Kenton Service, following Stage 3
There is neither internet nor cell coverage in Kenton, so your intrepid MaxAttack! reporters have to drive about 12 miles down the road to the town of Sidnaw and use a borrowed MiFi to make updates. So there won't be much this first night.
The mud of Stage 3, Beacon Hill, has been a focal point. Seasoned veterans described the stage as one of the most muddy and treacherous they have ever seen. In Kenton it is still around 42 degrees, raining hard, and the wind is a little less vigorous than Houghton (but it is still turning umbrellas inside out). Stage 3 was run in daylight, but all the rest of stages on Friday will be run in the dark.
-Car 92, the Group 2 Hyundai Tiburon of Derek McCorison and Paul Johansen said the car is going well, and that Beacon Hill had "the worst mud ever." They were worried throughout the stage about getting stuck. McCorison said the Hyundai is an awesome rally car. After three stages they are ninth in Group 2 and tenth in MaxAttack!.
-Car 128, the Production class Mazda RX-7 of Mychal Summers and Ryan DesLauriers report that the car is holding together, and that Beacon Hill was wetter than they expected. They are glad the event has returned to a two-day format. Being a local team out of L'Anse, they are pumped to have friends and family at the event supporting them. They are currently holding down 2nd in Production class, 18th in MaxAttack!.
-Jeff Secor, co-driving for Chris Czyzio (pronounced Czyzio) in the #244 Group 2 Volvo, says that he has never seen a stage as muddy and slippy as Beacon Hill. He also reports the team did not make the best tire choice, only adding to their woes. They are one spot behind the McCorison/Johansen Hyundai after three stages.
-Matti Himes, co-driving for brother Silas in the #535 Honda Civic, reports that Beacon Hill was a wet mud pit. It was fun, and was "the sort of stage that will make a man out of you." He also said that mud takes the "snort" out of the motor. After three stages they are maintaining an excellent second overall, just 22 seconds out of first.
-The team with the lone truck entered in the event, the #262 GMC Sonoma of Steve Brockelman and Dustin Masters, report that the truck is running well, and nothing is broken. They said that Beacon Hill was so muddy they just kind of limped through. They say the Sonoma makes an awesome rally vehicle; they are currently leading Production class.
-Jake Blattner says that the heated windscreen in the #600 Ford Fiesta is just not keeping up with the fogging that happens on a drenched rally like this. He says that he and Dillon Van Way did their best to keep it wiped down while sliding through Beacon Hill.
-Joseph Burke and Alex Kihurani are also "fighting the fog" in their #115 Ford Fiesta R2. There is still no heat in the car, though the defroster blower does blow cold air. This car is the same car that Chris Duplessis took to the MaxAttack! win at the New England Forest Rally earlier this year.
-Brothers Mark and John Huebbe are just amazed at the lack of traction in their classic VW Beetle. The team suffered a seized front caliper yesterday as they were heading to the shakedown stage. They got the caliper freed, but had to weld up new custom mounts to the suspension to get it mounted again. They said that the car danced back and forth while driving down even the straightest sections of Beacon Hill.
-We have a report that Erik Hill and Oliver Cooper in the #864 Eagle Talon are out with a broken axle on Beacon Hill. We'll try to get the rest of the story when we see them.
-Yesterday we reported that the classic Datsun 510 (#510) of Jim Scray and Colin Vickman was smoking a bit at the shakedown. Jim tells us that the culprit was a bad transmission seal, but that they were able to fix it. They are having fun and are moving well in the rear wheel drive beast.
-The super-fast Canadian brothers Jan and Jody Zedril are leading MaxAttack! after 3 stages in the #708 Mitsubishi Lancer. After the soaking rain, the notes for Green Acres just didn't fit their pace well, so Jody rewrote them on the first pass and got something more to Jan's liking for the second pass.
-Billy Mann and Mary Warren report extremely soupy conditions as well in their #37 Honda Civic. Billy slid wide at one turn and hit the grass with a bit of force. He thought maybe he had a flat tire after that, but it was actually just the lack of traction making forward progress very hard-earned.
-Matt and Andrew Bushore have managed to get three flat tires in three stages in their #548 VW Jetta! The first came when they hit the big hole at turn one on Green Acres 1. The second came on the transit after SS2, and they scored one more on Beacon Hill. They are continuing thanks to the MaxAttack! generosity of Billy Mann, as Billy loaned him some wheels to continue.
-Cameron Steely and Josh Buller report some drama in the first three stages. After doing a "tank slapper" in their #824 Ford Focus they suffered a broken brake hose to the right front caliper on SS3 (Beacon Hill). They nursed the car back to Kenton service, pinched off the brake line, and are continuing on three brakes. They're hoping to score a new hose and line to restore full braking for tomorrow.
-Paul Donlin and Jonathan Tinsey, the #666 Ford Escort, broke a water pump belt but were able to limp back to service. There did not seem to be any engine damage, and the team was working to free the water pump to install a new unit before heading out to Stage 4.
The standings following Stage 3 are:
1. Zedril/Zedril (Mitsubishi Lancer) 13:33
2. Himes/Himes (Honda Civic) 13:56
3. Burke/Kihurani (Ford Fiesta) 13:59
4. Van Way/Blattner (Ford Fiesta) 14:13
5. Greenhouse/Johnson (Plymouth Neon) 14:22
6. Mann/Warren (Honda Civic) 14:43
7. Bushore/Bushore (VW Jetta) 14:47
8. Scray/Vickman (Datsun 510) 15:06
9. Huebbe/Huebbe (VW Beetle) 15:28
10. McCorison/Johansen (Hyundai Tiburon) 16:06
11. Czyzio/Secor (Volvo 240) 16:22
12. Brockelman/Masters (GMC Sonoma) 16:37
13. Steely/Buller (Ford Focus) 16:40
14. Seppanen/Clark (Nissan 240SX) 17:02
15. Chernick/Conte (VW Golf) 17:11
16. Donlin/Tinsey (Ford Escort) 17:22
17. Holder/Payeur (Plymouth Neon) 17:26
18. Summers/DesLauriers (Mazda RX-7) 17:51
19. Grenwis/Burkholder (VW GTI) 22:10
20. Yahner/Benusa (VW Golf) - no score card received, assumed DNF
21. Hill/Cooper (Eagle Talon) DNF (half-shaft)
This just in: Car 548, the Matt Bushore/Andrew Bushore VW Jetta, was forced to withdraw from the rally after Stage 4. Their car lost fourth gear, and it was determined that there was too much damage to the gearbox to continue. They do not expect to contest Saturday's rally.
Cars will be returning for another service in Kenton in about half an hour.