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Old 07-30-2000, 11:20 PM   #1
Former Vendor
Member#: 39
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Hainesport, NJ, USA
98 Prodrive WRC

Post RalliSpec's Debut at Maine Forest Rally

Press Release:

RalliSpec made its performance rally debut at the Maine Forest ProRally this past weekend. The car, an '88 Toyota Celica Alltrac, was unproven coming into the event. In fact, due to their recent work overload and a last minute turbo rebuild (arrived Wed. afternoon!) it was a mad rush to get the car finished in time and required working late into the night most of the week. You can imagine the nervousness of the team starting the rally with no prior testing or shakedown of an all-new car.

After an 11 hour hell ride in an underpowered tow-vehicle the team arrived in Rumford, Maine late Thursday night. Friday's activities started with registration and an all too brief novice seminar. Luckily the team had a little time to get aquainted with the car which miraculously seemed to be performing flawlessly. There were a lot of positive comments on the build quality from some of the more respected members of the Prorally community.

Friday afternoon...parc expose found the team doing some last minute brake bleeding and seat adjustments. This was minor compared some other teams such as Pat Richard's which found themselves needing to change a transmission in an hour in order to start the rally. One of RalliSpec's service crew was kind enough to offer up the transmission out of his own Impreza RS road car but Pat decided they didn't have enough time to do the swap.

The rally started with a transit through the first special stage at which point everyone turned around and the stage was run in reverse at speed. The transit in was a bit intimidating because the roads were littered was large rocks (or small boulders!) many of which were embedded in the road with at least a foot or more or rock exposed...easily enough to destroy even the best prepared rally car.

Driver Dave Anton comments: "we wisely decided to take it easy on the first day because it was so rough and the car was unproven. With the adrenalin pumping its hard to keep from overdoing it but Andy was there to remind me to save the car for the second day". Co-driver Andy Coombs was calling the corners with the 3rd RalliSpec owner, Jorge Coombs, handling the crew chief responsibilities. The first day was not without incident... problems with the master switch left the team unable to get the car started while waiting to start the first stage! Luckily they were able to get it sorted out and start without penalty. On the 3rd stage more electrical problems brought the car to a halt as the ECU circuit breaker kept popping due a shorted O2 heater wire. As Andy ran down the road to set up the caution triangles Dave was able to get the car fired up again but they lost at least 3 minutes on the stage. At the end of the day results showed them 82nd out of 108 cars that started the event. The team was just happy to finish the day...a mangled skidplate, dented front control arm, and a gouged tire sidewall were just some of the scars showing on the car.

Day 2 brought a lot more stage miles but considerably smoother terrain. The first stage of the day was a 12 mile route through some lovely backwoods logging roads. With confidence in the car, the setup, and the Michelin rally tires the team felt they could start pushing the limits of the car. "The car handled perfectly. Getting the car to drift through the corners was effortless. I backed off a little over some of the blind crests and unmarked corners but otherwise pushed the car pretty hard. There weren't many long straight sections but I know we got the car over 100mph in a few spots, the car just had so much power." The team finished the stage ahead of the car in front of them (which started 1 minute before).

The next stage brought some drama and with it ended the day for the team. Having no time to test the car, the team was unsure as to the boost they were running as the stock gauge only goes to 8psi. Apparently the overabundance of power was a sign of TOO much boost..especially on the pump gas they were running. About two miles into the 12 mile stage the car began to lose power and the team knew they had serious engine trouble. With smoke and oil vapor pouring from beneath the hood the team pressed on at reduced speed just hoping to make it to the end of the stage. Unfortunately the car had other ideas as it ground to a halt a half mile later with a hole in the block and connecting rod shrapnel embedded in the radiator.

With the pressure of their first stage rally event off their shoulders, RalliSpec is committed to getting the car back up and running in time for some of the fall Prorally events. Testing and reliability are top priorities.

RalliSpec would like to thank Lee Reodica, Tony Powell, and Mike Wintrode for volunteering for service crew and doing a fantastic job. Without them this weekend couldn't have happened!
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Old 07-31-2000, 07:24 AM   #2
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Member#: 437
Join Date: Oct 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Londonderry, NH
'91 Miata MX5 (Red)
'09 Impreza OBS (Blk/Gry)


Hey, I am glad you made it to the rally. I wish I could have been there. I am real sorry about the loss of the motor, but you guys have such a good attitude about it.
Congrats again on making it to the event. I can't believe that this time last year when I first came to your shop, the car was on the body stands being seam welded! Way to go..
Good luck with the new motor and future events. Hopefully I can come up with some cash, purchase some of your quality Impreza stuff, and help you out with the new motor fund!

Paul G.
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Old 07-31-2000, 08:12 AM   #3
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Member#: 114
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Wichita, KS and Whoring, OT
'03 Evo, Rice White
'01 Erion CBR 929



I hope what I've heard about Celica All-Trac parts cost is exaggerated.
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Old 07-31-2000, 08:38 AM   #4
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Member#: 333
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Middlesex county, MA, USA
98 not a Leg 2.5GT
Quicksilver Metallic


Good luck with the engine replacement....
You looked good out there!
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Old 07-31-2000, 09:07 AM   #5
Precious ❄
Member#: 603
Join Date: Dec 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Norfeast

It was nice to finally meet you guys in person. It's nice to know who all my money goes to Too bad the motor didnt hold up, but it sounds and looks like you guys did some good work on that car. Especially for a rush job. I have a feeling you guys will be competitive when you get the car running again.
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Old 08-01-2000, 01:49 AM   #6
Patrick Olsen
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Member#: 120
Join Date: Jul 1999
Chapter/Region: AKIC
Location: Where the Navy sends me...
1997 Legacy 2.5GT
1996 Impreza coupe


Relying on the factory boost gauge?! You guys should be ashamed of yourselves!! That's quite a bummer about the engine. I look forward to hearing about more of your rallying exploits once everything is back together.

Pat Olsen
'99 Legacy 2.5GT 5speed sedan
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Old 08-01-2000, 01:57 AM   #7
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 1165
Join Date: Mar 2000
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Hail Darkness
2012 dcrawford died
for your sins

Thumbs up

Now I understand why it is taking so long to get those Impreza cams tested!

D. Neil Crawford
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Old 07-31-2000, 03:23 PM   #8
joe z
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Member#: 599
Join Date: Dec 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Manchvegas
2007 Impreza Sti


hey guy thanks for helping me get my car home with out loseing my exhaust you guys are great

joe z
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Old 07-31-2000, 05:41 PM   #9
Jon Bogert
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Member#: 1133
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: SE PA
09 GTR, 02 996 C4S
95 993 C4, 71 911, 04 STI

Thumbs up

It was nice to talk to you guys before and during the event. Sorry about the motor--I blew up two myself before we switched to the TEC-II. I'm sure you already know, TRD will sell you a brand new MR2 short block for about $1100.

As you can see from the results, our two broken wheels and one (additional) flat tire kept us well down on the list. We did struggle through to the finish, though. That was one rough rally!

Jon Bogert, #185 Team RallyStuff Toyota Celica Alltrac
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Old 07-31-2000, 06:09 PM   #10
n00b Moderator
Member#: 811
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: WA
2000 RS-Ej20G
It tastes like burning



I am swapping short blocks in my Celica ST-165. If you want my old stuff cheap (trade for a subie part ) send me some mail.

You guys must have been doing some bad stuff to blow the 3SGTE. They are pretty tough.

What setup are you guys running for engine/ECU/suspension?

rob is offline  
Old 07-31-2000, 06:36 PM   #11
n00b Moderator
Member#: 811
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: WA
2000 RS-Ej20G
It tastes like burning



I forgot to mention about your radiator...check you VIN with a Toyota dealer. There was a recall on the radiator and if it hasn't been done on your car, then you should get a free one!

rob is offline  
Old 07-31-2000, 07:12 PM   #12
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 287
Join Date: Sep 1999
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Baltimore, MD.
2005 9-2X Aero
Desert Silver

Thumbs up

Right, I think the service manager would fall out of his seat laughing at a pro rally prepped car asking for a recall on a radiator.

The weekend was a blast, thanks Rallispec, I'd hardly call it work crewing for you. Too bad I now must get a rally car of my own.

Lee, you're crazy for offering your tranny but you did make some big friends.


[This message has been edited by Tony (edited July 31, 2000).]
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Old 07-31-2000, 07:43 PM   #13
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Member#: 446
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Thanks for the kudos guys, but I really didn't do much either. I hope that the pics make up for it. Next time I will have an extra camcorder battery and even more extra film.

Tony, I'm with you. I need a rallycar now too. I may just stop putting money into the RS to get one that is rally ready.

As for that last comment, yup, I met a lot of people there. Its good to have friends in the rally community.

Can't wait til the next event.

Flashboy is offline  

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