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Old 05-07-2011, 05:15 PM   #1
biggreen96
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Member#: 12535
Join Date: Nov 2001
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Idaho slash Washington
Vehicle:
vf39 93 Legacy Wagon
92 Legacy Rally EG33'd

Default My experience as a first timer at the Olympus Rally.

Copied from my thread on Legacy Central
It's time to race this thing.

Check out biggreens rally build if you don't know the backstory.
http://bbs.legacycentral.org/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=44236

I'm here at the Olympus rally, came into rally town (ocean shores) late thursday after the 400 mile from the absolute other side of Washington, Pullman. My friend Charlie is codriving the rally and he pulls in right behind us. He's only had to come from Seattle. It's midnight and we have to be up at 630 for recce reg. Zzzzzzz.

We get registered and hit the road to sample the stages and go over the notes at 730, the recce book says allow 9 hours to do recce. We don't believe it. We should have. It's easy to get lost and misread the routebook( we have only had the thing for 1 hour at this point, they should have the novice meeting BEFORE they give us 200 pages of WTF)

We are slow noobs. We are making first timer mistakes. Forgeting to zero the odo at each new control. Stopping for food(sit down food) Going to walmart to pick up a shovel. (required equipment, should have read the supps closer). Not having a decent odo installed in the first place. Going back to walmart to find a gps unit for Charlie to use as an odo. The list goes on.

We have to be back at rally HQ for the novice meeting at 7, we also had to get back to have the car tech'd. In
Our hurry we ended our recce day like this:
One stage driven backwards.
One stage not driven at all.
One stage not zero'd, notes made no sense had to go back and find the start.
One stages exposure made us **** our pants(Brooklyn).


Day one started tight. We had a list of things we needed to do to the car in the morning before parc expose' and it took up to the last minute. We were the last car to arrive at 7:59. It was ridiculous. So now we are in, whew. Parc Expose' ran from 8-9 and then since we started low in the order out of almost 60 cars we waited another hour until we were to check out of Parc expose' which is the start of the rally.

I had the hood popped while it sat and got lots of "wth, that engine doesn't belong in there" comments. lol lots of people were stoked on it though.

The first transit took us all the way down to South Bend, something like 70 mins. As we got closer to the ATC 1, or start of the actual gravel stage my co-driver Charlie is saying man we are going to be late. Hmm we went the speed limit and followed the route book exactly but yeah we are gonna be late. Now we are freaking a bit because we are pulling up to the line and we aren't prepared. Helmets not on, not strapped down, etc. and the clock is ticking. So we sit in the time control and scramble to attach and secure ourselves and our ****. 30 seconds. Pulling helmet straps tight, 15 seconds, Charlie grabs the pace notes find the first page, 5 seconds. NO seconds. BAM hammer down smack the rev limiter and dump it. This thing takes off like a rocket even on gravel. Full lock on the center diff and LSD's front and rear has a way of putting all the power down.

A few corners in something is wrong. We forgot to connect the intercoms I have in the helmets. Charlie shouts the notes for the entire stage. You don't know loud until you have slid sideways at 60 across gravel in a stripped out car.

About halfway through we see a car off already, a Sentra. Luckly they are both just fine and holding the "ok" sign when we pass.

That has to suck. $$$ dollar entry fee for 3 minutes of fun. This stage is pretty tight and twisty, a bit damp but tacky, and even muddy in one spot right before a really tight downhill corner, an r2. But we make it to the end and HELL YES I just finished my first rally stage! It only took 1000's of hours, lots of dollars, TWO girlfriends, cuts, burns, late nights and my sanity a few times to complete this project.

From there we head back to service. And we need it too because the underbody protection for the gas tank has come loose and is dragging on the ground. I had it bound to the rear lateral links with the huge style zip ties, the centimeter wide ones, but all five broke. So we zip tied them up again for the second running of the stage but they all broke AGAIN. On the way into the service park with everybody looking over to see wtf that horrible scraping sound was a nice guy told me to find bungie cords and use them in place of the zips. Just tie the ends in knots so they don't pull through the holes. That
trick held all weekend. Thanks random dude. After speaking with him we are approached by an official, "guys, did you feel rushed on that first transit? or arrive late to the stage start?" "YES" "Well, ok, yea we miscalc'd the time you would need and didn't give you enough, everybody was rushed and late, all time penalties have been waived". Whew. At least we can breathe easy knowing the rushed hectic late start wasn't our fault!

Time for the first stage was 6:53.3. Second time through was 6:07.6 The fastest overall was 5:07

Then we headed from service to the next stage Smith Creek. It was pretty tame, got through just fine. It was pretty fast with a really tight mid section that I liked a lot. From there we headed to the most notable stage of the rally, Brooklyn E & W. This stage is fast. but with pretty good visibility so it was easier to commit to the corners. One thing I wasn't prepared for was the massive amounts of people. Once we popped out of the forest into the clear cut on top of the stage the hill sides were just littered with spectators. Don't get into rally if you can't handle a few thousand people watching your every move behind the wheel... Later in the stage is a spectator area that has a DEATH DROP on the outside of the corner then its a downhill blast to the finish. I use my left foot to brake and get the car to rotate when I'm in the corners so when I got the to finish control and Charlie gave the workers the time car the brakes were smoking some. I can only image how much smoke is pouring off the 25 cars that came in with faster time than I did.

This is somewhere on Brooklyn.


Brooklyn is a turn around stage so everybody just gets back in line to run it in reverse. But for whatever reason this whole process takes 40 mins. So we park and relax for a bit. Chat and pick the brains of the older wiser drivers and co-drivers, check over the car and get ready to do the most intense thing I have ever done again.

Apparently I'm consistent because I cross the line 26th overall(including national drivers) again on the reverse running. After that we head back to Smith creek and that is where we hear there was an accident and just to head back to service because the stage is cancelled. At service we learn the accident was fatal. RIP Matt Marker. This makes me rethink why the hell I'm doing this. I also think, well, if I die doing this I will die doing something incredibly awesome and that I have already fallen in love with. I feel better. We end the Ray Damitio Stages Regional Rally 13th of 34 overall.

Day two starts bad. We assumed that Sundays parc expose' would start at 8 just like Saturday. Nope. We we roll out of the hotel lobby and see the parking lot completely void of any activity at all. ****. we are an hour late. The organizers punch our noob card and let us start without penalty. Whew.

After stressing on that we get some good news. We were originally seeded 47th on day 1 but were reseeded way up the order to 22nd on day 2. This makes me feel so good, before the race and during the build I would question my self, will I be fast? I mean after spending all this time building the car and all the money spent too, I don't want to get out there and be obliterated by everybody. Good thing that wasn't the case.

Wreck creek is the first stage of the day, and my favorite of the rally. It's ROUGH pot holes you could curl up and nap in, complete with a sweet jump. I was mellow going through the first time because it was so rough but the suspension I put on the car was soaking it all up so well it gave me alot of confidence to push harder on the next running. So that is what I did. I posted a top ten time on the second running! SAILED off the jump floated over the potholes, braked way later for the L4 at the end of the long straight, kept it floored on the steep uphill, and went banzai on the downhill leading to the finish. My favorite stage of the rally by far.

So we headed back to service once more and headed out to the final 2 stages of the rally. Taholah E & W.

This stage nearly got us. Twice. It's long, 11 miles. It's fast as hell and has tricky corners. I think 6 cars went off on this stage. I was lucky enough to get back on... both times. Stage actually was feeling great until we got to the super long straight with lots of crests and details to be aware of. In fact just looking at the notes again there was a entire page out of 8 pages dedicated to this long straight. Needless to say I got lost in the barrage of notes and came into the corner at the end too hot and got sucked into the gravel berm on the outside of the corner. Back wheels kinda in the ditch front wheels still on the road. We stalled but I fired it back up and blasted off. Rest of the stage I was very slow and mellow because the car felt off, I thought I might have got a flat or bent something. But we got to the end and I asked the control worker if there was one he said no but the front pass looked low. ok. We go up the road, turn around and get in line for the reverse running.


After that slide, we are shaken. There is gravel packed into the bead of the tires on that side and I must have burped some air from the front right. I ripped the mudflap zipties on that side too. I'm glad the gravel berm was so deep because it slowed us way down, likely keeping us out of the ditch. We decide we need a better strategy for the long straights because we both got lost in the notes on it. So we talk to some of the other codrivers and ask what they do. Most say "experience". But other have things like find a roadside landmark to use as a braking point. Or mark the mileage of each crest and tick them off as you go over, marking the last crest as "braking crest" to give your self extra time. Cool. I don't yet have the fancy rally odometer so we label the last crests before the corners breaking crests.

Then as we are standing at the car writing these changes in a group of competitors are coming up the road, one points at me, says "hey, pop that hood" "me?" "yes you, we are all wondering who the noob with the nice sounding car is moving up the order so quick." "ok!"

Some of the guys are subaru drivers so they think the flat 6 swap and 6 speed is pretty cool, and they are amazed that I was the builder of the car, swap, wiring, cage, everything. I even mounted the tires my self with a harbor freight manual tire post. Nearly 2 years of work.(there was a 8 month span where I didn't touch the car after lumbar disk surgery, so about 1 year 4 months of actual work work) It felt really good to have these guys come BS, tell us we are doing very well for noobs, and welcome us into the rally group.

Next thing we know we are on the line and about to get on with the final stage of the rally. Back up the road we just came down. Feeling good, we made the changes, and we just have to get across the finish and the race is over. Cool. 30 seconds, 15, 10 5 4 3 2 1 GO. Brap Brap brap. Car still feels slightly off but nothing bad is going on. Until we hit that long straight. Seriously? again? halfway down the thing we are lost again. ok crest #1. check. #2 check, ok staying left over this one. check, r6 over this one. check. **** was that the small crest? umm. ok which crest is this? ****. ok slowing down were lost. is this the braking crest? I'm lost. YES THIS IS THE BRAKING CREST. SORRY!!! Too late!

<- watch.

Things get out of hand fast at 90 on gravel. Lesson learned.

Going into the ditch had my 16 months of sacrifice going down the drain. I don't want to retire 4 miles from the end of the stage. I spent too much damn money on this race. I'm not staying in this ditch. You can hear me floor it at the end of the video because I was bent on getting out. Too bad the guys camera ran out of juice right then. Because there is another 30 yards of crazy ****ing Subaru ditch bogging, torn off bumpers, mudflaps, and shouts of victory(not that he could hear us in the car anyway) to be witnessed. When he found us after the race to say he got it on film I was ecstatic. He was sorry his camera died, cause it missed the best action he saw (and heard)all day. People really love the sound of the six.

But we got out. We finished. And I am a happy Legacy owner.

The rest of the stage was taken at sunday drive speed. We lost the front bumper and the car was pulling right worse now, we had taken on a flat. Having the center diff in full lock made this pulling effect WAY WAY worse I would soon discover. So we change the flat with an allseason spare because the FIVE other used rally tires I bought for spares/practice got mangled beads by tires shop monkeys and would not hold any air. The spare goes on and we hit the road. Car is still pulling badly, straining to make lefts. But we get off the stage in one piece and after leaving the time control I reach down and put the DCCD into full open from full lock and BAM the car pops into form and stops pulling so badly to the right. Oh wow, I'm new to the DCCD and 6 speed but I had no idea that could be an issue. I go full lock again and the car is headed off the road instantly. Full open, goes straight. WOW. note to self, if I suspect a flat or tire pressure difference DO NOT use full lock.

Thats when I remembered the control worker comment about my tire looking low. I completely forgot to inspect it before the return run...


Yep it's flat.

At this point we were NOT worried about time, so hey grab the camera and get some of this!

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_9...s800/photo.JPG
A snap from subiegal Jaime Thomas

A vid from somewhere on Tahola E.


Here we are, relieved, at the 10 mins final service after the final stage before we drive back to the awards banquet. I'm on the right.


Us after day one. Car is looking much better here.


The office.



Loaded up for the 7 hour drive home. Thanks for keeping us safe you badass family sport sedan! I'll get your face fixed soon I promise!

Tahola claimed 4 cars on that running. ACP was one of them too, I think his turbo blew or something. (I beat him on my good stage by 0.1 seconds :-D )
<- Notice the red finish boards. So close.

http://www.rallyanarchy.com/phorum/f...crashed_xr.jpg
This crew was very lucky. A husband and wife team. That was her side of the car, and she already wants to start a new build. Can you say KEEPER?



So, all in all, a RAD weekend.
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Last edited by biggreen96; 05-07-2011 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 05-08-2011, 05:05 PM   #2
sackytar
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Get ur links up.
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Old 05-08-2011, 07:17 PM   #3
UP2MTNS
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nice write up! good job getting through the finish line.

and yes, as a rookie, I've also had some trouble with 'long fast straights into corners'...haha....they do come up fast!

hard to tell in your video, but its looks like if you stayed hard on the gas throughout that corner you *might* have been able to stay on the road. When you get that 'we're going off' feeling, its hard to stay on the pedal though.

I saw your tire mounting video on rallyanarchy.com, that was kind of impressive.


I see your name on the Idaho entry list, so I'll meet you guys there!

Jon Burke
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:41 PM   #4
biggreen96
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92 Legacy Rally EG33'd

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Thanks Jon, yeah Idaho!

Some other folks mentioned the stay on the gas too. Makes sense.

I am eager to get out and do some gravel testing with the car. This Sti drivetrain that is all "diff'd out" is not at all like my 5mt DD with open front and weak VLSD center and rear. Last weekend I was able to really feel how the front end will really get pulled where I have it pointed when I was committing, which I was in uphill corners on a particular stage. Just have to learn to do it in the oh **** moments.

On tire mounting, I swapped snows/allseasons today on the DD. After mounting a rally tire, snows and all-seasons are a joke. I have lots of tires, not a lot of rims so I swap often. Glad I bought that machine.
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:31 PM   #5
UP2MTNS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biggreen96 View Post

I am eager to get out and do some gravel testing with the car. This Sti drivetrain that is all "diff'd out" is not at all like my 5mt DD with open front and weak VLSD center and rear. Last weekend I was able to really feel how the front end will really get pulled where I have it pointed when I was committing, which I was in uphill corners on a particular stage. Just have to learn to do it in the oh **** moments.
I did mine in steps....first went to a 20kg STI diff....then LSD rear, then LSD front....each time I noticed a significant difference and had to adapt my driving a little bit (and with each upgrade, I was going faster and faster).

So with you going whole hog....yeah, get that practice in....lots of fast stuff at Idaho!!

I'll be taking the first few stages easy myself...still learning on the new transmission (dogbox with new front diff and Group N gears--SO much fun on the street!), and I haven't been on the stages in a while....getting a little practice in next weekend, hopefully that'll help get the dust off.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:20 PM   #6
anders8
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Excellent story! Love those first timer stories.

Anders
NASA Rally Sport
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:34 AM   #7
sureshot007
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Welcome to the club! Every event is like an epic adventure
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
Doug Woods
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Don't feel bad about having a big moment at the end of the long straight on Taholah East. Last year Pat Richard left the road on that corner at around 120mph and Chris Duplessis slid backwards down the embankement.

Your lack of experience with notes and recce are probably the biggest reason you had a moment. When you have a long straight stretch with many crests and slight turns, it is easy to get lost (as you found out). Also, if you hit every note perfectly, you will be arriving at the tight corner at the end of the straight with much, much more speed that you can have ever imagined during recce. One of the challenges of recce, is to drive at 30 mph and then estimate how fast you will be actually going during the real stage. It all comes with experience.

Doug Woods

P.S. Excellent write-up on your first rally experience.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:22 PM   #9
biggreen96
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Thanks Doug I'm certainly looking forward to getting used to recce and notes. Next stop Idaho!
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:54 AM   #10
patr
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congrats dood your car sounds cool and I love legacies. long live legacies !
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