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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know the Canadian guys aren't terribly verbose on these forums. But Zimmer, Mendham, Getchell, Cassidy, ACP, anyone. How many times were you stuck/off in the snow? How many times did you pull someone else out? Other stuff? Inquiring mind(s) want to know.
 

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1973 WRC POR
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From a spectator's point of view, Sylvain Erickson was incredible.

He is possibly the best snow/ice rally driver outside of Europe.

Hopefully, he will show up at Sno*Drift one year.

Doug Woods
 

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Don, I'll be sending out our PR tonight probably.

We had an epic push to get to the race with the new car. No sleep for almost 48 hours prior to the race. Logbooked the car the day of the race!

Lost 3:30 in the the 4th stage. Understeered into a bank. Pulled out by enthusiastic spectators.

Started to have major fatigue towards the end of the day, so pace was down, but run was clean.

As we entered the last third of the 50km stage, I caught the inside of the front on a bank, spinning. Facing backwards down the stage, 2-3 fellow competitors tried to pull us out, but to no avail. We were freed by Ryall/Morrow, who acted as a Subaru tow truck all night!

After an Austin Power type 10 point turn across the narrow road, we travelled on, only to find Zimmer and Getchell both stuck. Crews got Getchell out, not so lucky with Zimmer, but he eventually was tugged free. A bit further down the road and we were stopped again, this time because Getchell was completely across the road.

We all got out, and then followed each other in a big train to the end.

PN is one of the most gruelling events in the series. Long, long day with huge amounts of concentration needed to keep from deploying the shovel or strap. Once you do, you've dropped down the board like crazy.

We were happy just to be there with the new car, let alone finish! Even with all his trials on the next to last stage, Getchell had a large enough margin earlier in the day to best us by just under a minute at the end.

The high point for me was the first running through Tortue. We had a quick and tidy run and we were both laughing towards the end of it!

Cheers! John
 

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Someone who knows one of my rally cars was a Porsche 911 targa sent me an e-mail with a photo of a 911 (car #36) at Perce Neige. It is a targa. 911 targas had two versions but no metal roofs.

Does CARS allow targas, or was this an exception?
 

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Faster Mabricator
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I second that Erikson is awesome. The photo is too large to post here but go to this link and check out how much air he had on stage1. The spectators relocated to safer spot after seeing this.

http://www.guideauto.com/album/VoirPhotos.asp?idUsager=1904

I was riding with Zimmer. We tried ACP's proven approach to 'Suck Less' than everyone else but were still in 10th OA going into the 50Km stage. He stepped up the pace and our tires were better suited for this stage than any of the other stages until about 2/3 way thru where the organizer supplied notes ceased and we were running on our own 1pass pace notes as well as the road was more recently plowed. Both of those changes contributed to us going offline over a crest and the overplow sucked us in so that we were partially blocking the road. In other years, it'd be an easy drive back onto the stage but this snow was too fluffy and wet. The next couple cars attempted to drive by and each got stuck in the overplow on the other side of road but eventually got going again. I knew no two wheel drive cars would ever get by. Getchell stopped to pull us and got stuck in overplow while on road creating a traffic jam. Randy eventually got out but was pointed in wrong direction and got stuck again turning around. The last car on road pulled us out again. Shortly after getting going, we came across where Getchell had gone off and was holding up another traffic jam. After he got out, it was a convoy to the finish.

Great roads and conditions. Never been to such a warm PN and lots more snow than SnoDrift had.

Congrats to John Cassidy for finishing with the new car.
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: Perce Neige story

This rally is really waaaay out there. For example, we were given 80 min. to get home from the 25k stage that was between home and the 50k loop. And home was 2 hours from civilization. I didn't see seals or polar bears but they could have been there.
There was about 2-3 feet on the ground. About a foot dropped during the familiarization pass, many were stuck and limping as the roads were one-track with ice base.
Fri nite the roads were to be plowed but some equipment failed and caused a few changes.
Despite all odds, the rally ran really well up to the last (1st) 50k loop which was delayed, "because of a stuck worker" and then the passage of the course opening cars over such a long distance.

I took it EZ all day losing time to Norm LeBlanc (I couldn't keep up with him if I tried).
The waiting game was all but lost as the last 50K loop was scrapped because the road the last service was to be on was unplowed and single track. The service trucks couldn't get there or set up and the amount of gas the cars needed to complete both loops made it necessary for that service to run the whole way.
So, after not seeing Norm in a bank, I freaked and took off on the last bit of the 50. I got stuck when I couldn't get reverse while still in motion.
The story of the big screwups while holding up the cars after us is embarrassing and long. I really thought somebody was going to pull a knife or a gun on me and I deserved it. Sorry to all.
Some of the venom toward me may have been transferred to Getchel when we all got stopped again just up the road a touch.
Keith says Norm had a moment too but pulled it out, I think I saw the spot, it looked knarley as did a few other wide tracks on that narrow road.

In hindsight, trying to step it up while on an unplowed section was a pretty dumb thing to do, especially looking at how far it would be to retrieve the thing if it broke. But things were going just too smoothly up til then and someone decided to make it interesting.
Luckily, Mr. Levesque/Ms. Beaulieu pulled us out and got us a finish and I'm very thankful for their help!

Now I can say I've done it and you should too.

rz

edit:
Add that Frank and Dan Sprongl were 3rd OA in the Swift+
That's pretty sick.
 

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1973 WRC POR
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RE: Perce Neige story

>Add that Frank and Dan Sprongl were 3rd OA in the Swift+
>That's pretty sick.

Even sicker is that it has an open diff.

Doug Woods
 

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Dramamine is for DramaQueens
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RE: Perce Neige story

PN was a great event and a good learning experience for us.
We mad significant changes to teh car and didn't have a chance to test the set-up before the first stage.
our 15 minute trip into the snowbank at Sno-Drift kept us at a conservative pace through the event, but as we got more time on the car, Norm became more confident.
Our adjustments to organiser notes caused us some issues, and I have to admit to getting lost for a significant part of the Kitigan Zibi 1 stage. Matthieu L'Estage caught us here, and got past cleanly. I figure our notes eror cost us over a minute on that stage.
The second pass of the stage went much better, managing 45 seconds fasert on KZ2, on much slipperier roads.
Tortue 2 found us the first car on the perusse/sprongl blockage at the mini-bridge. While following frank out I had to remind norm to not chase the disappearing suzuki ... frank is definately a committed driver in the snow. We lost about 3.5 minutes, maybe 4 because of teh blockage and were now worried about cars behind us making that time up.
As it was, we only lost one position to the force majeur.

after waiting, and waiting for the Harold stage to be opened - we hit the styage with a level of caution, but a slightly out of shape entry to a jump gave us our moment du jour. a deep dig into a snowbank and a partial spin left us across the road afer a blind jump ... a 6 point turn to find our direction again and were were off to the races again ... with no lights behind us.
we got passed by nichols on the stage adn re-passed by Antoine and Perusse. A lot can happen in 55km!

Kusdos to the organisers and workers for a great event - but damn that was a long day!
 

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RE: Perce Neige story

Started off taking it easy and understeered in a nothing right near the end of SS4 Des Eaux 2. 17 minutes lost: Amor/Lumsden stopped to pull us out (thanks guys!) but got stuck themselves as they slowed approaching our car! Martin/Narinni were already stranded there from the first run through and spent the whole time digging and pushing trying to get us out. The Wallbanks finally got us out - thanks again.

So with any hope of doing well gone down the toilet we decided just to have fun and treat it as a learning experience (hmm... funny that should be different than *before* we got stuck - but it was) and set some respectable times along the way and had a hoot (spinning three times, but no bank intrusions). We really liked the run through Harold - finished it laughing and sweating like pigs.

I agree with Mr. Cassidy on the marathon-aspect of the event. I was a zombie by the time we got back to HQ at the end of the night.

Robin Fleguel

Donnelly/Fleguel Open Soob #13
 

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just another old phart
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RE: Perce Neige story

>>Add that Frank and Dan Sprongl were 3rd OA in the Swift+
>>That's pretty sick.
>
>Even sicker is that it has an open diff.
>
>Doug Woods
>

PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT READ ANY OF THE FOLLOWING AS AN IMPLICATION THAT THE CAR IN QUESTION IS NON-COMPLIANT!:

I was just rewatching Randy's video yesterday of Tall Pines where Sprongls passed him and then he chased them to the finish of the stage. I was surprised at how well the Suzuki pulled on the straights and even put some distance on Randy in a few places. Perhaps the Suzuki is a pretty potent rally-car package afterall (Course, it can only helps immeasurably to have a pro behind the wheel).

Kent Gardam
 

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straight at T
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RE: Perce Neige story

>>>Add that Frank and Dan Sprongl were 3rd OA in the Swift+
>>>That's pretty sick.
>>
>>Even sicker is that it has an open diff.
>>
>>Doug Woods
>>
>
>PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT READ ANY OF THE FOLLOWING AS AN
>IMPLICATION THAT THE CAR IN QUESTION IS NON-COMPLIANT!:
>
>I was just rewatching Randy's video yesterday of Tall Pines
>where Sprongls passed him and then he chased them to the
>finish of the stage. I was surprised at how well the Suzuki
>pulled on the straights and even put some distance on Randy in
>a few places. Perhaps the Suzuki is a pretty potent rally-car
>package afterall (Course, it can only helps immeasurably to
>have a pro behind the wheel).
>
>Kent Gardam

Some possibilities:

1. Frank's car probably has better suspension and tires than Randy (= better traction)

2. Frank was probably never out of the power band of that motor.

3. Randy is a more conservative driver than Frank (= Frank carries more corner speed, and probably loses less time in tricky conditions).

The only reason Frank wasn't more than a minute ahead of Randy and I at Defi was the fact they had two long uphill starts on the Friday spectator stages.

Adrian
 

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1973 WRC POR
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It should probably be mentioned here, that two top drivers were fined ($200 and $1,000) for "behaviour detrimental to the sport" while driving during the familiarization pass, the day before the rally.

If we are going to allow recce and/or notes familiarization passes, then everyone has to be on their best behaviour.

Doug Woods
 

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Heh, if Randy thought he was gonna get clubbed by the guys he blocked, he should have seen the looks on the faces who came up to us at the 3rd blockage!

Have to take full blame for that fiasco. In the words of another guilty party on same stage, "I made the mistake of thinking I could win." Or something like that. After twitching rz out of the snowbank, we took off like crazy, doing mental math of who we'd passed and how much time we could make up. It all looked fantastic...except for one minor detail.

Red mist descended. We were going WAY too fast, which was fun while it lasted. Flew a bit left off a "keep center" crest, landed on the snowbank, almost rolled, and finally came down facing the wrong way up course on the wrong side of a fast blind crest. With about 10 cars raring to go not far behind...eeeek!

Instead of the 20-point Austin Powers turn in the narrow track, I tried the back-up-and-stuff-the-rear-into-the-bank-and-gun-it-backwards turn, which obviously did not work. Apologies for yet another blockage, thanks for not tearing my head off while getting me out again guys, tho somebody DID bust my rear wing while pushing :-(

No apologies needed for a great race, tho. PN was awesome. It is THE premier snow-and-ice rally in North America. The roads, crowds, and organizers were all fantastic. And those Quebecois snow drivers...magnifique! Kudos to my partner John C for a huge effort to get his new car to the start line, and then getting it across the finish despite you-know-who being in the way.

Dave G
www.lastditchracing.net


"...Embrace loose gravel, beware big trees..."
 

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Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
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RE: Frank

Kent,
Thanks for watching that clip.
It is so rare to get a good look at what a real pro does, I am happy to have had the experience.

I know, because I was there but maybe if you listen you can hear.
There are sections where Frank pulls away because there's no way I'm staying flat over a 5+ right over crest because I just don't know the road well enough and I'm a wimp. Frank isn't and he does.
There are other times I feather just to maintain my distance (but it didn't happen too often).
Before I let him by, he said he felt like he was going to go over my top because I'd stop (for no reason).
If it weren't for that uphill after the R2, I'd have never caught him again, and that would have been a shame.

Wish someone could have gotten footage of what he did at PN. That must have been a real snow clinic.
rz
 

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My Perce-Neige experience.
First, I have to thank everyone who helped and basically put up with me for the last year and a half, while I was trying to build Lisey's new rally car. It is a 2002 WRX that we have dubbed the "Silver Dragon".

The 2006 Perce Neige was our cars debut and my first drive in anger since Oregon in 2004. This was my 4th run up there. PN is one of my favorite events. We were going slowly, trying not to wad the thing up at it's first event and hoping that our lack of pace would keep us from having to spend a lot of time shoveling out.

Well I still managed a 180 degree spin on the 4th stage. It wasn't easy to turn the thing back around on that narrow section. I had to resort to a full throttle, 3 point Braille smasharoo. Then I got sucked in to some deep crud on a steep downhill section and banged something really hard on the left front. That bent the strut and made the handling even squirellier until service. 1/2 my driving lights were out as well. Service fixed that, too. I lost count of the snowbanks I hit. Thank God there were snowbanks!

Lisey had some issues with the notes. When she lost her place, she didn't have a good way to recover and so we were driving what we could see for a while. This was also our first time doing reconnaissance. We have plenty to learn.

But reading about other peoples stories, I now realize how lucky we were to get by Randy Zimmer's stuck car and therefore miss all the stuffing, tugging and ensuing convoy behind. Our car barely got by (our old Sentra certainly would not have) and I felt a bit guilty at the time that I didn't stop and offer a tug, but in hindsight, I am so happy to leave all that behind!

We also really like Chateau Logue. Where else can you get half priced beer specials and a good Caribou or deer steak as well great service. The breakfast food is good, too. They even had late food arranged, as well as cheerful bartenders for the teams, when we came in after the rally late Saturday night and had to await provisional scores and the opening of parc ferme.

Big thanks to Lisey who had to endure another bumper car ride, my service crew, Brett Rudolf, Andrew Steere and Gimpy Mike White. And, of course, Big Thanks to all of the rally organizers and workers.

Ted Mendham
 
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