I was a spectator on day one. John Lane rolled in front of me 1 mile from end of stage 3, quite exciting to have a volvo chase you up into the woods. Heard that both were ok and john was showing off his new tan. The Wong's new Mini looked great even though they had some electrical problems, which they had ironed out by the end of the day. Except for a few mechanical problems, I think most everyone was doing well. Top of the speed charts had Hintz, Fuller, Wright and Streets. As for the spectating, it was great to see Wong's Mini, Jamie's wagon and a spectacular 67'Ford Cortina GT of Glenn Wallace. The car looked better than brand new and looked even better flying across the gravel (hope some good pics come out). It was good to see everyone out having a good time and can't wait till the next outing.:7
I saw Jamie's car hanging off a clif today! I'm pretty sure it was hers, it was blue with yellow flames and i think it was a wagon! So give us some info on what happened there Jamie! I had a great time flying through the stages in my volvo! Wow that car is really nice off road... I was honkin the horn so i wouldn't run anyone over lol.
1st. Scott Fuller in his new G2 GTi from Australia. It has about 240hp, 6 speed sequential gearbox box and he uses all of both!!! He was FLYING. The roads were SUBERB, and it was sunny and dry having rained the day before.
2nd. Paul Eklund in his WRX. Driving his usual clean, but not blistering fast pace. A spin, a new co-driver, and a desire for the WSRC win kept things in line.
3rd. The Hintz Brothers. Their Group 5 Mazda RX7 Turbo was flying as well. Extremely fast on the straights (radared at 109+ on Brooklyn Tavern East on Sunday)
4th Jay Streets. While the G5 Volvo was running.
5th Richard Buckner. Look out for this driver who is quick and consistent in his bright orange Subaru turbo
Day Two standings:
1st. Paul Eklund. The weather settled in with some drizzle, and Eklund was able to put some significant time on the field on the first two slickery stages using his Silverstone Rally tires (Compound 3 on the front to help in the mud). Car handled great. Set fastest time on Brooklyn up with a 7:12, but fresh, thick gravel and misty conditions kept all cars from nearing stage records.
2nd. The Hintz Brothers! With Fuller suffering a steering knuckle failure on Stage 1, the Hintz's kept the other 2wd drive cars at bay and finished about 16 seconds ahead of Buckner. They had a killer Brooklyn down run and apparently didn't slow or flinch on the bottom downhill even as they passed SubieGal's WRX perched on the edge of the hill...
3rd. Richard Buckner. Steady and fast.
Ross Foster was putting in a terrific run with his PGT 323 GTX until he spun it off on Smith Creek 1 and had to get yanked back onto the road by sweep....
>Ross Foster was putting in a terrific run with his PGT 323
>GTX until he spun it off on Smith Creek 1 and had to get
>yanked back onto the road by sweep....
Yeah, we are pretty good from yanking defeat from the jaws of victory. We were 20 seconds behind Paul and 40-50 seconds ahead of the Hintz brothers going into stage 4 when we spun and high-centered the car on a berm. Not that I am complaining about the berm; it stopped us from going down the cliff side.
At the Rocky Mountain Rally near Calgary last year (our third rally) we were second overall in the Regional when we high-centered the car on a snow bank. At the Pacific Forest Rally in BC, we were leading overall (plus had a ten minute advantage because the top three teams ahead of us had made the same check-in time error) when we DNFed after a series of tire failures. At Colorado Cog, we were second overall when, somehow, we got a puncture in the outside (of the turn that we were going around) sidewall and had to change the tire on stage.
Also, for those of you who came up behind us, I apologize for the triangle placement. I thought it would be visible were it was, but I neglected to take into account the rise just before the turn (and that I am taller than the triangle when sighting down the stage). It sounds like the workers were trying to slow you guys down anyway.
Congrats to Dave and Rick for the overall Doo *** series win.
About the middle of last week, we finally solved the brake problem we had
been having and could continue with the car prep for the event. It ended up
being something simple that both Greg and I had overlooked on more than one
occasion. Chalk one up to school of hard knocks and get on with the show.
Thursday, I was having a problem getting the engine to fire for the first
time. I spoke with Dave LaTourette from Davesport (the Autronic distributor
in the area) and he suggested that I change the coil packs (from a '95
Miata) to an MSD box and the 1.8 hall effect distributor. This meant a trip
to North Bend to pick one up (used) from Dave and a return to install it. I
got it installed and checked the rest of the system and everything seemed
OK, so I decided to power up the ECU and push the start button to see if
anything would happen. Luckily, it fired right up, much to my relief. I
call Dave back and tell him that I would like to schedule some tuning time
for friday at lunch time.
It isn't as easy as it sounds.....
I can't run the car with the 'baseline' map from the manual in it as it is
just too risky, so I have to head out to pick up Dave and his tuning
equipment in my streetcar and head back to install it all on the rally car.
I meet him at 8:45 at his place and head back home to get things set up. We
get all the equipment installed in about an hour (with a run to Radio Shack
and Shucks thrown in for good measure) and crank up the car. Again, it
fires right up and we start tuning once it is warm.
We back the car out of the garage and head for Dave's place (again). This
is the first time that the car has moved under it's own power since the new
engine was installed and we are figuring on a 2 hour round trip, plus about
2 hours tuning time. No testing, then a 4-hour road trip.....does this
sound like a bad idea to anyone???????
Oddly enough...we pull it off.
Dave is pressed for time and we only get it mapped to about 5000 rpm and
about 15 psi boost. The good news is that I will make the event. The bad
news is that I am basically having to drive with (literally) half throttle
for the entire weekend since as soon as I floor it, I hit the boost cut or
rev limit. It makes for an interesting challenge, to say the least.
I get back from North Bend (where it was snowing heavily) and Greg has
packed up almost everything for the weekend and we start loading the car and
waiting for Karen to get home to load the rest.
We hit the road about 5, just in time for BIG traffic. On the way down to
meet with Claire and Dennis Chizma, my cell phone rings.....it's Greg
We forgot the skid plate.......have to go back to get it.....CRAP !!!
Finally, we get the plate on and head back south. We arrive at the hotel
about 9pm tired and hungry. The car behaves itself and everything seems
normal.....except the alternator is charging at 14 volts.
Saturday morning we take the car to tech inspection and pass without issue.
We're ready to race.
The Terratrip decides that it wants to take the weekend off and refuses to
work. Despite trying to find the problem 3 or 4 different times and
completely re-wiring the system, we are without an odo for the event. This
is less than ideal, because Karen is in the 'silly seat' for the first time
and I was hoping to give her as much information to work with as possible.
Instead, we are basically 'flying blind' now.
Day one goes off without a hitch and we even have a chance to catch some
BEAUTIFUL scenery on the transit to the Quinault Reservation where some of
the stages are held. Beautiful area down that way.
We survive day one with just the usual rocks in the brakes and a spin by me
as a result of being a bit stupid. No damage done, just about 15 seconds
lost and pride damaged a little.
Sunday is the 'COOL' day of the event with the 'Brooklyn Tavern' and 'Smith
Creek' stages. Words do not do these justice, but they are an absolute
blast and are a hell of a challenge.
Again, no major dramas and Karen has figured out the notes so that she is on
time with ALL the calls and only loses her place once. She is a quick
learner and did a hell of a job all weekend.
On the Smith Creek stage, there is a long straight that leads into an
(almost) 90' left that is VERY fast. We are flying into the corner and I
throw the car in as Karen says 'isn't that Alan?' referring to the guy in
the silver suit holding a tow rope on the right side of the road. To make a
long story short....it was. Unfortunately, it didn't register until I had
the car straightened out after the corner and I could not back up on stage.
I had nothing to gain by NOT helping them since I was handicapped by the
fuel map situation, but I just saw them too late.
Sorry guys....they didn't tell me at the start of the stage to look for
someone off there, or I would have at least tried to get you out.
We run the last 2 stages and head for dinner with the usual report to Greg
and the rest of the service crew, which is 'no drama, just the usual rocks
in the brakes' and basically decide to just get to the finish.
Brooklyn Tavern is the last stage and it is now getting darker and a bit
foggy. I ran 8:02 on the first run through and was a bit disappointed that
I didn't break into the 7 minute bracket but not too bummed because I was
basically having to save the car. On the second run through, it was a moral
victory for us with a 7:54 still with only half throttle available. I'm
looking forward to that one again.
On the way to dinner, I check the voltmeter and it is now in the 'normal'
12.5 volt range.
We have a good dinner and tell lots of 'war stories' from the event with our
fellow competitors and have a lot of good laughs.
Heading home, Karen decides to ride with me in the rally car to make sure
that I am wide awake. We get to the on ramp for I-5 and I realize that
voltage is now about 12.0 volts and is not going to be coming back up. We
call Claire and Dennis in the tow rig and let them know that we have a
problem and we continue north.
Just below Olympia, the voltmeter is now reading 8 volts. It's clear that
we are not going to make it home. We pull into a shopping center to come up
with plan B which is basically trying to find a place to get a battery at
9pm on a sunday evening. Eventually we track down a Wal Mart 3 exits up the
road and get a new battery. Greg and I wait with the car while they get the
battery with the service truck. This is no fun....
We put the new one in and it is reading 12.5 volts and the car fires right
up. North we go, but with no lights on in the rally car, only the ECU and
fuel pump. Not the preferred method of travel, especially in the
rain.....but it's working.
About 20 minutes out of the shopping center we go past a cop. The service
truck is up front, I am in the middle with the rally car, and Greg is at the
rear guard. I see the cop and flip the lights on. He pulls out anyway and
chases us down. He pulls in behind me, but does not turn his lights on.
Eventually, he pulls alongside, glances over (as if reading the names on the
window) and (I guess) finds out that the registration matches the name on
the window and he goes on his way.
We dodge a bit of a bullet there.....
I leave the lights on the rest of the way home except for short distancs
where I am the only one on the road. It works. I get in about 11:45 and
park the car.
All in all, a GREAT event and a fun weekend except for the trip home.
Now, I just have to change the alternator and hopefully everything will be
back to 'normal'
I would be remiss if I didn't say thanks one more time to the following
Greg Knepper (crew chief) for working tirelessly to help get the car done in
Karen Avila (my wife) for giving it a try (and LIKING it)
Claire and Dennis for their usual great support in service
Dave LaTourette for tuning it the day before the event
Jay Woodward for the set of plug wires for troubleshooting
there are others, I'm sure.......
Day one. Newbie gets to last stage of the day, doing very well, top ten at least, when navvie says "ok, no instructions for a while, you're on your own" and I let the low angle sun distract me long enough to go wide into ditch, carom vertical onto front bumper, and down onto wheels. Thank you trees, for keeping us from going down the exposure. Who says GTX are delicate, we broke nothing important and went really surprisingly fast on day 2. I think I actually beat Senor Foster by a second on the last stage. He musta been slacking off, just cruisin'...Mad mad props to my pressed-into-service-at-the-very-last-minute codriver and service crew, Kathyn and Steven, without whom I'd prolly still be lost out in the woods. And I'd be remiss if I didn't thank John Lane, again, for the tremendous amount of work he's helped me with on getting the car ready.--Jay W. #335 --coming back in something cheap and in gp5 if I can get my wife to codrive...
Since I blew the motor at stage 1 flying finish, our team had the chance to marshal instruction #4 on Brooklyn West. To our horror, we saw Jamie sliding fast towards HUGE exposure on the outside of instruction #3. The "wagon-end" beat the front-end to the edge of the road, then the front lifted up before the car slid backwards down the embankment out of view. (we feared it had rolled all the way down, yikes!) Fortunatley, the car came to rest just below the road, pointing almost straight up, held there by only a small rootball. Driver and co-driver where scrambling out as help arrived, both OK (whew, what a close call). She was even able to drive the car to the finish party after Kevin, Bigfoot and others masterfully pulled it out.
As most of you know, we had teething problems with the car on Saturday. The first gremlin of the day surfaced when the car refused to slow down before the acute left in front of the spectators. Since I'd not had a chance to shake down the car prior to the rally, I learned the hard way that I'd forgoten to deactivate the ABS system. Fortunately no one was in the way of harm but quite a few people got a really good look at the car up close! Thanks to all the workers who replaced the barrier tape we took with us on our way out!
Our second problem was the sudden loss of power on stage three. After hearing a loud "bang!" on stage (whether from a stone hitting the skid plate or the stock struts bottoming out) the car sputtered to a stop and would not restart. Try as we might, Felix and i could not find a mechanical problem and deduced it was electrical. By the time sweep came through we decided it was best to return to service at the end of a tow rope (thanks Kevin!) Todd and Pete isolated the culprit as the inertia switch which had conviniently decided to hide itself in the dark recesses of the car's jam- packed engine bay, not to be found until later that night well after the end of the last stage. We ended up hotwiring the fuel pump and finished the last 3 stages of the day despite being time barred.
Day two went much more smoothly with none of the problems that plagued us on the first day. After dialing in the tire pressures (after a harrowingly slippery first stage) we were able to get in the groove and enjoyed ourselves immensely on the Brooklyn and Smith Creek stages. Fortunately, these stages were smoother than the previous as our skid plate had decided to conform itself to the undercarriage over the course of the weekend and the stock struts had done a number on the strut towers. In the end we finished with a satisfying 2nd place in Production on Sunday.
Thanks go out to all the workers who stood out in the rain while my brother and I had our fun this weekend. Your work is much apprciated!
Thanks also to Pete, Todd, and Mark of Cascade Autosport for keeping us in the running and doing a fantastic job building the car!
And finally, since we were running without a computer, a huge thanks to BMW for putting the odo and speedo in the center of the MINI's dash so that my co-driver could reach it!
DooWops 3/4 where the 3rd rally for my golf and we continued to learn about the things that need more develuopment.
Since Mt Trails in Canada I have gone to much larger brakes and am using Portifield Carbon Kevlar pads to make up for the serious fade we had before, I also replaced all the front susspinsion rubber with spherical berrings as we destroyed the new factory ones in just 2 days of rallying.
In Canada we has a small mis-fire on the last 2 stages and I worked hard to find the root of that problem. Testing prior to the DooWops could not recreate the problem. It is just imposible to drive a rally car flat out for any time on non closed roads.
Testing prior to the rally gave me confidance in the car, it was stopping very well and handeling was much improved with the removal of all the rubber up front. The new Black Rocket Rally Tires also felt good.
We had a bit of a scare 10 min prior to our out time at MTC 1, the car would not start and most of the service crews had left the start by this time. Dennis Chizma came to the rescue and we learned water had gotten into the fuel pump relay - we jumpered it and got the car going with 42 seconds to go before our out time - we just made it.
Stage 1 started well, the car was going well and I drove hard right from the start. We lacked top speed for this stage and spent a lot of time at 7000 RPM in 5th gear, changing the final drive is on the to do list. We ended the stage in 3rd Gp2 not very far off the pace set by the Bebe's in second.
Stage 2 was OK we had just a hint of mis-fire on the stage and I had to turn the car off and on during the hill-climb to get power back. We gained 1 second on the Bebe's and I think lost one second to some other Gp2 cars, still in 3rd Gp2 I think.
Off the stage I tried to find the root of the mis-fire but again could not get it to repeat.
The next 3 stages would basicaly be the same - we would start well but 2-3 miles into the stage the car would have a huge mis-fire and we would stop, get out and yell at, plead with, threten and beat the car till it would start again and drive out of the stage.
During service we changed the Distributor, the ECU, The Hall Sender, the Ignition Box, Checked the Fuel Mix, cut a hole in the exaust before the cat...
This motor is compeatly stock. During one of our stops I could see we started to set the grass on fire so I got under the car to clear the cat. We also melted part of the floor pan, a jacket and all the shift linkage due to the glowing over heated catalitic converter. It got so hot it melted the outlet weld right off and broke the exaust in two.
Due to these experiances I must say I question the idea of cats on these cars, very very bad expriance for me, scary hot. Basicaly the mis-fire got the car running rich causing the cat problems. I hope the cat's lurch is working on will be less dangerous.
Anyway we made it out of the last stage the car quit compeatly right in front of our service team so we got to the last MTC on the end of a tow rope. At least we finished.
After finishing I went to work on the car, I rewired all the ECU systems, motor grounds, replaced the coil, sparkplugs, sparkplug wires, checked the fuel pressure... I could see the misfire was only on #2 and #4 but nothing seemed to make it 100% better. At around 10PM I had the car running much better and took it out and tested as much as I could on public roads - it look OK so we would start the next day.
Due to our lackluster performance on day one we started 3rd from last on the road for Sunday - I knew if the car was running we would be doing a lot of passing.
We start the first stage to a new car lots of power and going good, we passed the car on the stage prior to us after about 4 miles. This is grate we are charging very hard I think I am seeing the next car on the stage ahead. I however do not quite get a "straight over crest INTO hard right" I hear the straight over crest part but mised the into stuff so I go wide and off the road a bit. We understeer over some logs and though a ditch. I thought for sure we broke the car but everything is fine and some spectators come to get us back on the road, we get passed back by the car we passed as we are getting pushed back onto the road. After getting the belts back on we take off again to catch the car ahead just prior to the finish. We had a bit of missfire at the end and we are overheating a lot.
Becca and I loved that stage it was so fun. The Black Rocket Tires worked better than the Michelins I used befor here and I could not belive they did not de-bead when I knocked them hard on the logs and ditch, when we got to service we had lots of gravel and tree branches in the bead but it held its air - I did not notice any performance problems with it at all but John Lane (servicing for us sunday) told us to change it anyway.
We re-timed the car to try to get rid of the over heating and again it started well. On the stage we passed the Cortina after about 4 or 5 miles. The car was missfireing from about mile 2 on but I kept off the power a bit and it looked like it would be OK. However at the end of the stage the car loss all power on the up hill to the finsish and died. The Cortina drove by just as the car restarted and we drove in 1st gear for the last mile of the stage.
At service we changed a hose that melted and added more coolent. The car ran fine for the transit to Brooklyn and I figured if we could make it to the top of the stage prior to overheating we would be OK.
I got to show off for the start crew, as the shift linkage had melted down sat - I was having problmes finding gears all day, at the start I got reverse not 1st, ops. I found 1st and got under way. Full atack on the stage. The car did not start to mis-fire until we entered the main spectator area where we again caught the car in front of us. It seemed like we where a full 15 seconds a mile faster than any of the 3 cars we started behind on Sunday. I started to look to pass but the mis-fire got so bad we could only make 20-30 MPH for the rest of the stage. We basicaly coasted down and called it a day.
Thanks to the workers and organizers, we had a blast. Also thanks to E.J., John Lane, and Dennis Chizma for the service. Thanks also to everyone who gave advice and tried to help with the car or with parts. Special Thanks to the Wongs who lent us at ODO as ours died Sat.
When we had power I drove better than ever before. Becca and I got a lot more seat time together and improved all weekend on the navagation. Having so little power made me carry a lot more speed in the corners and I got very clean on my lines.
It looks like we are going to re-shell and repower the car prior to our next event. The experiance we have gained with this car has been invaluable and we hope to be compeative and sorted out by the end of the year. The tires worked very well on this event and are in as new condition so I will run them for at least another rally.
So, I get this e-mail Thursday morning that some guy needs a co-driver and would I be interested. Never heard of the guy, but he knows rally people, so I consider. Can I change my plans, can I get time off work, what's the car like, who is this guy . . .? He doesn't have a computer in the car, and mine's on order from Great Britain. Voila, about 15 minutes into my decision-making process, my new computer arrives at work. It's surely a sign! So I agree to co-drive.
We pick the car up at John Lane's Friday at 2:00 and I meet Jay for the first time. He tells us what's left undone after Rally Sprints and we make our own notes, too. Traffic is the usual, then a stop at Home Depot for windshield washer hose, a second fire extinguisher & mounting bracket, spare car key, contact paper for numbers and backers, and a bunch of other last minute stuff.
Get into Aberdeen about 6pm and go see Navonne and her crew, work feverishly on the car, then off to Scrutineering. My accurately set wristwatch chimes 8:00pm on the way over to Tech. A few nervous moments for the anxietous co-driver who would like to have everything on the car be perfect, but the car passes tech without any incident (me nervous for nothing!)
Back to collect my route book and spend two more hours installing the computer and marking my route book. My Service Manager, Steve R. Perret is a genius with both mechanical and electrical systems, got me both the computer and an intercom installed in the car, as well as seeing to our other mechanical needs. My folks were there, too, providing care and feeding of a certain co-driver, as well as tending to other odd tasks.
Jay did a great job all weekend! He caught on really quickly, listened well, and drove the car like an pro! Kinda fun to be with, too. We turned some pretty respectable times on all the stages. Well, except for that little sun-blinded excursion into the ditch and through the trees with a fancy pirouette on Saturday! Thanks to Kevin for quickly and gently urging the car out, so we could carry on. Darn, didn't have time to get the video cam mounted!
This turned out to be a bit of a Cinderella story for Jay and the mighty 323. We started 33rd the first day, then even with our little adventure on Saturday, we were placed 12 on the road for Sunday, then moved up another couple of spots throughout the day. Turning in a 4th Place Overall, and 1st NWR Class III in his first effort . . . an excellent result!
I'm glad I got the call and took the chance on this newbie . . . it was a rewarding experience! Thanks, Tina.
Thanks to all the organizers and workers. And especially thanks to Ray, who keeps this great event going every year. Thanks for securing us such neat roads to race on! We are so blessed in NWR to have these wonderful people who enjoy putting on rallies so we can go run them. If you're ever without a ride for an event, please offer to work. They can always use the help, and it's a good experience.
And if you ever want to go for a hot air balloon ride, look up Balloon Depot out of the Snohomish airport . . . that's Jay's business.
co-driver at large ~
hoping the rally car gets finished in time for Reno
Going down the hill on Brooklyn the first time through, I saw you in my mirror in the distance. I said to Mom, "ain't no way I'm getting caught AGAIN, I'm going for it!" and keep the pedal to the metal all the way down the hill. I lost sight of you, but figured you were back there somewhere, so I kept on it until the finish, and then you didn't show up! I worried that you had had a problem, but figured that there were a few people behind us that could help you out, not to mention the eight million spectators (exaggeration), so didn't worry too much. Seeing your car behind me was inspirational!