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The team of Dondlinger/Parps returned to action at Nemadji Trails #3, located in Duquette, MN. The conditions varied from mostly sunny to absolute downpour, which created quite a challenging rally.

The team had spent the last few months repairing the damage to our Mk.V GTI from the crash at Rally West Virginia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WzQm3j6hZA. This involved cutting off the roof and right side, and welding a donor body back on. Not a trivial task! A number of Volkswagen parts were provided by Motorville Volkswagen in Sheboygan, WI www.sheboyganvw.com. Also, we developed an adjustable brake bias system, which helps rein in the oversteer that the car has tended towards since the rebuild. The team participated at the GPTPR running Car 0 to help dial the car back in and regain confidence.

We started out this rally slowly to gain confidence in the car, and were sitting comfortably in second place in class. The tight course favored the quick shifting of the Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), but it didn’t look likely that we would catch Mark “pataket” Utecht, as he won the first stage handily. However, a cloudburst opened up between stages one and two, which caught the experienced team off guard. This lead to a big roll and retirement for Utecht/Bohn. Fortunately, no one was hurt. As the rally continued, the conditions continued to alternate between clear and sunny, and downpour. The final stage saw the heaviest rain during the whole event, and Dave cautioned to just bring it home in one piece. We finished first in class, which was a good return to competition for the team!

For anyone that hasn’t attended this rally, I would highly recommend it. It is a well run, low cost, high mileage event; and it is a lot of fun! We are looking forward to the Ojibwe Forests Rally, and now I can finally paint the car…

Many people helped out in the garage to make this happen: George Barton, Greg Nelson, Matt VanDyke, and Jake Henes. Our crew chief in charge for this rally was Heidi Dondlinger, with help from Varon and Gabriel Fugman

Photo Credit: Jerry Winker, www.comicozzie.com

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