Racing up the 12-mile, 156-turn, Pikes Peak hillclimb course to the summit of the 14,110 foot mountain is a dangerous, daring business left only to the most serious of drivers and teams. To even approach the world-record pace of 10:01.408 minutes set in 2007 is to approach the limits of human engineering and driving capability. But the UK-based Mach 2 Racing team is preparing to exactly that.

The car, sponsored by and equipped with Avon Tyres, promises to be a true handful. With 1,150hp - about 150hp more than the record-setting Suzuki XL7 - the Mach 2 Racing Ford RS200 will give all it's got to be the first in the world to crack the 10-minute mark on the Pikes Peak run.

How, exactly, does a mid-engined 2.1L car generate 1,150hp? With the aid of a Garrett turbocharger and 70L of nitrous oxide. Even without the nitrous, the tiny mill is good for 950hp.

From the starting line's 9,440ft elevation to the 14,110ft summit, the course's many turns face unprotected drops down sheer cliffs as tall as 6,000 feet, meaning an average speed of over 72mph on the dirt and gravel surface requires nerves of steel and supreme skill.

At the wheel will be British Rallycross Champion Mark Rennison.

“When I first tested the car, it was on different tires but the team had some Avon rallycross tires so I tried them and they transformed the car,” he explained. “We tested the tires at Millbrook on harsh concrete and they stood up extremely well, so I am sure they will be well-suited to the Pikes Peak course."

The team is practicing on Pikes Peak today and tomorrow, with the official assault on the world record to take place Sunday, July 19.