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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I first got introduced to rallying 5 years ago, aside from the obvious adrenaline rush, the thing that grabbed me most was the comraderie that people in the rally community have towards each other. In no other sport could I find competitors so friendly and willing to help each other out - I was amazed! So on that note, thanks to EVERYONE who has helped me (or my team) along the way.

Sadly, however, in the past few months we've been flat out lied to, we've been denied stage times, and people have tried to "play with our heads" ... which is kinda funny because it's backfired every single time. I guess my point is ... why play games - why not win rallies on the stages, where rallies are meant to be won?!?

Obviously this isn't directed at the majority of the community out there ... and we did get an apology for the stage times issue.

Just putting my two cents out there ... and I speak 100% only for myself, not my driver, teammates, or crew.

- Nathalie :*
 

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>When I first got introduced to rallying 5 years ago, aside
>from the obvious adrenaline rush, the thing that grabbed me
>most was the comraderie that people in the rally community
>have towards each other. In no other sport could I find
>competitors so friendly and willing to help each other out -
>I was amazed! So on that note, thanks to EVERYONE who has
>helped me (or my team) along the way.
>
>Sadly, however, in the past few months we've been flat out
>lied to, we've been denied stage times, and people have
>tried to "play with our heads" ... which is kinda funny
>because it's backfired every single time. I guess my point
>is ... why play games - why not win rallies on the stages,
>where rallies are meant to be won?!?
>
>Obviously this isn't directed at the majority of the
>community out there ... and we did get an apology for the
>stage times issue.
>
>Just putting my two cents out there ... and I speak 100%
>only for myself, not my driver, teammates, or crew.
>
>- Nathalie :*


thats a awesome point and i think you should be able to win rallys and denied stage times its really dumb
 

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you are referring to other teams not telling you how they are doing before the scores are posted, right? or do you mean something more sinister? the sportsmanship is what i love about rally too. it isnt dead. just maybe not so spry sometimes.

BTW, what was the elpephant comment in the RA update? please explain?
 

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Going from what was said in the RA updates (engine issues), my guess is the car was handling like a fat elephant ("comme un gros elefant" is the quote, IIRC).

Way off?
 

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>Going from what was said in the RA updates (engine issues),
>my guess is the car was handling like a fat elephant ("comme
>un gros elefant" is the quote, IIRC).
>
>Way off?

Way off dude. Don't you remember Pat's jump on Brockway. Obviously the man is hung "comme un gros elefant". At least that's my version of the truth.

Hang in there Nat. You guys are the most popular team in NA and rightly so.
 

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Nat, you guys are doing AWSOME, I wish I could take it to you but Pat is just out driving everyone, well done, I hope we can chase you down at Cog and make the Champianship need to be won at LSPR to give the fans a show, watching you and Pat go is amazing, Pat is SO committed , brakes WAY deeper than everyone, see ya at Cog
Leon Styles
 

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My point of view is from the lowly backmarker in ClubRally.

The lack of sportsmanship can be seen in all sports at a certain level. You happen to be competing in rally at that level.

There's more pressure (from within the team, from sponsors, from wherever) to beat everyone, and if one way to do that is to keep the other competitors in the dark about how you're doing (in the hopes that they think you're doing just that badly and will back off) or by backbiting or whatever, then that's what level some people sink to.

So see how gratifying it is when a team can beat everyone squarely on the stages without having to sink so low! :)

Granted, poor sportsmanship is not quarantined at the pro level. It's just less prevalent at the lower levels where people rely more on each other for help off the stages. And it's mostly self-defeating; the one really poor sports I can remember from around here dropped out of rallying a few years ago and everyone was glad to see him leave.

Don't get discouraged by the few bad apples. To a lot of people, besides the obvious reasons, the family atmosphere of rally keeps people coming back!
 

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The old adage "it only takes one 'oh shoot' to wipe out a dozen 'attaboys'" comes to mind.

Just this year we've given competitors fuel, transported tires (and took some justified heat from Nick for the way it was handled), and used our satellite phone to notify another crew that their codriver had brought the wrong route book on stage--and that was for just one team! At STPR we gave our competition our spare radiator (or something else important to engine--I don't recall exactly). Our team manager has done an outstanding job securing hotel (and sat phone) discounts not only for us, but for all our competitor friends. We even helped a clubbie get parts delivered from Maine to Gorman, thanks to our wonderful trucking company sponsor 7-24 AirX.

Yeah, Leon tried a funky strategy for Ojibwe; yeah, it didn't work as expected; yeah, it shot us in the foot from a PR perspective; yeah, I talked to three teams about codriving for them before getting the word; oh, well, we'll still help others when we can.

Sure, we're fiercely competitive, and we know that Pat/Nat, Lauchlin/Scott, Paul/Jeff, Tom/Jason, Shane/Glenn, etc/etc are tough to beat, but we're still in it for the fun, and for the challenge of the competition. We look forward to trying again to beat the best the sport can offer.

See you at Cog.

[hr]

[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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> Yeah, Leon tried a funky strategy for Ojibwe; yeah, it didn't work as expected; yeah, it shot us in the foot from a PR perspective; yeah, I talked to three teams about codriving for them before getting the word; oh, well, we'll still help others when we can.

John, could you decode that paragraph for me?! My eyes are bad, I am having trouble reading between the lines.

Glenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, John, all the 'atta boys' along the way, whether it be for our team or any other, are exactly the kind of things I was referring to that have always made this sport unique. And, like you guys, as far as I know we've never denied anyone any kind of assistance if ithere's something we could do to help. My point to this was ... why does it have to deviate from that at all? Maybe it's just my clouded vision of smiley happy rally people everywhere!

To be fair, let me publicly thank you once again for the satellite help, as well as the tire transport.

Nathalie :*
 

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Between the lines - sorry, it got long

>John, could you decode that paragraph for me?! My eyes are
>bad, I am having trouble reading between the lines.


To quote from an SCCA press release: "I was planning on being at Ojibwe [Forests] all along,? said current Open class drivers point leader Leon Styles, who didn?t enter until early this week.  ?We were just playing with Pat Richard and some others to see if we could gain a mental advantage by making them think we weren?t going to be here." 

At Maine Leon told me to go ahead and find another ride. I already had a plane ticket and a hotel room, so I was going to be in Bemidji one way or another, either as worker or competitor. It wasn't until after I'd talked with three teams (none of which panned out) that he clued me in.

We were shot in the foot for PR because we entered so late that we didn't get in the rally program that went out to 26,000 households in a regional newspaper.

Over the years I've seen competitors play mind games all the time on stages--they set fastest time while complaining about missing brakes, flat tires, and puking codrivers, trying to demoralize you in their dominance, or they'll have a so-so stage but say that everything is perfect to lull you into a sense of complacency. It's part of the sport the same as route books and gasoline.

Psychology is used in every sport, and in rally it can be both internal and external. Internal: If you attend our rally school, you learn that one of the many roles of the codriver is to calm down the driver when he's over his head, or to light a fire when he's flagging. External: You see it all the time in all sorts of racing--pushing your competition into a making a mistake, psyching them out, etc.

It's rare that codrivers won't share times--I can only recall once (Wild West '99, name unimportant now).

I'm lucky to codrive for one of the best drivers in the country. I believe Leon can win the overall championship even though it won't be easy. Our competition has incredible talent, excellent equipment, somebody to trust in the seat next to him, plenty of seat time experience, and commitment in every corner. (He's a nice guy too.)

Still, I think Leon can win it because he ALSO has outstanding talent, good equipment, and someone beside him who's willing to work hard to earn that title. We can't drive the cars of our competition--we can only drive our own car to the best of our ability. To paraphrase JFK, we don't do this because it is easy, but because it is hard.

One of the founding Widgets told me years ago that a trophy doesn't mean anything unless you beat somebody. He said too you can beat him by forcing him to make a mistake or by simply being faster. And if you don't beat him, you should have a heckuva lot of fun trying.

The math is stacked against us right now, but as I reminded Leon a year ago at Ramada Express, "You're a top driver, and top drivers don't quit." If we finish second or third in the championship, well, we can still be danged proud to have accomplished that, and we'll applaud the victors just as we do at each event. If we win it, well, we'll be danged proud of that too, because it was a fierce competition amongst friends.

Ultimately, the reason I compete is not for the trophies (though I'm a competitive guy) or the babes (I've got the one I need waiting for me at home right now) or the money (I could sure spend it on something else!) but for the people in the sport. I keep rallying because of the friends I race with and against, the workers who give so much to us, the organizers who put their hearts and souls and wallets into this passion, and our team (yes, Frank, even you!) who do their dangedest to help us finish, and everyone who does so much to try and keep us safe.

Do I want to win? You betcha! Will I still try to be friends with my competition? Of course! It's really what being part of the rally family is all about.

[hr]

[p align=right]John Dillon
John @ WidgetRacing.com
www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Leon,

If you want, you can send it to me at [email protected] and I'll forward it to Pat. I can't guarantee a response from him - but don't take it personally ... I often don't get one either. :)

- N
 
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