Monday, February 4, 2008

Off season? Nah…

Since the final round of the 2007 rallycross season it’s been all go at Alba Rallysport. With a short break over Christmas and New Year we jumped on a plane and visited our sibling team Alba Motorsport in Perth, Scotland. The weather was somewhat wet and windy, normal for December. Sadly we didn’t have the chance to test drive the team Land Rover, a rather special vehicle. Recently completed in 2007 and purpose built for off-road challenge events, the coil sprung 90” truck cab chassis features a 2” lift. Powered by a 3.5L Rover V8 it’s equipped with an external roll cage, Warn winch, auxiliary lights and a host of recovery equipment. of course supplied the graphics.

Upon returning to Michigan on New Years Day we started a major rally project for 2008. The WRX interior was stripped out in readiness for stage rally preparation. This project is expected to last the next 4 months and will include a full custom-built roll cage, various chassis strengthening modifications, all the necessary safety additions and a wide range of under body protection. Check back for updates as the project progresses.

January was a busy month for Alba Rallysport and naturally we attended the Detroit SCCA annual awards banquet. Despite the cold, snowy weather, the food, drink and company was warming. Having the chance to celebrate and congratulate all the class winners of the 2007 season is a wonderful thing. The region’s rallycross program has come a long way and we were honoured to receive the 1st place award for the Rally Prepared AWD (PA) class from Paul at Team Illuminata Motorsport. Congratulations to all the other rallycross class winners and runners up. I’m sure the 2008 season will be an even greater challenge.

Photo by Chris Amos,

The last weekend in January saw the season opener of the Rally America Championship, Sno*Drift based in Atlanta, MI. It was a freezing weekend in the ‘Tip of the Mitt’ but I spent two days in one of the 000 lead cars, this time in the unusual position of co-driver. An incredible amount of work and effort goes into organizing and running a stage rally and having the chance to experience it from a different perspective makes me appreciate the dedication of the workers that allows us competitors to partake in a sport we love.

Sno*Drift winners Antoine L'Estage & Nathalie Richard, photo by Uwe Reher

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