Black River Stages proved to be quite an attrition rally for AWD cars this year. On the very first stage, 4 cars were claimed when Peter Malaszuk/Dominik Jozwiak rolled their vehicle, Martin Egan/Jarrah Lankas hit a tree, Eric Wages/Sarah Montplaisir blew their motor, and Steven Czwalga/Steven Czwalga's rear differential failed in their AWD celica. Martin Donnelly/Jason Ollerenshaw led the rally in their open class Evo until they had an off and hit a tree.
Day 1 was particularly hard for us between mechanical setbacks and road penalties. We just didn't have time to give the car a proper shakedown before the event. As we were about to head to parc expose, we noticed that the new wheels we had weren't delivered to us with the right fitment, forcing us to run 1 set of previously used rally tires the entire event. Ended up off pace day 1, and to adding to what was turning out to be a comedic series of misfortunes , we were pulled over on transit from stage 5 to stage 6 for "insufficient tail lamps". That made us max late to the next stage contributing to over 4 minutes of penalties. At the end of day 1, we were 14th overall out of 27 starters.
lawlawlawl - if i got a ticket for insufficient tail lamps, i'd hate to think what the law would have done to Egan/Lankas.
Most teams probably would've just cruised to the finish, but I knew our team had more to offer, and so on day 2, we set off to get this rally done right. Don't call it a comeback. Over 8 stages, we clawed our way, corner to corner, from 14th overall to 4th overall. We took over 2 minutes back from AWD leader Hollen Groff/Aris Mantopoulous, passing them on stage 15 to take the overall AWD win in our stock heavy class evo.
I also want to congratulate all the first time driver/teams at Black River Stages this year; Josh Kramer; who took 1st in SL, Jim Guitar; 2nd in SL, Ryan Kramer/Jesse Lewis; 2nd in OpenAWD, and especially Brenden Belge/Matthew Norton, who joined us in a new rally evo and took 3rd in Open AWD; an excellent result for their first rally!
Our next rally will be Sep 28-29 in Prescott, AZ where Black Box rally team will be contesting the United States Rally Championship. (http://www.prescottrally.com
All photos credited to B Machin (firstname.lastname@example.org
). More pictures from this set here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 510&type=1