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Old 03-19-2001, 03:51 PM   #1
RalliSpec
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Hainesport, NJ, USA
Vehicle:
98 Prodrive WRC

Post RalliSpec at Cherokee Trails

After a mix of heatache and triumph, RalliSpec finished 2nd overall in both Cherokee Trails Clubrally events with both a first and second finishes in class (open).

Those who saw us on Thursday night with BOTH the engine and trans of the Celica Alltrac sitting on the pavement outside the car would not have believed that we would have the car up and running the following morning.

We had left Wed. night after the usual mad dash to get the car ready. The overload of RalliSpec customer work kept us from doing any testing or development on the car before the event.

After driving straight through the night we arrived Thursday morning to register. Hoping for some much needed sleep, we were thoroughly upset when testing reveled that the clutch of the rally car was slipping badly under full power. Out came the trans with only the most basic tools (a jack and a few blocks of wood) so that we could throw the spare clutch in. Wrestling with the 300lb transmission, we were unable to get the two re-mated and ended up pulling the engine out from the car in order to get the two to mate up. Things were looking bleak around midnight as one crew member was curled up around the old clutch on the ground fast asleep. Finally around 4am we had the engine and trans reassembled in the car and ready to go.

After an all too brief two hour nap we were off for the podium start of the first day's event. Things seemed to be looking good but that didn't last long as it was revealed that the Terratrip odometer was not reading properly which meant Andy (co-driver) would not be able to properly call the corners of the special stages. Despite the lack of sleep and lack of odometer we still managed a solid second place finish for the first day including fastest clubrally stage time on the first stage.

With a good night of sleep we were totally ready to dominate on the second day even without the odometer. We had a 12 second lead after the first stage over the Zimmer/Shindle Subaru Impreza. A grueling 18 mile second stage brought the hint of problems to come as the engine cut out momentarily several times in the middle of the stage. Despite losing about 10 seconds to this as well as another 15 seconds spent pulling an EVO out of a ditch mid-stage we managed to lose only about 4 seconds of our lead over 2nd place. The third stage was relatively uneventful as we pulled back those 4 seconds. The fourth and final stage, which was the grueling second stage rerun was to cost us our first-place overall finish as the engine cut out again mid stage, this time in a more permanent manner. For almost a mile we struggled along as the engine would not stay running for more then a few moments at a time. We lost over two minutes as Kennedy's Subaru passed us with about 5 miles to go. In desperation we stopped and shut the whole electrical system down and refired the car. Something fixed itself in the process and the car started and ran ok. At this point I drove at 110% for the final few miles managing to recover about 30 seconds and finish in second.

All in all we had a really good time. The stages were a great mix of really tight twisties, yumps, and fast straights and switchbacks. The car performed well despite the glitches we experienced but the decision has been made to sell it and step up to Prorally in a Group N Impreza. So if anyone is interested in a competitive clubrally car give us a call.

--Dave, RalliSpec
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Old 03-19-2001, 04:02 PM   #2
DCRallyDave
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Post

Great job guys. After seeing the transmission change going late into the night I didn't beleive you'd even be able to start. Good job keeping it on the road with the limited sleep you had.
Incredible determination.

Dave Shindle
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Old 03-19-2001, 04:13 PM   #3
Basil
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Wow, you guys are tough! Incredible job, great to hear you did so well.. Can't wait to see the new Impreza..

Basil
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Old 03-19-2001, 04:24 PM   #4
Rovah
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Post

Glad to see you guys back in the dirt! Congratulations on a fantastic finish in what sounds like a grueling rally!

Hope to see you guys at Maine Forest again this summer. We'll be back in the #912 Honda CRX.

Cheers! John
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Old 03-19-2001, 04:47 PM   #5
hacman
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I was one of the i-clubbers that talked to you guys Thursday night at midnight, and I was happy to see ya on the stages again! and a 2nd place finish at that! congrats guys! Can't wait to catch ya at the next rally!
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Old 03-19-2001, 04:55 PM   #6
RobbiSpec
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Wow. I had no idea you had so many problems. Seeing you guys in our mirrors on the third stage (correct?) of the first day right near the finish was good stuff. Well done.

Oh, and no plagiarism on the username intended. It was sort of given to me.

Rob Bergstrom
co-driver car #973
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Old 03-19-2001, 06:36 PM   #7
kelley nelson
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That's the RalliSpec spirit! Never give up, unlike some English outfits ;p
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Old 03-19-2001, 06:54 PM   #8
RobbiSpec
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Oh, and I only had two hours of sleep too, so there.

How come you guys had to take the intro seminar? Pretty sure you were the only two there with absolutely black hands from engine grime.
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Old 03-19-2001, 07:01 PM   #9
paultg
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Post

Totally great guys! I had no idea you were doing this and that the car was up and running again. Congrats on a great finish, well deserved from the sounds of it.

Group N impreza. Sould be be making sure our parts stay on our Impreza's when we bring them down to NJ.

Hope to talk to you guys soon,

Paul G.
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Old 03-19-2001, 09:22 PM   #10
10th Warrior
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Silverthorn, PGT #671

Post

hehe. i was kicking myself for not buying the car for 7 grand when i saw you guys tearing up the special stages the next day. anyway, congratulations. you guys drove a fantastic rally and were really cool with us bothering you at criket and at service. it was a blast!
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Old 03-20-2001, 05:18 AM   #11
SteveS
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RalliSpec did a tremendous job on Friday and Saturday. I was "lucky" enough to crew for RalliSpec and I didn't think the car was going to be ready for Friday morning. We definitely did not have the right tools for doing what we did! Dragging the engine and transmission along the pavement was quite an experience.

Terrible luck with the phantom problem on the last stage on Saturday cost them 1st place in ClubRally, as Dave stated. But what a fantastic drive RalliSpec had! Just wish I could have seen the Silly-Car (as we of the crew so lovingly called it) go flying by.

Steve
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Old 03-20-2001, 08:37 AM   #12
Tony
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...and congrats to Wintrode for buying the 500 watt shop light that kept me warm as I slept on the old pressureplate/clutch. It would've gone a lot easier with the right tools, namely a young preist, an old preist...

Thanks also to the Zimmer/Shindle crew members (sorry, can't remember their names) that went out and got us some fast food when we were busy with the engine/tranny. Also thanks to Union 7 for lending us a spare set of plugs for the Altrac.

Tony

[This message has been edited by Tony (edited March 20, 2001).]
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Old 03-20-2001, 08:50 AM   #13
Jon Bogert
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I asked Bert to give you guys a hand, but I guess he was too busy working on Brad Hawkins' VW. When I mentioned to him what you were trying to do--he shook his head and said that's a nightmare job even in the shop. I'm glad you got it together, and it looks like you turned some good stage times. Congrats on the results.
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Old 03-20-2001, 09:44 AM   #14
SteveS
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BTW, just in case anyone thinks we're joking, Tony most definitely did doze while lying on the ground with the old fly wheel, pressure plate and clutch stacked up underneath his left shoulder. Dave and Andy had gone to a driver meeting and left Tony, Mike, and myself to look at the disabled Celica. We struggled to mate the tranny to the engine with everything still underneath the car. After doing this for about an hour, Tony finally rolled over. And there he stayed. The 500 watt halogen lamp was the only thing giving off heat. I wish I got a picture of Tony dozing on the removed hardware. Must have been real comfortable, huh? But that's what happens when you haven't slept for 2 nights -- delirium.

Steve
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Old 03-20-2001, 09:50 AM   #15
PURE EPI
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Exclamation

at least you guys didn't start seeing purple bunnies galavanting across the road in bright orange tutus while singing Papa Roach "cut my life into pieces"..... my god the things that your mind can come up with

Christian
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Old 03-20-2001, 11:38 AM   #16
Wintrode
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They were blue rabbits and they were running across the parkinglot!
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Old 03-20-2001, 01:03 PM   #17
SteveS
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Interlagos Blue

Post

Almost forgot to add that around 1AM or so, after successfully mating up the tranny and engine, right when we're trying to get the engine back in and connect up the motor mounts, RAIN. DOH!

And Wintrode, were they blue? Were they rabbits? I thought there were pink dogs running around...
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Old 03-20-2001, 01:51 PM   #18
10th Warrior
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Silverthorn, PGT #671

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i know you're joking christian, but after 2am (3 am EST) i was getting pretty tired driving home. i alas, don't have a trunk monkey to help guide me, so the psychadelic hood parrot helped me out. he perched on the hoodscoop in all his shimmering colors and co-drove for me. the sad part is, i'm serious.
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Old 03-20-2001, 02:21 PM   #19
PURE EPI
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And I'm not!!!???
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Old 03-20-2001, 03:52 PM   #20
Rich L
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Thumbs up

Dave and Andy,

Next time, if you want to easily clinch first place...

just borrow my car!

Congratulations!
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Old 03-20-2001, 05:11 PM   #21
direwlf
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Good work, guys. Man, that must have been a rough weekend, but staying up all night and getting the car ready sacrificing all else is the mark of a true racer No one actually has everything ready to go the night before, that is just a myth.
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Old 03-20-2001, 05:48 PM   #22
Joe Lee
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and a red 94 Miata!

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Great job guys! Sounds like the stuff of legend, it would have been a boring story if you just drove up there, slept and won the race without any mishaps. Yawn!

I'm oproud to know that fellow Jerseyans are out there proving that the Garden State is more than the land 'o strip malls!!
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Old 03-20-2001, 09:15 PM   #23
Greg Sharpe
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Sounds like ya'll havin' some gd'ol times back east! Kep dem stories a flowin' fo us best (west) coast peeps, ya hear?
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Old 03-21-2001, 12:38 AM   #24
WRXPRESS
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Wow congrats guys. Especially with all those problems. That's great. Makes me proud to know that you are the same guys who work on my car.
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Old 03-21-2001, 01:34 AM   #25
hacman
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10th - that may have been the same parrot I saw on my ride home. he hung around till I caught the z28, then *poof*, he was gone.
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