Sirius Rally Team

Getting 'Sirius' about Rallying

PBRT Flies to First BC Regional Podium Finish at PFR

mjbpfr2009Local Prescribed Burn Rally Team driver Mark Jennings-Bates and co-driver Jennifer Daly achieved their best ever national finish and second overall in the regional at this year’s Pacific Forest Rally on October 3 in Merritt, BC.

After an exciting and competitive event, the team took a well deserved regional podium for the first time in their new 2004 STi rally car. The rally started well for the duo on the Friday night stages, as the team adapted to the new KSport gravel suspension, which was tested heavily at the event, and provided consistent and confident handling.

Even in the dark, Friday night proved to be very fast; this trend continued for the whole event and ended with Subaru Canada’s Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell destroying the stage record on Helmer in the dark on Saturday.  With mud, snow and fog during the early recce portion, choosing tires was a significant challenge, but the conditions improved dramatically by the time the cars were on stage, and PFR 2009 turned into one of the fastest Merritt rallies in history.

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The PBRT service crew were professional and effective, and kept the team in the hunt for a strong finish; however, the last 150km of the event were run without any power steering, a big challenge for driver Mark Jennings-Bates:  “Now I will stop whining at my strength and conditioning coach, Leanne Manlove at Pinnacle Elite Athlete, about all the strength work she is making me do.  I really needed to work hard to keep the car on the road for the last two stages, but thankfully we did not drop much time and gained a place in the process.  I guess the training is paying off!”  Codriver Jennifer Daly was also very busy at the weekend, as the stages were fast and adapting delivery timing to a greatly increased pace can be very challenging. “We certainly came out of the first stage with a good pace” said Daly, adding “on Saturday we hit a jump and seemed to be in the air for several seconds, which was intense, and a total thrill.  Our service crew was reliable and we owe a big part of the success this weekend to them”.

The Prescribed Burn Rally Team’s newest driver Craig Ross and codriver John Hall took the start line for the first time ever at PFR.  Craig’s objective for his first rally was to finish, which he did, setting some very competitive stage times along the way. A puncture and necessary tire change cost the new team in overall time, but Craig clearly demonstrated that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.

PFR was the first successful rally for the Prescribed Burn Rally Team in over a year.  Mark and Jennifer finished 5th overall nationally and 2nd overall regionally.  Craig and John finished 12th overall regionally, despite their puncture!  

The PBRT service crew for PFR consisted of Dave Hood, Anthony Evans, Reagan Ritchie and Devon Crosby. The next event on the calendar for the Prescribed Burn Rally Team will be the all new Big White Winter Rally, taking place on December 5, 2009 at the Big White Ski Resort. 

Link to 2009 Pacific Forest Rally results HERE.

Link to the Big White Rally Weekend homepage HERE.

(car photo credit Kurt Schantz)

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October 17, 2009 - Posted by | 2009, PBR Team, Rally Aftermath, Stage Rally

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