Originally Posted by Sean
Crewing is no walk in the park and is just as impressive as driving since the crew is the backbone of the team...I'm nowhere near the level of Otis and the rest of the guys out there but, had I not been driving, I definitely would have found a team to crew for.
Crewing is a lot of work, but it's fun work. I like being involved in the sport on the competitor side, getting to meet all the people, and learning about how it all works from the car to the co-driver. I got a driver's suit in the hopes of eventually finding a co-driving ride with a slower car (Otis' right seat is NOT the place for a beginner!). That's on the back burner until the season calms down.
For those who might be wondering what crewing on a team like NC Rally entails, here's the general idea from my perspective as a crew cheif:
2 - 3 weeks before the event - "work on car weekend" spending usually two days in the shop working on the car (haven't had to do this lately).
1 week before the event - write the movement plan, detailing where and when the crew and car has to be. it also includes directions, rally schedule, crew information, service plans, fuel calculations, and info on helpful local establishments like auto parts stores.
departure - everyone gathers at North Coast at the time we are supposed to leave, but we usually find that we still have to pack the truck! or for long distance rallies like Oregon, we all hop our own flights out and Otis drives the truck out.
shakedown - get the car out and setup a small service area for Otis to test out the car and the roads.
day 1 - get the car washed, nut n' bolted, and ready to go to Parc Expose, get the crew off to the first service area.
service - set up service area, including tents, tarps, tools, tires, fuel and have spares ready. then sit around waiting for the car, work quickly for about 20 minutes to an hour on the car (depending on damage). then either pack up and move to the next service area, or sit around until they come back.
end day 1 - nut n' bolt the car again. that means putting a wrench on every nut and bolt in the suspension, brakes, etc to make sure it's all tight. on a car that is dismantled to some extent after every event it is very important to check everything.
day 2 - get up early, get the car to parc expose and get the crew off to the next service area. repeat day 1, but end the day with a beer or two (or three).
post rally - write the press release when you should be working.
Otis does a ton of work on the car between rallies, and the car pretty much lives on a lift at North Coast where Otis does most of the work. North Coast also has a paint shop, at least once a year we repaint the whole car, including stripping all running gear off the bottom and painting it (no, you would not use rhino lining or anything, just paint). Otis removes the DMS after every evnt and measures to make sure they aren't bent or damanged, then takes them apart and services them. I'm sure there are 100 other things he does between events, but I have a desk job that keeps me out of the shop...