Sirius Rally Team

Getting 'Sirius' about Rallying

Day 8 – Hot Springs and Hotter Lap Times

The first job of day 8, which began in Whitehorse, was to repeat the Lost Lake TSD regularity, which the team nearly missed last time around because our alarm didn’t go off. For our Lost Lake revenge Jenn was at the wheel, August was in the right seat and I was the checkpoint hunter, drinking some Tim Hortons in the back. I witnessed some outstanding driving and navigating by Jenn and August and enjoyed some outstanding coffee from Tims. We ended up with just 16 points for the regularity – a big improvement from the 200 points we got last time! The second section of the reg was nearly perfect – only ones and zeros. After Lost Lake we returned to the IceX course for another race, my favourite part of the Alcan.

Last night us and other teams lobbied the rally organizer to run a reverse start order, giving teams with a higher starting number a better chance to put down some fast lap times. Last time there was a big difference in grip and available lines from the first to the last laps. Today, with an extra turn at the start and very polished ice from the last race the conditions were very ‘slippy’. Fearing the wrath of the Rex, some competitors were swapping tires last night, hoping for their best chance at keeping up.

All three of us had clean runs, no spins or snowbanks! With the promise of a cold beer for fastest lap of the day from teammate Doug, I drove flat out. I came across the finish line after my second lap running on only three cylinders, and a flashing check engine light. The problem was quickly remedied in true ‘Rocket’ style and the Rex was ready to run again. Results were not posted until late, and suspense had been killing me as both runs felt slow. To my surprise both runs were fastest of the day by about four seconds….yes!! Jenn and August both put in respectable times as well.

Day 8 ended at Liard Hot Springs after a ‘brief’ 400 mile transit. On route we stopped in Watson Lake and had look at the 70,000 plus signs posted at the Sign Forest of the Alaskan Highway (I only counted 69,886). We ended up up to our nuts in snow trying to see them all. Later in the drive we were greeted by a herd of elk/caribou, and up the highway a whole bunch of buffalo rooting through the snow. We pulled in to Liard in near last place again, but we were the first to the Hotsprings. We hiked the trails, but the small upper pools couldn’t compare to the big main pool, steaming and sulphury, with staircases and benches, but totally pitch black. The water temperature was patchy, but some lazy treading water evened it out nicely. We let our eyes adjust and searched for stars, but eventually the rest of the rally arrived with beaming headlamps, and we called it a night. One of the other competitors has a telescope with him, we found out, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to see some clear skies before the rally ends. We joined Bill and Doug for a few drinks in their sans plumbing bare bones but charming cabin, and we got to bed on time for a change. All and all another satisfying day and it’s off to Dawson Creek tomorrow. Can’t believe there are only two more days left – it has been so much fun.

GR

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February 25, 2008 - Posted by | 2008 Winter Alcan 5000, Alcan Car 17 the rex

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