After the stress of last minute preparations for the Sno*Drift rally in January we enlisted the services of Lenger Racing to prepare the Alba Rallysport PGT WRX for Magnum Opus, a single day rally in Michigan’s UP. Typically April in the Upper Peninsula is still snowmobile season so we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted with sunny skies and dry, dusty conditions.
Based in the town of Newberry the locals were welcoming and enthusiastic. Parc Expose was held in the service park followed by two short Super Specials in the Fairgrounds which was certainly a crowd pleaser.
Tammy and I were seeded 4th on the road and not having competed in a gravel rally together since 2008 we planned to take it easy. Well, that’s easier said than done and as soon as the countdown started for SS1 we had our game faces on and put on a show for the spectators around the grassy oval Super Special. Henry and Cindy were instantly the ones to chase and the Sti of Moyle/Immonen wasn’t hanging about either. We had a fight on our hands just to keep up with both crews.
With fingers crossed hoping the light wouldn’t fade we headed over to the wide open and fast flowing Pike Lake Rd stage and we set exactly the same time as the first pass through. I like consistency but the #44 car was pulling away so we put the boot down on the following 3 mile stage and took 5 seconds back. Moyle and Immonen had the same idea though and nipped 2 seconds off us on the same stage.
We made it back to service with very little fuel left but glad to back for some lights and a quick wrench check under the car. As we left for the final two stages the wind dropped and so the dust became a challenge.
Regardless, we didn’t back off on stages 11 and 12 and pushed hard to the end only 1 and 2 seconds off Henry and Cindy, just not able to gain any more time. We had run out of stages and we transited back to Newberry for the end of what was simply the best rally we’ve competed in.
With 2nd overall this was our best result to date. We were ecstatic and to have done it together as husband and wife was just such a cool moment never to forget. Our competition was top class and words can’t describe the fun we had battling with those two highly respected teams.
There is only one thing I would change, we need more power!
Thanks to Lenger Racing, Tommy Knight, RHD Tire and of course Team Illuminata Motorsport and BRAID USA.
braidusa.com teamilluminata.com lengerracing.com