicked, Rainbow slammed on the car's brakes and took it down to 1st gear. Now on the outside of the track, she crept around at only 20 miles per hour then stomped on the gas, hoping to make up some time. Now, the Neighpanese car was back on her tail, slipstreaming along the straightway. The Wonderbolts were now speeding through Manehattan and into Arnage, and Rainbow Dash came speeding down and forcidly moved the car through Manehatten. Because of the overshot, Rainbow now had to come down hard on the brakes, and now was back on the outside of Arnage now only going 20 miles an hour again. The neighpanese car, which was purple and sleek, but looked alot less technical than the Le Mans Prototype driven by Rainbow Dash, was now right alongside her, causing her to start hammering down again. She to step on the brakes hard again, but this time was a little more successful in navigating the second part of Arnage, but the Neighpanese car was right alongside her as they neared the Champion's bends. Rainbow braked a little earlier this time, now coaxing the car smoothly through Diamond Sprint bend, then Kritzkrieg, all while keeping a decent pace, but the frame didn't feel like it was about to split as Rainbow navigated the car through Spitfire and Soarin, with the Purple Neighpanese car no more than a spec in her mirror as she shot down towards the double chicanes.
On the staring stretch, the dark blue and yellow, open cockpitted Le Mans Racecars sped one after another. The one in first place was manned by Rapidfire and Fleetfoot, held the proud Number 2, and the one in second place manned by Spitfire and Soarin held the mighty Number 1. In a line, they dove down towards Ponyup chicane. A few seconds later, a Sky Blue racecar with rainbow markings powered through the last chicane and roared on through the start finish line, with a purple, sleek, sporty looking car straight from the hooves of Neighpan zoomed in front of the audience, chasing down the Cyan racer while holding the Number 8. Only 5 seconds later, came a bunch of 4 cars, being a mix of a Canterlot team, 2 Neighpanese teams, and 1 of the Foaldi cars. Leading the Pack was another sporty Neighpan vehicle with a more bulky design and a huge wing. Painted bright yellow with black markings on the bottom and on the wheels, this vehicle had right below the windows, lie the word "COLTZOIL" in itallicized font while carrying the number 12. Right behind him, in 6th place was a Canterlot team known as Team Zerowing. This car was marked as a minty green with white pinstripes and lightning bolts surrounding it. This car held the number 3, just before Rainbow Dash. The last 2 cars were a Silver Foaldi Prototype bearing the number 7, and a Red and white sporty Neighpanese car having the same design as the leading one, held the word "LOCTITE" below its windows in Red Font. This car beared the number 14, but was still fighting to keep up with the pack.
In the garage belonging to team Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle had her eyes glued to the different monitors showing footage of Rainbow's racing. One showed a camera from the interior, another from the blimps overhead, another with a cinematic from different track cameras, a monitor showing how worn the tires (32% at that exact moment) of the vehicle were and how much fuel's left in it, and the final one showed the current standings. As Twilight watched Rainbow Dash round Tetre Rouge, the purple Neighpanese car not far behind. The rest of the girls eagarly watched also, but Twilight's eyes darted from monitor to monitor as the ambient noise of zooming racecars blared through the air.
Rainbow Dash zoomed down the last part of Gravity Cavity, then expertly timed her braking so she nailed the apex at 35 MPH instead of 20, putting some distance on Number 8. The Wonderbolts had already put good distance on Rainbow Dash, but all she cared about right now was holding off Number 8. Touching on her brakes carefully now, Rainbow swiftly navagiated through Manehattan and nicely into Arnage. After moving through Arnage, Rainbow slammed on the gas once again as she zoomed toward Champion's bends. After some slight braking, she used little spurts of gas to move quickly and efficiently through all 4 bends. Rainbow went back on the gas towards the double chicanes. As she noticed the Wonderbolts entering the last chicane at a fairly high speed, so Rainbow put a little force into the chicanes, but not enough to rattle the whole car. Making up some time, she proceeded on towards Lap 4.
Back in the pits, Twilight still had her eyes focused on all of the monitors showing the race. Meanwhile, the sound of an approaching car started echoing in the pits ehind the garage,
"Who's pitting already?" Applejack question as she heard what sounded like it pulling into its pit lane. She stuck her head out and watched as 5 Ponies trotted quickly out to the car and proceeded to start changing its tires. The sound of cars zooming past it on the raceway blared as the last bolts were applied to the car's tires, and again, the blaring noise of a deisel engine roared through the pits as it cruised past all the other garages.
It was already Lap 11 and half an hour into the race as Rainbow Dash continued to close the gap between her and the leaders. Her tires had been about halfway worn, and the top three were chasing down the last car for lapping. Speeding out of Arnage, Rainbow slammed her hoof on the accelerator as she slowly began to feel the car move a little faster, now that she was in Spitfire's slipstream. Through the Champion's Bends, Rainbow fiercly tried to heave the car past #1, in Second Place right now, but Spitfire never let up, constantly blocking the cyan racer. After the last 2 bends, Rainbow was already right alongside Spitfire, so she threw her weight on the accelerator and walked right by the second place Wonderbolts car. She tried to cut off the Dark blue racer, but due to the chicanes, both of them scraped their sides moving through the two chicanes, the Start/Finish bend allowed Rainbow to advance in front of Spitfire.
A loud cheer was heard from the Ponyville team's garage as Rainbow Dash took second place from the Wonderbolts. All she needed to do now was get past Rapidfire's car, who had already put some distance between him and the other cars.
Rainbow Dash moved in and out of Tetre Rouge as she noticed a small spec of what looked like a white, lime green, and blue Le Mans Prototype off in the distance. Attempting to lap it was Rapidfire, whom was descending into Gravity Cavity alongside this racer. Rainbow Dash of course laid it down on the gas pedal as Spitfire was fairly close behind her. Making her usual moves ascending out of the Cavity and toward the tight turn at the end, something went terribly wrong. As Rainbow Dash speeded toward the corner, she noticed this white LMP start to go out of control, and as Rainbow was about to lap it, it veered right front of her, out of control on two wheels, then violently smashing into the tire wall. Rainbow tried to keep the car in control, but ended up spinning off into the sand pit surrounding the tight bend. Out of one corner of her eye, all she could see was the light reflecting off the huge sheet of fiberglass that had been ripped off of the race machine, then a cloud of dust from its impact with the ground. Out of the other eye, she noticed Rapid Fire stuck in the same situation as her, only he was trying to crawl out of the sand pit. Rainbow had to muscle the clutch and stick shifter a little bit to get the car back into first gear, then she to began crawling out of the sand pit not far behind Rapidfire.
Back at the garage, the whole catastrophic event was unfolded in front of Twilight's eyes. As the white LMP (who she knew was from Fillydelphia) was pushed to the inside by the Wonderbolts trapping him against the wall attempting to lap it, it's rear tire collided with the wall, casusing it to veer up on two wheels and skid across the track in front of Rainbow Dash, who had just barely missed coliding with the rear of it. The track cam that was supposed to be filming Rainbow Dash got sidetracked and accidentally started following the Fillydelphia car, which made Twilight's heart stop as it violently colided with the tire wall, doing two spectacular barrel rolls as the Fiberglass body and other components flew off it in the crazy wreck. After it violently spat off parts, the car landed upside down on the other side of the wall, missing a wheel and looking like it was in horrible conditon. Twilight was about to start tearing up at what just happened until a hint of Rainbow Dash's machine showed on the right side, making her sigh in relief. The track cam stood focused on the now totalled Fillydelphia car as medics rushed to the scene.
Now back in third, Rainbow Dash was not far behind Rapidfire as the safety chariot pulled out in front of Spitfire, who was now in first place. Rainbow swereved from side to side of the road just a Rapidfire did as the Safety Chariot led the top 3 through arnage. Other Safety Chariots were dispatched around the track to keep groups in the clear. This went on for about 3 laps for Rainbow Dash, then the race resumed after the wreckage was cleared. Rainbow immediately tried to regain second place, but came side-by-side with Rapid fire as they entered Ponyup chicane, and once in the swooping left-righter, Rainbow had fully passed Wonderbolts car #2. As she came through Tetre Rouge, she felt the Transmission a little resitant to her stick movements. Rainbow just assumed this was because of the spin out and simply pushed forth. By the time Lap 21 rolled around, the Transmission had grown very resistant, and Rainbow had to put a lot of muscle to shift. Then, Twilight came over the radio,
"Rainbow Dash, can you here me? This is important!" Twilight stressed over the radio,
"Loud and cl...ear!" Rainbow replied as she made an effort to shift up out of Arnage,
"You're having serious transmission problems, and we need to fix it like now, so get in the pits after this lap, we clear?" Twilight stated boldly over the radio,
"Look, I just got around Rapidfire for the 3rd time, and he's right up on my flank, so I'm gonna hold him off until he pits" Rainbow replied,
"No. This is serious business. Get in the pits. NOW" Twilight boldly stated,
"But we're gonna-"
"NOW" Applejack now beamed through the mic. Rainbow Dash just sighed as she made an effort getting through the Champion's Bends, rainbow pulled into the thin pit stretch, then slowed down to only 45 miles per hour as Rapidfire zoomed through the two chicanes and right past Rainbow. She carefully moved down the seemingly endless line of grages and pulled right into her designated area. Big Macintosh stood there with a stopper, which brung Rainbow's car to an abrubt halt. Then 4 other ponies from the apple family came and wheeled the car into the garage backwards. Twilight motioned for Rainbow Dash to exit the car, so she undid the seat belts, opened the cockpit door as Twilight unhinged the lock, and climbed out while still in her racing outfit. After closing the door, Pinkie Pie and Applejack rushed to open up the engine compartment and dove in to find the problem. Soon, Applejack popped her head out, which had some dirt marks,
"Weyl, it seems that there's a huge jam in the Transmission" Applejack stated, then Pinkie Pie stuck her grease covered face out of the engine,
"And not the good kind!" Pinkie said then stuck her face back in,
"A huge jam, wonder how bad it could be" Twilight stated as she trotted over to the exposed engine, seeing that the shifter was almost all the way off the first gear, "Hmm, that's pretty bad. Now you two try to pull that thing free while I have to talk to Rainbow" Twilight said again, making Pinkie Pie stick her head out once again,
"Oki doki loki!" Pinkie cheerfully stated despite the problem that's occuring,
"And Rainbow Dash, come with me" Twilight bodly said to Rainbow as she instinctively followed. As Rainbow entered her little "bedroom", Twilight shut the door behind her,
"Look Rainbow Dash, after watching your footage from after the wreck, I thought I could trust you to come to us when you started feeling a resistance in the transmission, but nooooo, you had to be miss STUBBORN and get it to the point where we would almost have to put in A WHOLE NEW TRANSMISSION, DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG THAT WOULD TAKE!?" Twilight scolded to Rainbow Dash, who didn't say nothing because she was too busy concentrating on the sound of cars roaring outside, meaning positions getting thrown away to her,
"You're lucky I even told you to take it down a notch, because if I didn't tell you, YOU WOULD HAVE SPLIT THAT CAR IN HALF!" Twilight scorned to the race driver, who still didn't respond,
"So please, THINK! If there's a problem, GET YOUR FLANK IN THE PITS! DONT LET SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPEN AGAIN!" Twilight yelled to the Rainbow Pegasus, "Look, if something like this happens again, it could cost us THE ENTIRE RACE, so please, THINK! WAKE UP! DO SOMETHING IF THERE'S A PROBLEM! YOU UNDERSTAND!" Twilight yelled, going a little crazy. Rainbow Dash had come back to grips with reality and stammered,
"Good, now let's see if they have this problem solved" Twilight said while leaving Rainbow's room, Rainbow herself following. As Twilight headed back to the control panel. Big Mac was pulling on a monkey wrench in hopes of putting the shifter back in place. From all their force, the shifter was moving oh so slightly. Applejack shot Rainbow a glare as she and Big Mac forced the wrench back with her might. After about 5 minutes of effort, The car was finally back to normal. With the car still elevated. Applejack and the rest of the crew did a quick tire change and topped the fuel off. Soon, Twilight had unlatched the cockpit door and let Rainbow Dash enter the vehicle,
"Okay Rainbow, everyone should be pitting soon, so drive hard and you should be able regain some positions. Twilight stated before closing the cockpit. Rainbow just nodded in agreement as she rebuckled her helmet, the door shut and locked with a purple glow to them, and soon the loud roar of a deisel engine filled the small garage. Rainbow Dash had very smoothly shifted up into first gear and cruised out of pit lane. In her mirror, she could see some unfamiliar cars already pitting. However, once a white line came right in Rainbow's sight, she threw her hoof back on the gas petal, then carried on with her aggressive racing style.
It's lap 36 and an hour into the race. Rainbow Dash has made up alot of ground since the transmission problem, jumping from 19th place to 9th. Not far up ahead was the back of a bulky looking Neighpanese car. From Rainbow's perspective, it looked simply like a plain white rear end of a traditional sedan, only with circular headlights on either side, and a huge red wing spiking up above it. Slightly ahead of it was a car of the same model, only this one was yellow, and had some hints of black on it. Like the first Neighpanese driver, the drivers fiercely defended their positions, blocking Rainbow Dash as they sped into Arnage. Eventually, she managed to power toward the first one as it grew more detailed as she grew closer and closer through the Champion's bends, until Twilight came over the radio again,
"Okay Rainbow, I'm seeing alot of guys pitting in, it looks like... Foaldi #7, Neighbrig #8, and Zerowing #3, Repeat: Foaldi #7, Neighbrig #8, and Zerowing #3 are pitting in right now. Nothing from the Wonderbolts yet" Twilight spoke over the radio, Rainbow, who didn't exactly know who the Neighbrig car Twilight was reffering to was, but simply kept chasing down this white Neighpanese car. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see clusters of ponies surrounding at least 5 different cars speckled throughout the pits. However, due to the tire change that Applejack gave her during the mechanical failure, Rainbow's tires weren't even broken in much by the time everyone made their first pit. Coming through the slight S-Bend, Rainbow finally got around the Red and White Neighpanese sports car. On the side was the word "LOCTITE" in capital red letters standing above the number 14. Getting bumped in the bumper a little as Rainbow Dash sped through Arnage, she eventually lost the Loctite vehicle, and started concentrating on the Yellow car with the exact same model up ahead. Carrying 220 miles per hour into the valley, the rear end of the yellow car grew larger and more detailed. Before violently jerking the prototype to overtake the sports car, Rainbow could make out a simple white box with the number 12 in it on the yellow back of this car. Cruising right past it, Rainbow could make out black markings on the side with the word "COLTZOIL" in itallicized black font. Rainbow was only a slight bit ahead of this car before having to screech on the brakes for the tight corner.
Going side by side, the two cars started fighting for position yet again as they sped toward Manehattan corner. Just as Rainbow had gotten around the yellow vehicle, Twilight's voice returned to Rainbow's earpiece,
"Okay, we're in 4th place right now, and the only thing seperating you from the Wonderbolts is someone from Hoofington, it's navy blue with Calsonic livery... you'll see it once you pass it" Twilight quickly said over the radio as Rainbow continued down toward Manehattan and through Arnage.
It's Lap 62, 2 hours into the race. Rainbow is now back in 3rd place, Wonderbolts in plain sight. As Rainbow worked the car through Tetre Rouge and onto Gravity Cavity, the car's wheels spun a little. It had been that way for a few laps now, considering her tires had been going on almost 30 laps on this high speed circuit. The Wonderbolts also were getting a little skiddy, so Rainbow continued to put the pressure on them, hoping that they would pit soon. Speeding out of the champion's bends, Rainbow finally saw one of the Wonderbolts veer onto the skinny pit road for their first stop. Rainbow popped in right behind this car,
"Finally" Rainbow said to herself as she followed the lead car past all the garages. Off in the distance, Rainbow could see the leading Wonderbolts car speeding through the first bend as it took another lap.
Quickly pulling into the pit area, The car was bought to a halt by Big Macintosh holding a stopper. The vehicle's engine died down as Big Mac rushed over to jackhammer the car off the ground as Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and two other pit workers darted out and began to wrench the worn tires off the car. A matter of seonds later, all 4 ponies surrounding the car kneeled up and raised their hoof. Big Mac took a few more seconds to finish refuelling the car, then Twilight sprinted onto the scene. In a very agile manner, Twilight put the tip of her horn against the brim of an exhaust valve on the side of the car. Soon, a purple glow appeared at the tip of her horn, some soft rattling of moving parts was heard, and then the vehicle roared to life. Big Mac quickly released the jackhammer, and Rainbow jerked out of the area in first gear as the 6 ponies rushed off of the area.
Rainbow Dash slowly cruised past various garages, until a dark blue, open cockpitted le mans prototype cut off the cyan racer. After a few seconds of coasting, the two cars were finally back on the paved raceway. Rainbow Dash was dropped back to 6th place after the stop, so she had to fight not only to keep up with the wonderbolts, but to get around the 3 other cars swiping her position.
It's lap 126 and 4 hours into the race. So far, everything has been going smoothly, Rainbow coming in to pit every so often, and was keeping a clip with the Wonderbolts. She had second place but was still 30 seconds behind the leader. As Celestia's sun slowly dipped closer and closer to the horizon, Rainbow continuously fought for her position. So far, Everyone but the top 10 were already lapped, and by great amounts. Last place (29th since the wreck) was already lapped a decent 10 times, while others were lapped 3-5 times. As Twilight still kept all attention focused on the monitors while all of her other friends went off to their temporary bedrooms, Applejack came to her shoulder,
"Twilight, you know you don't have to constantly keep standing here, I mean, heck, 3rd place is 25 seconds behind Rainbow, it's not like everyone's shifting positions" Applejack said to the engrossed unicorn, who sighed and said,
"I just want to be able to know that Rainbow's okay out there, I mean, if it were Rainbow in that tragic flip a few hours ago, and nopony was here at the cameras, chances are she'd be dead" Twilight spoke a little impatiently as she kept her eyes on the screen,
"Well if ya ever need me to watch the cams, just come and get me" Applejack replied as she turned around and headed toward her bedroom.
Out on the Racetrack, Rainbow Dash was speeding out of arnage and towards the Champion's bends for the 126th time. Slight mental fatigue was starting to settle in as 4 hours of non-stop full throttle racing started to catch up to the cyan pegasus. As she rounded the first 2 bends, all she was thinking of was "Wonderbolts... Wonderbolts... gotta beat the Wonderbolts" as she drove aggressively through the bends. Coming through the chicane, she could catch a glimpse of a car crossing the start/finish line. It looked seemingly familiar, having sporty design with a little bulk around the wheels, not to mention a yellow paint scheme. As Rainbow treaded on under the Ponyup chicane, the racer was coming closer by the second to this car.
It's lap 163, 5 and a half hours in. The sun was now dipping beneath the horizon, casting an orange glow over the racetrack. Nothing more is going on except for Rainbow Dash continuously doing laps around this circuit, her pace significantly slowing down a little as now everyone was scattered around the huge track. Wonderbolts car #1 took first place, leaving Rainbow in second place by a long 40 seconds. Nonetheless, at the garage, Twilight still kept her body standing present at the monitors, despite being the only one there. Starting to notice Rainbow's significant slow-down, Twilight grabbed her radio mic,
"Rainbow Dash? Can you hear me?" Twilight spoke to the concentrated race driver,
"Loud and clear" Rainbow replied, sounding a little tired as she sped through into Manehattan,
"We're gonna have to switch drivers for the night, so next time you pit, Shining Armor's gonna take over, ok?" Twilight questioned,
"Okay" Rainbow simply said then continued racing. She couldn't quite remember who Shining Armor was, but all she cared about was trying to close the 40 second gap that lie between her and pole position.
Darkness began shading onto the course as the sun continued its descent. With every lap she drove, she continuously stared down at the dashboard clock. It had only been 15 minutes since Twilight had explained to her about the driver switch. Through the developing fatigue, she trudged on until the tires were fully worn.
Back at the garage, Twilight considered waking up her brother, Shining Armor, so he would be ready to take the wheel from Rainbow Dash. So, with some thought and occasionaly glancing at the monitors, she had got the attention of Applejack to keep watch of the screens as Twilight went to wake up their backup racer. In one of the makeshift bedrooms conatined within the garage, a platinum coated stallion lie in a bed, wearing a full body leather racing suit like Rainbow Dash's, but was very calmly sleeping. However, a small creak of the doorway cause one of his eyes to flitter open a little. As Twilight tiphooved over, the sound a race car zooming by rattled the room a little, jerking Shining Armor awake,
"Oh, morning Twily, is it my shift?" The platinum stallion asked to his sister,
"Yes, Rainbow should be pulling in at about 15 minutes" Twilight said quietly,
"You don't need to keep it quiet, I'm up already" Shining responded,
"Well I think that it'd be best to be ready before she pulls in" Twilight stated. A few seconds later, Shining was out of bed and slowly strolling to go get his racing helmet, "I'll be in the pits if you need me" Twilight added on as she crept out of her brother's room.
It's lap 175, 6 hours into the race. A fatigued Rainbow Dash slowly pulls into the mane 6's illuminated garage as Applejack and the pit crew rushed out to repeat the same procedure they had done the past 20 times. As the sound of wrenches and jackhammers filled the area, Twilight unlatched the cockpit door, allowing Rainbow Dash to exit the vehicle. Almost immeidately, a platinum stallion swooped into the sleek vehicle. Before locking her brother in the vehicle, Twilight popped her head in,
"Are you ready for this?" Twilight asked to her brother, who just woke up 15 minutes ago,
"Always am, always will be" Shining responded, then the two nuzzled their heads for a few seconds before Shining pushed the visor of the helmet downward and fastened the last of the safety harnesses. Twilight locked her brother inside, started up the engine, and blew a kiss off to the stallion before he sped out of the pit area and back onto the racetrack, blackened by the night sky.