After finishing the 2008 Western Canada Rally Championship as Overall, Novice, and P4 champions, team Hardyboy Racing was ready to defend their title(s) at the opening round of the 2009 WCRC season, the Cochrane Winter Rally. And defend them they did, earning first Overall as well as first in the Production GT class!

The Cochrane Winter Rally is based out of Cochrane, Alberta (30km west of Calgary), held over various provincial and oilfield roads throughout the forest reserve region. Typically held in late March, the event organizers moved the date earlier than usual in hopes of having a true winter event. Surface conditions ended up being treacherous, with gravel in some spots, hard packed snow in others, and polished ice where the sun had shone. Hardy was confident in the team’s abilities, reasoning that, “competing at Perce Neige was great practice that should allow us to be fighting for a podium this weekend!”

With many teams who had previously ran the series moving into faster cars for the season, driver Hardy Schmidtke and co-driver Adam Vokes knew they’d be in for a challenge. Both were determined to get a head start in the event by coming out of the hole fast; the plan worked well, with the team winning both of the first two stages. At the end of the day Hardyboy Racing had won nine out of fourteen stages outright, finishing with a lead of over two minutes on their next closest competitor. The event was not without peril however, with the team losing twenty seconds of time on stage eleven due to a spin into a snow bank. Luckily enough, after a ten point turn, the team was able to continue on.

The Hardyboy Racing team will next be competing at the Rocky Mountain Rally, based out of Calgary, Alberta on May 29th thru 30th. This is the second round of both the Western Canada Rally Championship and Canadian Rally Championship. Hardy and Adam are expecting excellent results, hoping to capitalize on their momentum and beat their previous national fifth place overall (and third place regional) finish at the event.

Image Copyrights: Andrew Snucins,
Photo: Hardyboy Racing in their 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX at the 2009 Cochrane Winter Rally



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