Sirius Rally Team

Getting 'Sirius' about Rallying

PBR Team Takes on US Competition at Olympus Rally 2008

The Prescribed Burn Rally Team had an action packed weekend at the historic Olympus Rally in Pomeroy WA. The first US event for the team was a challenging mix of smooth ridgeline roads and tight corners in and out of grassland valleys, with some teams reaching speeds near 200 km/h. The rally was centred at the Garfield County Fairgrounds, where driver Mark Jennings-Bates, codriver Jennifer Daly and service crew Dave Hood, Alex Schubel, Dave Steeper and Eric Bauld enjoyed the old fashioned small town generosity of the host community. The Olympus Rally has a historic past as one of the oldest rallies in America, and as a previous World Rally Championship event.

On Saturday the first regional rally came to a sudden end for the Prescribed Burn Team less than two miles into the second stage. The car slid slightly wide on an acute loose gravel corner; the soft bank edge fell out from under it and the car landed at the bottom of the steep outside ditch. Unharmed, Mark and Jennifer scrambled out of the gulley to await the course closing crew, who capably extracted the rally car and notified the rest of the team. Determined to continue, Mark drove the car back out of the stage in reverse, with two flat tires, bent rims and a crooked front wheel. At the stage entry they were rescued by their service crew, who towed the car back to the fairgrounds to assess the damage. A few hours of hard work and some spare parts got the car repaired in time to reenter the second regional rally, a commendable achievement for the volunteer service crew.

The early crash was not the end of the trouble for the Prescribed Burn Rally Team. Turbo problems caused them to limp through the first stage after the restart, effectively putting them out of podium contention. This problem was tackled in the later stages and resolved by the last day of the event, where the team came within seconds of reaching the maximum average speed allowed on the final stage. They also bested some well known drivers of large budget factory teams. Mark and Jennifer gained confidence using pace notes and they were able to test the limits of the rally car; working under time constraints and getting the car back into the rally were valuable experiences for the service crew.

DC Shoes founder Ken Block won the national rally for the Subaru USA team; Mark and Jennifer placed 6th overall in the second regional. The team traveled to the Olympus Rally as part of their preparation for their first national event of 2008, Alberta’s Rocky Mountain Rally in May.

Link to the Olympus Rally website HERE.

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April 23, 2008 - Posted by | 2008, PBR Team, Rally Aftermath

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