pfr07_rspre.jpgRSport Rally driver Scott Trinder and navigator Bob Trinder finished the Pacific Forest Rally 3rd in class and 4th overall and second in the regional rally. PFR is part of the Canadian National Rally Championship and was Scott’s first rally since he competed in this event in 2005.

“Our plan was to finish this event. I have been out of the rally driver’s seat for two years and used this event as a warm up for 2008,” said Scott. Scott did more than warm up at this event he went out from the start setting competitive stage times and was up to 3rd overall by mid morning on day two.

“This rally was all about tyres and strategy. At the last minute I threw four Bridgestone Blizzak ice and snow tires in the truck before the rally,” said Scott. This decision allowed the team to push on day two where the first stage at 26km in length (run twice) gained the team over three minutes on their rivals and elevated their position to 3rd overall. “We punctured one of our ice tires on the second pass as the days sun had already melted the last 1/3 of stages snow exposing the jagged rocks to our street designed ice tires,” said Bob.

During the mid leg of the rally where the 5 stages were all gravel running at a lower elevation the team ran into some bad luck costing a lot of time. “On our second pass through the Comstock stage my navigator said “watch the rock” as I looked at the big rock thrown onto the road on my side of the car I hit the huge rock he had seen on his side. The impact was so great that the tire exploded and the rock put a 6 inch hole through the inside of the rim,” Said Scott. The team was forced to drive half of the stage with a flat tire and subsequently lost significant time reducing their cushion in 3rd overall.

Coming into the final 20 minute service the team had to decide how to run the final two stages which were repeats of the morning two stages where the team gained valuable time. The problem now for the team was tire choice. During the day the 26km stage was exposed to the sun allowing close to half of the stages snow cover to melt. “We had tires for two extremes and unfortunately not for the average conditions that the deciding stages would leave us with. If we ran our Bridgestone Blizzak snow tires which we now only had five of we would likely flat on the gravel portion which would cost us at least four minutes. If this happened again on the second pass we would have to run an odd ball gravel tire and lose another four minutes if another ice tire were to flat. Faced with the reality that the top national cars had the perfect tires for the conditions the team decided it was best to run on gravel tires. “Gravel tires provide no grip on the snow and ice; however, we felt this sacrifice would cost us a maximum of two minutes per stage and unfortunately 3rd overall. At the end of the first pass the team lost 1minute and 46 seconds, and after the second pass with more snow melt the team only lost one minute. “We made the right decision, to finish the rally with the least amount of time lost,” said Scott.

If the RSport Rally team had a compromise ice tire with rally tire side wall reinforcement like the teams ahead, the results of this rally would have likely seen the RSport Rally team on the podium.

“This event really emphasized what makes rallying so great – there were always surprises, diversity, and ever changing conditions. Strategy played such a huge role in the results. We had a great time at this event!” said Bob.

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