The official start in downtown was very impressive. Almost like in Europe. Very well covered by media and?NO snowing today!!!
The big question was who is going to jump at Blackfoot ?and few did. Picard was the best in my opinion :9 but he hit very hard. My kids were waiting for Joel Levac and he did't disappointed them. Thompson got many 10?s for his style. Janusz Komorowski fixed the car after last week roll and jumped very nicely but this time senior Komorowski placed camera inside the car. I did not see remote controler in his hand so Janusz still can do "staff". I think there is no more for "Morroll" Keith Morison (co-driver).There is a lot snow in the mountain. It?s going to be interested day. The Subaru team was very quiet today no jumps just regular staff?media
Check our web our web site to see jumps. Each mpeg is about 4 Meg.
When I left there last night there were protests over the last couple of stages ...the road conditions were apparently very questionable.
Pat Richard went out on stage 9 (I think) with a blown motor while 2nd on the road after the re-seed.
Local hopefull Janusz Komorowski went out with a turbo failure on stage 8 while 5th on the road after the re-seed.(after his crew did a great job during the first service of replacing a rear shock that broke on stage 5)
Thanks to a heavy snowfal (YES, snowfall) just days prior to the rally the roads were either slush or mud for the first few stages and the roads we ran just got better through the day.
I beleive (but I was tired at the time, and there are protests) the results were:
Comrie Picard, but 2 and 3 may bereversed
Yes, it is a National event, but I KNOW that things at the finish were still un-official at 11:30 (no awards presentation yet) and that the finish was at the stages, about two hours south... I was dead to the world 'till noon so it'll likely be later today for official results.
SUBARU CANADIAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
PRESENTED BY YOKOHAMA
Attn: SPORTS DESK FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Round 4 of 2002 championship
ERICKSON WINS IN THE ROCKIES TO GRAB SHARE OF POINT LEAD
CALGARY, ALTA. (May 26/2002) - Sylvain Erickson drove to comfortable win in the Rocky Mountain Rally in southwest Alberta on Saturday and moved into a first-place tie in the Canadian championship points standings.
The 39-year-old from Gatineau, Que., driving a Yokohama-sponsored Mitsubishi Lancer, finished this fourth event of the nine-rally series with a commanding lead of four minutes, 31 seconds over runner-up Peter Thomson, of Toronto, in a Subaru Impreza WRX.
This was the third win of Erickson's career, but the first since he triumphed on his home event, the Rallye Perce-Neige Maniwaki, in February, 2001. It gives him a total of 50 points in the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship, presented by Yokohama, matching the tally of Pat Richard.
"This is going to give me lots of energy for the rest of the season," said the winner. "Being equal in the championship, it's like back we're back at zero and starting over again."
Richard, coming off back-to-back wins in the previous two events, failed to score any points from the Rocky Mountain. He fell by the wayside with engine problems on his Subaru Impreza while running second to Erickson.
Erickson, with brother Philippe as his navigator, was in control for most of the event, although he had a scare on the first night of competition on Friday.
The Blackfoot Motorcycle Park in Calgary hosted the first two special stages, the competitive portions of the event held on roads temporarily closed to the public. Erickson's Mitsubishi landed awkwardly after jumping over a crest, punching a hole in the radiator. He was up until 1.30 a.m. fixing the damage.
Still, when action resumed early Saturday morning, in then Porcupine Hills about 170 kilometres southwest of Calgary, the tired, but feisty Erickson soon began to pull away from the rest of the 35-car field. By the lunch-break, he was just over a minute ahead of main rival Richard.
Richard, from Vancouver, said he drove conservatively because of the tricky road conditions - a slippery mix of mud plus snow and ice left by a mid-week storm. The gap between the leaders remained at about one minute until Richard's motor blew after the ninth of 13 stages.
"We were hoping to mount a challenge to Erickson," said Richard, winner of the Bighorn Rally, west of Edmonton, the previous Sunday. "We were on a high last weekend. But with every high there comes a low."
Following Richard's demise, Erickson cruised to victory. He was fastest on 10 of the 13 special stages, covering 162.55 kilometres. His total time was one hour, 31 minutes, 21 seconds for an average speed of 106.76 km/h.
Meanwhile, second-placed Thomson enjoyed his first-ever appearance on the podium. This was only his seventh rally since returning to the sport late last season after a 12-year absence. His best previous result was a fifth.
"I'm delighted. I've still got a lot of learning and growing to do. Every stage, I'm trying to improve and get better and smoother and faster," he said.
His Four Star Motorsports team-mate, Andrew Comrie-Picard, also a newcomer, finished third - for the third time in as many events - in his Mitsubishi Lancer. The Edmonton native, now resident in New York, ranks third overall in points, with 36, and comfortably leads the "novice" (or rookie) standings.
It was a close-fought battle for third. The position changed hands several times before Comrie-Picard, who had some brake problems at one point, claimed the spot ahead of Joel Levac, of Riviere Baudette, Que., in a Subaru Impreza.
Levac took top production class honors, while Gord Olsen, of Brooks, Alberta, driving a VW Golf, was fifth overall and winner of the Group 2 division for modified two-wheel-drive cars.
John Paynter, of Lower Sackville, N.S., was sixth in a Subaru Impreza and second in the top production class. The smaller-engined production class winners were Andrew Miller, of Waterloo, Ont., 11th overall in a VW Golf; Yavor Klostranec, of Newmarket, Ont., 14th in a Nissan Pulsar; and Martin Wilson, of Vancouver, 15th in a Subaru Justy.
Calgary's Janusz Komorowski, the two-time Western regional champion and the local favorite, had the turbocharger fail on his Eagle Talon after running in the top five early on.
Other notable retirements from the rally included Sylvain Vincent, of La Plaine, Que., whose Subaru Impreza suffered a broken fuel pump, and Bruno Laverdiere, of Laval, Que., who had an engine failure on his Eagle Talon.
Results of the ROCKY MOUNTAIN RALLY
Round 4 of the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship, presented by Yokohama
(driver, navigator, homes, car, time):
1. Sylvain Erickson / Philippe Erickson, Gatineau, Que., Mitsubishi Lancer, 1h31m21s; 2. Peter Thomson, Toronto / Rod Hendricksen, Clinton, N.J., Subaru Impreza WRX, 1h35m52s; 3. Andrew Comrie-Picard, Edmonton / Dave Shindle, Falls Church, Va., Mitsubishi Lancer, 1h38m09s; 4. Joel Levac, Riviere Beaudette, Que. / Eric Bourbonnais, St-Clet, Que., Subaru Impreza WRX, 1h39m39s; 5. Gord Olsen / Kathy Olsen, Brooks, Alta., VW GTI, 1h40m40s; 6. John Paynter, Lower Sackville, N.S. / Clarke Paynter, Dartmouth, N.S., Subaru Impreza, 1h42m59s; 7. Jeff Smith, Edmonton / Miles McEwing, Calgary, VW Beetle, 1h44m47s; 8. Nick Boucher / Pat Lavigne, Mirabel, Que., Subaru Legacy, 1h45m44s.
Ross and I had another good weekend until the second to last stage in the regional event.
We caught air in both jumps Friday night and the tire rolled off the bead in the hairpin on the second run (which was still faster than the first run).
On Saturday we had all sorts of fun. We have some holes in the bottom of the car that filled with mud at Bighorn, but were cleared out at Rocky Mountain and I was getting hit with high pressure muddy water in the legs on each watersplash. Also, we have a ton of oil blow-by in the engine and Ross was always adding oil or sopping up oil or pouring the catch tank oil back into the engine.
The 3rd and 4th stage included sections that the organizers felt were too snowy for us (the same sections that ended up getting run after the regional event and the reason all of the national Group 2 guys that I knew were filing inquiries Saturday night) so they were cancelled and reruns of the first two stages were done.
We didn't see any results until the first service (only for regional). I checked the board while Ross took the car around to diagnose the latest horrid sounding noise. With Friday's results and the first stage from Saturday, we were 10th overall. I went back to digest the route changes for the three stages after service (the last three for regional) and tell Ross where we had placed. There was a reseed done and when I went back to get our new out time, we were 7th on the road. Since we were only entered in the regional, we were really only competing against one car ahead of us (and let Andrew start ahead of us since we didn't want an Evo breathing down our backs), but it was still pretty cool to be that far up.
Unfortunately, it all pretty much came to an end on the second to the last stage. The back end came loose on a snowy stage and in correcting it, the car got stuffed into the snow and high-centered on the snow. We got a pull out and finished the event, but a 37 minute stage time when everyone else did around 10 isn't a good thing.
Talking to folks watching the rally, it sounds like Ross put on a good show. I hope someone has some good pictures to send us.
One thing that I forgot to do was thank the organizers and workers for putting on such a good event in a tough situation (with the unexpected weather related route conditions). I imagine that they took some heat for the decision to run particular stages during the national event, but I thought I thought the regional event went great.
I also would like to thank the Monettes for giving me a ride back to Calgary Saturday. My driver and service crew headed straight back to Seattle from the rally and I was left with no way back to my luggage and hotel room in Calgary and the Monettes made space for me in their truck. They are good competitors (they finished the rally without a working rally computer) and they are also good people.