Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lessons Learnt at Black River Stages

NASA Black River Stages, September 26th – 27th, did not go quite as planned for the TIM/Alba Rallysport team.
The team was on a high, entering the final round of the Atlantic Rally Cup leading the Super Stock class having taken 2nd place in class in Tennessee and 1st in class at West Virginia. Sadly for the rookie team, luck ran out in New York.

BRS did not reap the result that the team wanted to end the season with. With regular co-driver Tammy sitting it out at home, the team recruited rally legend Jimmy Brandt to fill the silly seat. The rally comprised of 14 stages over 2 days and with a late change in the weather forecast it was a dreech* weekend. Despite a late start on Friday evening the rally got underway and the team were positioned 2nd on the road entering the 8-mile, Jerden Falls 1 stage,
The first stage was very slippery, sand and mud mixed with some surface water. I’ve never run this close to the front so it was a new experience having to break the ground.” commented David.
Even though they had never competed together before the crew weren’t completely off the pace, taking 2nd on the first stage. Onto stage 2 and Texas Road was a long awaited new stage for 2008.
What a fantastic stage!” exclaimed David, “I think I got lost in the notes at one point as the instructions were coming at me so fast but it didn’t matter, we were having a lot of fun.”
The crew snatched the stage win by just a second over the Burke/Holter crew in car #3. With times so close, it was set to be an exciting event.

Stage 3 unraveled that momentary thought. Tidd 1 was a 3.5-mile technical stage followed by a 20 min service. “I might have been pushing pretty hard but it wasn’t a big off.” said David who continued, “Towards the end of the stage we came into a R5 with logs on the outside, down a hill and didn’t make the L4. We just slid off the road, hit a stump and bent the control arm. I should have known that where there are log piles there is usually mud on the road.”
With open diffs the car was stuck but luckily TIM teammates Sladovich/Westcott in car #4 were on hand to tow the WRX out.
With no spares, the service crew dug in and did all they could to try and source a spare and when none could be found they tried to fix the broken part but to no avail. All this with assistance from the service crew of Burke/Holter, this is what makes rally so great. In spite of their efforts the team retired having learnt a hard lesson. “It was just so frustrating. For the sake of a $50 part we were out of the rally. Stupid.” summed up David.

Regardless of the retirement at BRS the team wrapped up the Super Stock class win in the Atlantic Rally Cup and finished 5th overall, a result not to be scoffed at for the first season in a new car. Paul from Team Illuminata Motorsports, “We’re really happy. We’ve had great fun this year, met great people and learnt a lot. We’ll be back in 2009!

* Dreech: Scots for wet, misty, dull, typical Scottish weather

2008 Atlantic Rally Cup Standings

The TIM/Alba Rallysport team would like to thank Corey and Dmitriy for crewing in far from ideal conditions. Also;
Racecraft Engineering,, Delta Subaru of Grand Rapids.

Action photography by Pete Kuncis @ onalimbracing

1 comment:

Dirty said...

To the entire Alba Rallysport Team, Congratulations on a great season in 2008. Despite the disappointing finish at BRS, it was a good season for you guys! Looking forward to all the action in 2009!

-Aaron &