In Augest 2015 during a testing day I had an unfortunate accident that resulted in us colliding with a tree and damaging our rally car beyond any reasonable point of repair. Thankfully due to the safety equipment we walked away from the accident. Over the next year and a half we prepared a new shell – while it maintains the same basic driveline as the the old one – it’s lighter, stronger, easier to work on and has some really fun stuff integrated into it including electric power steering (No more cavitating and boiling fluid!) and being completely rewired from scratch. While I won’t say its ‘finished’, more in a constant state of flux, we had our first event at the Cochrane Winter Rally and placed 2nd in 2wd! The car wasn’t quite set up right, but throughout the day we started to push harder, little by little, and we look forward to fighting for first over the next events! Either way, we’re super happy to be back racing! (Crash photos courtesy of Kris Schofield)
This year’s Radium regional rally was the first event we had attended in several months, and it was supposed to be a bit of an experiment. I had changed the suspension settings, started adding more detail to our stage notes and made several other small tweaks. Because of this we had decided to run on some old, cracking Yokohama tyres that we had sitting around instead of brand new DMACKs. Coming out of the first stage we had a fairly large 45 second gap ahead of the next 2wd car – a feat in itself, and throughout the day increased the lead to over a minute and a half. We even started giving competition to some of the awd teams! At the second service we found ourselves in 3rd overall which we thought was amazing but them after two more stages and some unfortunate DNFs from other teams we found ourselves 1st overall with an approximate ten second lead! Going in to the last stage we figured it might be possible to hold on to first – just. But fate had other plans for us, driver error sent us into the bushes resulting in a damaged tire that eventually delaminated. We attempted to continue but I found the car near impossible to control and we stopped after clipping another ditch. David Nickel ended up winning the event by a mere 2 seconds! Post rally investigation revealed some tweaked suspension components, a bent tie rod and two front flat tires. Oops.
All in all a great weekend, and one that we won’t forgot. To pilot a 2wd car into the top three, much less first place overall was a hell of a feat and one that we are unbelievably proud of. It is unfortunate that we we’re unable to continue but hey, thats rally! Next time…
While this season looks yet again like it is going to be a partial one due to other life commitments, both Dan and Matt have been working hard on the car getting it ready. No major groundbreaking changes, but lots of little reliability tweaks. Coolers for the both the power steering and oil, slightly revised spring rates, better underbody protection and lots of paint touchups. A total interior rewiring is in the works too, going to finally get rid of the rats nest of wires still under that dash. Along with that, we hope to pull another 50lb out of the car, but thats going to be a tall order. Every little bit counts!