Let's not forget Olsen, 7th overall after 9 stages... Holy DNF's! Sounds like a rough event, lots of broken suspensions, wheels, driveshafts, etc.. Not to mention whatever happened to Richard and Mcgeer. Can't wait for some stories and the TV coverage.
i was at the last service before the last few stages and pat had a flap for a drivers window and the door was bashed in. he had to go in and out dukes of hazzard styles. but he didn't go out for the last set of stages. it was a really fun event to watch. much warmer than kananaskis the other weekend. but yeah lots of DNF's.
I was working at the flying finish of A6/A9 and it was too bad for Randy but A9 was a flapping finish for him with a very bad puncture that (I suspect, could be more factors) ruined his chances for a better result. Several others had flats at the end, including the Sprongls, but Randy's wasn't just down, it was flapping and he's probably glad he didn't wreck the car with the flying rubber (like Pat out west ripping a wiring harness out just a few hundred meters from the finish).
It was a tough one. 9 cars were out before the first spectator stage. By A6 finish where I was located, we'd already lost 15 of 50 cars. By A9, we'd lost 22 and several retired after the finish of A9 (it was a flapping finish for Randy and a smoking finish for several others) so the day stages killed about half the cars.
The roads were really soft this year. All that rain last week and fairly warm temperatures meant the gravel wasn't holding up well. Mud tires would have been good. Driving stage bits before and after, they chopped it up pretty good. Rocks were being pulled up all over the place which took out people like the Ericksons. There were some frozen puddles on the roads in the morning just to make things interesting but they melted in not too long. Some worker cars were stalled from engine flooding in washouts and almost didn't make it into position.
I also feel bad for Roger and Sandy in the Nissan. Got a replacement ball-joint just in time before the store closed for scrutineering Friday night (must have broken it on shake-down I guess) and then they cracked the oil pan on the stages. At least they got to run! As usual there are many heroic service crew efforts that would be told more often if their car finished.
Too bad the Iron Bridge was out of order but I heard from some spectators that the Tait Farm/Possum Bourne/Lovell-Freeman areas/stages were great so kudos to the organizers for having such good contingency planning.
Richard had a hard off at the end of stage one. I've got some pictures of his car once it returned to service that I'll post sometime in the next few days. But the left door was pushed in considerably, so much so it wouldn't open. It was fun to see Stewart Ho (crew chief) inside the car trying to kick the door open. Pat also broke a big section off that HUGE STI spoiler (and damaged the left rear corner) and the team didn't have a replacement hence it missing in later stages. I'm not sure what was going on in the later stages with Pat but I know when he passed me his car wasn't running right.
There was no snow at all, as was mentioned a few frozen over puddles were the only signs of winter.
I watched a bit of the raw video as the TV2GO team were going through it. Pat did a 1000 Lakes type nose up flight off a double junp in A2/A4. Awesome!
I didn't actually get to see any cars in motion since I was doing the MTCs/TCs in and out of service all day. I did get the Howard Davies treatment though (he was trying to avoid a 3 minute transit penalty...). You can learn a lot of tricks from watching Welsh codrivers;-).
Also, take a look at the P3 national results - 2 seconds covered the top 3 cars...
I did security/radio at FTC A1/A3, and FTC A8. Pat was in a big hurry leaving for A2, which explains the 4M early, and I thought he would have max lated in A1. Roger and Sandy had a RF flat and changed it in 6.0 min. They said they were a little out of practice, but it went pretty well. I got to do some A6 spectating at Detlor Rd on the tarmac Jog L. There are some excellent TV shots cominbg from that, including the 'landscaping' episode there. Very cool, very funny. Actually, the people standiong on theor front porch were pretty lucky.... I think it was Pat that came through there totally wild, but hung it together and gave us a fantastic show! A very interesting junction.
It was as shame to see Warren and Jodie DNF about 1km from the finish of A8. I was delighted to see they were competitive with Gord Olsen, being 7th OA after A7. Pretty good for their first National. I guess that spot caught a few teams.
Afterwards I did a traffic control just past Castledine's Corners, and met a bunch of mainly Polish guys who had a huge bonfire in the gravel pit. Several of them stage rallied years ago in Poland and different parts of Europe, so that was very cool. Real nice guys, and they kept offering me BBQ meat ("we have LOTS") and beer, but I declined. I drove out on B4, and couldn't believe the road condition, and that the little Mini went through there so fast. I am dissappointed they DNF due to silly early penalties on road sections. They finished the national in one piece, in a lovely old car, and got zero for it (but lots of respect I'm guessing).
Nice to finally meet you Doug. I also met John Buffum at FTC A1/A3. A real great guy, and I managed to resist the whole "I'm not worthy" bit.