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My rally life is now one year old! I went to Houghton in '04 as a spectator for my first rally experience ever. I left saying I was going to build a car and have some fun. I came this year with the car and 1 event under my belt(Ojibwe).
I got into Houghton on Thurs afternnon after the 8-9 hour drive north and finished registration and hotel stuff. I put the decals on as my first crew member shows up, Dave Johnson from Flint MI and we get the car through tech with no issues. My second crew member shows up, Ben Slocum, and everything is looking good.
I meet my co-driver, Tracy Payeur, at the seed 8 "rookie" class and hear all the stories Steve Gringass can tell us in 2 hours. Good stuff! Tracy heads back to prep the route book and I just try to relax. Parc Expose is the longest time I have ever spent in my life! We are finally off to the first stage and we can finally relax, it's amazing how much better you feel once the car is rolling. We start stage 1, Herman, and Tracy is calm and calling corners right on time. We come up on her brother-n-laws, Erik and Micah Payeur, off the road. We try to yank them out without success and head off with the Nelson/Messler Probe on our butt. We put 18 sec. back on the probe, but know we just lost a minute to our fellow G2 teams. We cruise through the nights stages just having a good time and keep the car out of the trees. We finish 7th in class without any scratches or breaks and are happy with that, but as I scan the times I know we can move up tommorrow.
We get going early Sat. morning, give the car a quick wash and look over when we get to Parc. The mine is a really cool place! We hear all the horror stories of Gratiot lake before we head out and plan to just stay safe and consistant. As we get going at Gratiot we start seeing cars off hear and there. Thanks Dave C. for leaving just enough room in front of the VW for us to sneek through at speed! We get to Delaware 1 and the nerves start up, Fast roads and lots of fans. No problems though and still having a good time. Service was non-eventful, gas and go. Burma was rough! still no problems, but it got our attention. The down hill right onto pavement is kicka$$! And now we are at Brockway. All the video, all the stories do not do it justice. That was just plain fun and we ran a really good time. Delaware II went a little faster, more brick less brake! Service 2 was gas and go, still no problems. We did look at the scores and realized that we were 3rd in class and 4 secs from 2nd and 28 secs from 1st. Tracy sees my look and tells me to just FINISH. Burma II goes real well and we pull into 2nd with a 30+ sec lead over 3rd but lose 3 secs to 1st. We thought everything is good at the final service but notice 2 bubbles in the sidewall of the left front, I guess they were serious about the rock cautions, we do a quick change and head out for the final 2 stages content with holding 2nd in class. Delaware III goes really well and the spectators seem to appreciate the effort Tracy is giving her horn button! We get to Gratiot Lake II knowing it will be nasty and slick from the days rain and plan on just finishing. As we get going we're right, slick and rough, we see 2 cars off on one corner (sorry to see you there Dan!) and then we see the Koll/Wappler car off and them cheering us on! (great sports) If we can only finish with a decent time, we'll win our class in our second weekend out. With about 2 miles left the rally gods sent us an omen, a slow stupid bird standing in the road. I tried to miss it, but to no success. Neon 1 - Bird 0 further confirming our choice of team name (story for another day). We finished with a car full of "woohoo's" and couldn't wait to find out if we won. I think I heard every noise that car made on the transit back in.
Short story long, we won! Tracy did an amazing job and I am so happy to have her as a co-driver. The crew, Dave and Ben, did everything we needed. Don't worry guys I won't tell the full story. Thanks to R-A for taking over rally, LSPR crew and volunteers for making it happen and I can't wait for 100 AW.
Thanks
Bryan Holder
G2 #696
 

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'is the engine bogging?'
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429 Posts
Great Job! I'm sure you've heard it before, and now you really understand it:

To finish FIRST, first you must FINISH.

Glad to see you did well - the hook is set....
 

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Surrender the Booty.
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2,149 Posts
Brian, thanks for dealing with Dave and I for the weekend, lots of fun. Servicing for you was a dream, gas and go, and change one tire (tell Matt Johnston how to keep it that way). Unfortunalty I don't think I'll have it that easy in the future. Let me know whenever you need crew, I'll be glad to jump at the chance.
 
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