rc07_fitpost.jpgRally Colorado, based out of the resort town of Steamboat Springs, CO, marked the 8th round of the Rally America National Championship. As the penultimate round of the Rally America National Championship, Rally Colorado saw teams make their last push for championship points before the season finale in Houghton, MI, in October.

“Rally Colorado is an important rally for our Flatirons Tuning Rally Team each year. This is our home event and we bring out all of our friends, family, sponsors, and support staff and try to make the rally special. Adding to the importance of the rally for us this year was our desire to rebound from the disappointing finish we had at Ojibwe last month,” stated co-driver Scott Crouch.

Based on the high mountain roads of Northwestern Colorado, Rally Colorado challenges teams with a combination of high speed and technical stages mixed with high altitude and its horsepower sapping impact. “Rally Colorado is tricky, some of the stages are so fast that you really need all the power you can get, especially at altitude, which can be really hard on the motors. As a driver, you really have to concentrate and not get lulled by the speed in the really fast sections or back off and give up too much time. It is really a very difficult rally,” commented Flatirons Tuning driver Stephan Verdier.

For the Boulder, CO, based Flatirons Tuning Rally Team, Rally Colorado got off to a great start. After taking stage class wins in 4 of the first 5 stages (Special Stage 4 was cancelled) the Flatirons Tuning Rally Team headed in to the longest stage of the rally with a lead of only 1.8 seconds. On special stage 7, however, mechanical problems struck the Flatirons Tuning Rally Team with a failing Y-Pipe. The failed Y-Pipe caused power loss and necessitated on-stage repairs. After loosing time on the remaining stages of Day One the Flatirons Tuning duo dropped to 4th, over 4 minutes back from the new class leader in Production GT.

Day Two greeted the competitors with lower temperatures and rain, making for muddy and exceptionally challenging roads. Undaunted by the conditions, the Flatirons Tuning Rally Team set out to chase down 3rd place and the last podium position for the rally. After taking 4 stage class wins on the 5 stages run on Sunday the Flatirons team was able to make up over 1 minute on 3rd place showing promise that if they had a clean mechanical run that they could have challenged for the class win, but had to resign themselves to 4th in class as the deficit from day one was too large to overcome.

“This has been a difficult season for us. I think we have proven that we can be the class of the field and win rallies in our class, but we haven’t had the consistency we needed to have to challenge for the championship. We’ll take the car back to Flatirons Tuning and evaluate our options for the last round of the championship. Right now it looks like we can’t improve our championship position but we would really like to win a rally with all of the championship contenders having a problem-free rally,” said Crouch after the rally.

Photo: Kevin Hahn/KevinHahnPhotography.com



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