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Old 05-23-2001, 07:52 PM   #1
Former Vendor
Member#: 39
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Hainesport, NJ, USA
98 Prodrive WRC

Post Sandblast not quite a blast

May 19th - Cheraw, SC

Coming off an excellent finish at Cherokee Trails, Team RalliSpec's confidence was running high at the start of the two coefficient 2 Sandblast Clubrallies. It wasn't long, however, before finishing became more of a priority then finishing well. With temperatures up around 90 degrees and exceptionally dry and dusty conditions, the team spent most of the day fighting off dehydration and heat stroke. On the stages the biggest problem was lack of visibility due to the dust kicked up by the front-running competitors.

Stages 1 and 2 didn't pose much of a problem and in fact the team was fourth overall after those stages behind two Lancer Evo's and a Talon turbo AWD. Stage 3, however, was a completely different story. Not far into the stage it became apparent that they were closing fast on the silver open-class Impreza of Andrew Hadjiminas who was having some car troubles. Visibility quickly turned to zero. The team burst through Hadjiminas' dust cloud at the end of long straight only to find a sharp left-hander a lot sooner then expected. "I threw the car sideways knowing full well that we were going about twice as fast as we should have been", Dave recounted. The Celica was up on two wheels as it slammed into the sand embankment at the edge of the road. Luckily the car came back down on all four in the middle of the road and the team was able to continue. The car took minimal body damage but a tire had been knocked off the right rear wheel. With another two miles left in the stage they were still able to drive it out and change it on the transit but some time was definitely lost.

After the first service the team was starting to feel the heat...literally. Driver Dave Anton in particular was no longer feeling 100%. The team pressed on and managed to finish 8th overall and 4th in class at the end of the first event but deep down they knew they could have done better even with the flat on stage 3.

The second event was more of the same...dust, heat, and more dust. Thankfully the reseed for the afternoon was based on results from the first two stages only. This put Team RalliSpec fourth on the road...a good position to be in considering the dust so they thought. The first two stages in the afternoon were relatively uneventful but the wind was dying down and the dust was getting worse. By the last stage there was no wind at all and a two-minute window was required. After much confusion the last stage was delayed and started in complete darkness. Despite the two minute window thick dust still lingered only to reflect back the full bank of rally lights sitting at the front of the car. The team ran as fast as they dared but their reflexes were dulled.

Only a mile into the stage the team came up on an extremely sharp right hander with very soft sand and a deep ditch on the outside. With another right-hand turn just a hundred feet prior, there was some confusion as to the correct turn. "I hesitated slightly at the corner and ran just a little bit wide. If I tried to power out of the corner I was afraid of ending up in the ditch so I backed off the power until the car settled. Unfortunately we ended up with two wheels in the soft stuff and no momentum...we were stuck". Despite the welcome efforts of some of the competitors (Randy, Pablo, etc....thank you!) it wasn't until the arrival of the next-to-last VW GTI that the team was able to get a tug out of their predicament. 40 minutes were lost on the stage but the team was just glad to finish the day and head home.

Team RalliSpec will be spectating at STPR but should be back in action for Maine. See you there!
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Old 05-24-2001, 08:58 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 1057
Join Date: Mar 2000
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minneapolis, MN
2004 WRX STi
Very Yellow


Stuck? Get a Subaru!

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Old 05-24-2001, 01:01 PM   #3
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 572
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Boulder, Colorado

I hope I don't come across too harsh. I guess you don't know who Rallispec is. They're the preeminent Subaru people on the east coast. The quality of the work and help they provide to us Suby owners is above reproach. They built the Toyota themselves from the ground up and use it for a showcase as to the quality of their fabrication skills. Check out their website, I'm sure you'll like what they have to offer.

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Old 05-24-2001, 01:09 PM   #4
Jon Bogert
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 1133
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: SE PA
09 GTR, 02 996 C4S
95 993 C4, 71 911, 04 STI

Thumbs up

Anybody can make a Subaru into a good rally car--that wouldn't have been challenging enough for tecnicians of Rallispec caliber. So they chose about the most complex, heavy, difficult to work on AWD car ever made.
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Old 05-24-2001, 02:10 PM   #5
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 1057
Join Date: Mar 2000
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Minneapolis, MN
2004 WRX STi
Very Yellow


No Mark, you don't come across as too harsh, perhaps just a little obtuse. Seeing as how the boys at RalliSpec are presently prepping my WRX for rallying, I'm well aware of who they are and the caliber of work that they do.

I guess you don't know what the big grinning smiley face means. In this instance, it implies good natured ribbing with no real substantive inference that they should actually heed my obviously superior advice and acquire a Subaru instead of racing their Celica.
So, it's all good...


Edit: S P A C I N G

[This message has been edited by dch (edited May 24, 2001).]
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Old 05-24-2001, 03:44 PM   #6
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 1773
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NYC
1999 2.5 RS
Black Diamond Pearl


Too bad, guys. But as the tennis coach of my 2-11 tennis team once said, "It's not whether you win or lose, but if you're having fun!"

Hah, well, it's easier to say than hear.

But you're still making all of us non-rally-car-havin' blokes quite jealous. . .


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Old 05-24-2001, 05:02 PM   #7
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 2642
Join Date: Oct 2000
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Richmond, VA USA

Good work guys... I recommend normal saline IVs for you guys at you next event. a 3K bag for each should do nicely
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Old 05-25-2001, 05:01 AM   #8
Allergic to turbos
Member#: 181
Join Date: Aug 1999
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: MAIC & Southeast

How about contracting a Southerner to drive? We're quite used to the wicked heat.

Its 80 degrees right now! 8am!!!

Wish I could've driven up for the event. Maybe next year.
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