Sirius Rally Team

Getting 'Sirius' about Rallying

Bad Night on Bald Mountain

bmhand03.jpgThe Sirius Rally Team successfully completed the Night on Bald Mountain TSD Rally this past weekend. The high mountain roads of Washington’s Snoqualmie pass were packed with exposure hairpins and sneaky corners; the Pacific coast rain also added to the challenge. The road surfaces were smooth packed in some places and covered in marble pebbles in others. This event was extremely organized and run at a brisk pace. Jennifer and Gord started the rally quite high up in the order, leaving hardly any time for math before they started out on the first regularity. Troubles with calculation plagued the team for the rest of the rally. The rex pulled into the first gas stop with a smoking rear tire – the newest and least bald of the worn winters had punctured, and the rim was mangled from driving on the flat. It hadn’t affected the car’s performance on the road, so it was hard to guess when and where the tire actually punctured. A quick change to a spare summer and a bit more math, and the team was back out for leg two.

Jennifer got a huge amount of driving practice over the weekend, most importantly on the untimed Monte Carlo sections, which were gravel roads without prescribed speeds. Gord had the math ‘dialed’ by leg two and the team felt confident that their performance was improving. The team had an off near the end of the rally, where they slid through a tight left and crashed into the bush. The last regularity was a second time through with a CAS increase of three miles, and a dramatic decline in road conditions. The recovery was quick as the team was able to bust back onto the road through the bush in reverse. The rest of the reg was speedy in an effort to make up the 30 second time deficit. In hindsight, it would have been smarter to take a time deck for the off and avoid accumulating points, but catching up was way more fun. The event was well staffed with volunteers and there were 24 checkpoints total – a good test of tsd ability.

The team finished with an unimpressive last in class and 21st overall, accumulating 450 points. Congratulations to Ben Bradley and Russ Kraushaar, who killed the event despite a sluggish ride. Thanks to rallymaster Greg Hightower for a great rally and for letting us crash at his place – camping at Snoqualmie Pass turned out to be a really bad idea, and we were lucky to have another option!

The team is looking forward to better results at Midnight, Armageddon and Totem, coming up in the next month. August Ustare will be back in the right seat for some of these events, after a fairly lengthy break from rally. His navigational abilities should help the team become more competitive as they strive for better results in the rallies leading up to Alcan.

Link to final results HERE.


October 8, 2007 - Posted by | 2007, Rally Aftermath, TSD Rally

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