Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bound for Black River Stages

This weekend, TIM/Alba Rallysport will tackle the 4th and final round of NASA’s Atlantic Rally Cup (ARC) at the Black River Stages rally in Harrisville, NY.
In spite of missing the first round of the championship in February, the team has enjoyed a fantastic rookie year in their 2004 WRX and will start the final rally of the season leading the Super Stock class. Sadly, co-driver Tammy will not be competing in this event due to medical reasons as the husband and wife team are expecting a new addition to their crew early next year. “We’re so excited at the prospect of becoming parents but I’m really going to miss co-driving in the rally car. Don’t get too comfortable Jimmy, I’ll be back in 2009!” says Tammy.
Renowned co-driver Jimmy Brandt will be occupying the right seat in New York and David remarks; “While I’ll miss not having Tammy in the car I’m thrilled that Jimmy has agreed to ride along. With his wealth of rally knowledge I’m sure I will learn a great deal this weekend.”
Despite the team’s current position in the championship they are still very much focused on finishing and building experience. “Every rally is new to us so my aim is still to play it safe, have fun and improve my driving skills.” said David who continues, “The Subaru WRX has been great all year. We have tweaked a couple of things for this event but nothing major and we’re looking forward to the stages in New York.”
As always, Paul Eddleston of Team Illuminata Motorsport will be on hand in the service area, “We are really looking forward to this one as it’s the final event of the season and we may come out on top in the class championship.”

The NASA Atlantic Rally Cup is comprised of 4 stage rally events throughout the year with road surfaces that include sand, tarmac and gravel.


Monday, September 8, 2008

POR 2008

What a great rally. The toughest and meanest TSD by far. Tammy and I switched seats and worked controls 6, 16 and 28 on the Saturday leg of the two day event. Yes indeed, I sat on the right side of the car preferring good old fashioned map reading to the stage notes Tammy is used to which brought back memories of skipping last class on Fridays to enter nav rallies in beat up old VWs. We headed north from rally HQ towards Luzerne where we stopped with 2hrs to spare before our first control had to open. The Sloppy Joe's and Slurpies at the Luzerne Express were great and as we sat and ate, a local shared stories of how you could buy a horse for $300 because the price of feed has gone up so much. Having leafed through the route instructions we took off to find control 6. I've always enjoyed working rallies. Part of the fun is finding the most obscure (read fun) route to your given control, of which there is only tape or such identifying it. Finding the location of control 6 wasn't a problem and we set up. Tammy was grinning, finally having the chance to take her own line behind the wheel of the Forester. On the way there we met a group of horse riders and stopped to let them safely by. As most organizers will tell you, friendly PR is always a big part of a road rally. Once Bruce and Mitch passed through and calibrated our clock, cars began filtering into the control and being the first one after a rest stop everyone arrived in order and without problems. We packed up and took off for control 16. We followed the rally route for part of the way and could tell people were trying hard to stay on time! Control 16 was located along a twisty 2 track just off Evans Road, which would make a great closed stage by the way! We set up and had some dinner as it was already 7:30pm. Tom and David came by in the 0 car, giggling and rubbing it in that I would love the previous twisty sections, all 2nd and 3rd gear driving. Tom mentioned that they hit something pretty hard and as I looked down at the right front wheel it was pretty dinged up but still holding air. They pressed on. Cars began arriving but there had obviously been some tricky roads as quite a few were out of order. We waited and waited for car #8 our TIM buddies Slick and Steve. They eventually came by in the Sweep Jeep having killed the alternator on the Talon. Good shake down guys but now you have 3 weeks to get it fixed and running before Black River Stages! We packed up and headed to control 28, our last one of the night.
On the way to control 28 we picked up a strawberry shake and a couple of hot apple pies. Not only did Bruce find some great roads but made sure they passed some good eateries along the way! Rallying is hungry work after all. As it was late, we made our way along the main road out of Luzerne and we entered the section from reverse rally direction. It took us a couple of passes to find the exact location of the marker and as we were setting up, a local stopped alongside us. “What are you doing?” he barked. After a brief explanation, he was satisfied that we weren’t causing trouble, a good thing because he was a big lad and I wouldn’t have wanted to argue with him! As the cars began intermittently rolling in we realized this must have been a challenging section. The drivers were tired but most still grinning and glad to be pressing on. We packed up and headed back to rally HQ, this time I took the wheel as Tammy was pretty exhausted having done most of the driving all night.
The award gathering was very well done. Congratulations to eveyone involved. We had a great time and were glad to hear the competitors did also.