Photo by Seana Rutherford
Tached-Out Racing is Now Currently in 1st Place for the Northwest Region OL Championship After Finishing 2nd in OL at both Regional rallies of the recent Rally America Olympus Stage
Building on their successful start of the year, driver and owner Corey Salsbery and his co-driver Mike Milos put a great deal of effort in making improvements to the car leading up the two regional Open Light class rallies September 22 and 23 at Shelton WA. The improvements were evident and a very successful recce of the stages was accomplished prior to official start of the rally. Because of recent fire dangers, Olympus Rally started very early that Saturday morning, ran until noon, took a long break before running five stages in the evening after dark, and held one stage on Sunday.
For the first regional rally, the team did some suspension changes prior to the start of the Stage 1 and suffered some evil handling characteristics limiting their stage time. However, after quickly undoing these changes in service they had very successful results in Stage 2 and Stage 3. By the time of the storied Nahwatzel Stage 4, the team had got into a good rhythm and quickly progressed down the stage only to run into some issues in an area where many teams suffered problems. These issues eventually lead to losing their entire exhaust and a bending a front strut. The team returned to service with the handily out of kilter and deafening noise in the car. The service team Lawrence and Kyle had the afternoon to get the car ready for the evening stages. When the scores were posted, the team was in a solid second place in class for the first regional rally.
Night stages are not run often in the US, even at the National level, so most drivers have limited experience in the dark. The night stages started with a special stage using a large part of the Ridge Motorsports road course for the spectators, then moving out into the woods. Because of its morning success, the team moved up in the start order and was warned not to cut corners or pull gravel on to the road course. Cory shared their dramatic experience:
“We took the stage easy because many of the cars in front of us had left gravel on the course which made things very slippery. We returned to service for a very quick tire change prior to going back into the woods. We got to the start of Taylor Towne Stage 6, and as we lined up, there was a lot of confusion with the timing but we got away from the start and immediately experienced amounts of hanging dust because of the night still air. This dust situation made driving at competition speed really challenging. Towards the end of the stage things improved and we were glad to finish. We transited to the start of Coqualum Stage 7 thinking the dust would be an issue-and it was until the last part of stage where we were able to progress at a pretty good rate. There were some issues with a car off the road on Stage 8 which delayed that stage and Stage 9 so both were cancelled for all cars. So our night ended well after midnight after only running three stages.”
The next day, with only one stage on the schedule, Corey and Mike were excited for another chance at this 20-mile stage. Mike recalls the excitement:
“When we started off on the transit, we were 11 seconds out of third with the first place car starting in front of us. We were confident that we could make up the time. About half down the stage we caught the car in front of us. They had suffered a flat and stopped to change the tire. They graciously waited and let us pass them before restarting. So that put us in third place for sure. The car in third also suffered delays on stage, so we passed them as well this moved us into second place for the second regional bringing a great end to our weekend. We packed up after returning to service and went to the well-deserved awards banquet.”
Corey and Mike thanked many people for the weekend.
“First the organizers, who put on a fantastic rally even with the limitation on stage usage because of the fire hazards; all the volunteers that came out to staff and work the stages so we could do what we love; PREracing.com for their support; our Service Team Lawrence and Kyle, who kept us on the road all weekend; and last but not least, TAG Rally Sport, which allowed us to be part of their pits.”
Now the team is working on plans to defend their Northwest Regional OL championship points lead at the last regional rally left in the season at Mt. Hood.