Last Ditch Racing headed to the beautiful Laurentian region North of Montreal for round 4 of the Canadian Rally Championship, Rallye Defi-St. Agathe.

Driver/owner John Cassidy was joined by co-driver Dr. Jennifer Daly for this event. Recce went smoothly, and Friday’s smooth, short stages were seeing the crew get used to each other and some recent modifications to the car.

It all went pear-shaped when the team refueled the car prior to embarking on the last few stages of the evening. Shortly after exiting the refuel area, the car died. Cassidy attempted to troubleshoot, but other than cranking the car and popping the hood to look for loose wires, there wasn’t much to do.

Being just outside the service area, the crew opted to get pushed back in for repairs/troubleshooting and take a penalty for illegal servicing. Hoping to get back to the parc expose in downtown Ste. Agathe on time, members of several rally teams swarmed over the car. It was determined that the the recent fueling was to blame and the fuel tank was drained, showing a large amount of water in the fuel. A new fuel filter was sourced from the Subaru Canada support truck and the team was on their way to expose. The team had filled some fuel jugs from a half full barrel back at the shop, and the only explanation was that rain water found it’s way into the drum.

Unfortunately for the team, although they had arrived at parc expose 22 minutes prior to their assigned out time, they had accrued maximum permitted lateness for the entire event. The Stewards informed the team that they would not be able to restart the second and final portion of the event on Saturday.

Said Cassidy, “Fielding a rally team is a huge endeavor on many levels for all competitors. Crew had flown in for the event from opposite ends of the continent, 100’s of hours of car prep had gone into making sure the car was perfect. Te be struck down by something that was essentially non-rally related was heart wrenching for me as a team principal. Telling the team we were out was one of the most difficult announcements I’ve made to them in some time. We loaded a car that was ready to race back on the trailer and headed out for a late dinner. There was no other alternative, and at the end of the day, that’s rally.”

Not a team to dwell on the negative, the LDR service crew volunteered to fettle the Washpa Rally Team’s Toyota MR2 for Saturday’s stages. Cassidy hit the stages with pro photographer Mark Fleming and found out how difficult it is to catch rally cars in action-especially on a rainy day!

Last Ditch Racing would like to thank Jen Daly for strapping in the right seat and bringing chocolate chip cookies! We’d also like to thank Iain from Planet Motorsport, Karl Sprongl and Steward Ho from CanJam Motorsports for their help in the service park Friday night. We’d also like to thank crew on hand for the event: Duncan Matlack, Dave Getchell and Ken Anctil.

The team’s next event will be Rally of the Tall Pines and possibly the LSPR rally in the UP of Michigan in October.

Last Ditch Racing would like to thank their 2008 Partners for their support:

Triple Caution, LLC, http://www.triplecaution.us
Hydra EMS, http://www.hydraems.com
Team O’Neil Rally School, http://www.teamoneil.com
Mark Fleming

For more information on Last Ditch Racing, please visit: http://www.lastditchracing.com
To Purchase Last Ditch Racing Gear, please visit: http://www.cafepress.com/lastditchracing
For more information on the Rallye Defi-St. Agathe, please visit: http://www.rallyedefi.com/

Photo Copyright Mark Fleming 2008

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