week leading up to the rally was hectic to say the least. Our
new engine started for the first time at 1:30 am on the Sunday
morning of the Rally Sprint at Bushy Park. We managed only one
run there due to a stripped gearbox mount bolt, and alternator
belt problems. A helicoil cured the stripped bolt, and a different
alternator bracket sorted the belt issue. Then we had to wire
in an override for the radiator fan, which seemed to be cutting
in automatically at too high a temperature etc etc. Pace notes
were completed on the day before the rally.
Saturday morning finally came and we were all set. We decided
to take it easy for the first few stages and get used to the
car. A number of changes had been made including a new engine,
LSD that actually worked, suspension changes and tyres we
had never driven on before. SS 1 and 2 were taken relatively
easy without taking any chances, and the car felt great. Pushing
a little harder in SS3 (Pickerins) resulted in us over-shooting
the left turn into Hope Road at the end of the long straight.
Yes, the black lines heading towards River bay were ours!
car was very forgiving, the tyres seemed to be up to the task,
and the LSD, in spite of keeping me very busy, was working
a treat. We pushed a bit harder from here on, and were rewarded
with some good stage times, making up the time we lost on
the first few stages to end up provisional group leaders at
the end of route 1. Unfortunately, it went down hill from
there. On SS10 we broke a CV joint exiting the triangle. We
got a tow back to Simpson Motors service from there after
the stage had closed ( thanks Mike Ward)and decided to change
both axles to be safe. With everything changed, tightened
and topped up, we put the fog lights on, tested them and jumped
in the car to re-join the rally to find that the ECU was dead.
An early end to a very promising run.
I would like to thank:
My wife and son for their support and understanding in the
week leading up to the rally, and their roll as pit crew on
the event itself.
My brother and Co-Driver for keeping me on my toes.
My sponsors Crane & Equipment, Ravensden, AutoZone and
Garbage Gobbler for their invaluable assistance.
The event sponsors, marshals, organizers, police and officials
who helped make the rally possible.
My fellow competitors for making it fun and challenging.