Mon, 08 Nov 1999 22:52:01
From: Patrick Richard
all, (Just got back from RAC)
So here is
the story (long so skip if ya don't care - or
don't know me !!):
saturday after the re-seed a surprising 9th on
the road. After the 1st stage that day, which
was actually really hairy IMHO, we starting 6th
O/A and were in 6th place according to the stage
by stage (stage 5 claimed Nichols, McGeer (although
not for good) and another GTi (also not for good,
but long enough)).
have chilled out because the next PGT car was
over a minute behind by then (and this was the
6th stage). Clarke and John Paynter gave me hard
advice before the rally: "It is basically
2 stages (ed: each run twice, so actually 4: Pax
I/IIand Bataram I/II), and the rest are sprints.
You can't win the rally on the sprints, but you
sure can lose on them..."
to be heeded... this was a 2 minute stage (sprints)...
stage 6 (B2 in the book), I think that is when
things got to my head :-). We were right behind
Sylvain (again) and it was near the beginning
of the rally this time ! I was thinking "wow,
I can't beleive we can actually see Buffum and
the Sprongls actually start the stage from INSIDE
the car !!!" (that is exactly what is said
on the in-car cam).
naive, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was eyeing
up making a window in front of the 2 Golfs (dunno
their names - sorry dudes) thinking about overall
positioning and TV and all that. So anyhow, I
was feeling maybe a little invincible, and we
were cruising on this stage (oh yeah - this is
important - the night before we blew the head
gasket and my bros were up *all night* putting
stop leak and pepper into the motor - so on this
stage I was pulling extra gears only to find out
that that is actually a faster way to drive -
Lincoln can stop making fun of me and my rev-limiter
reliance now (!) ).
yells "No ODO!!", but I didn't stop
the car. I didn't even slow. I actually thought
it was the dimmer switch (same thing happened
when you look Claire and mine's "Sketch Air"
shot in the LSPR footage when we land on the nose
- didn't even see it coming but then the ODO came
back) so I figured it would come back in a sec
or two. Then Ian yells "No, really, No ODO
!!!". Then I freaked because we came into
a sharp blind left at the same time with boulders
on the right and I thought "oh - oh, this
might be a hairpin that was in the book",
so I threw the car hard, and it turned out to
be an ok turn, no biggie. But since it was so
tossed sideways we hooked a bump on the inside
which sent us the other way (since the wheels
were pointing right) into a couple of boulders.
In the in-car it just looks like brain lag WRT
the driver (heheee). So I goofed pretty good.
I have now hooked an inside bump on the drivers
side and caused an accident in 3 out of 7 rallies.
This time I had to pay ! tsk tsk tsk...
from outside the car looked pretty bad, but the
car was still driveable. The right front A-arm
was just 3 inches shorter (heehee). It being Quebec
the cool spectators on every corner pushed us
out and we made it to service (only one car came
by when we were in the boulder), but we couldn't
put a new A-arm on because the holes didn't line
up (due to the frame getting bent). It was about
1 inch too short between the rear holes of the
A-arm and the front holes, but actually it isn't
so bad in my opinion. We were able to get 1 bolt
out of 3 on, but the important one (the ball joint)
was never gonna fit. Thus my first DNF.
a weekend on the frame machine, a new quarter
panel and motor, and we're ready to go !!!
3rd time on the frame rack in 6 weeks ! Need to
maybe actually prep the car I think... Next year
for sure I need it to be strong and welded and
That is why
I just got home - I was sorting out logistics
today to get it ready. I think its a go !!
So I learned
a lesson, actually a bunch, but all in all, it
was a good thing because we got to spectate, and
never having ever spectated a rally before, RAC
ROCKS !!!! Thousands of people in the woods
(Pax), thousands in the streets (St. Irenee).
Cool. Damn cool. Just wished I would have stuck
in there because it would have been nice, (I actually
needed the $$) but now I know:
1) when ODO dies slow down
2) don't think about overall position
- I mean ... "as if"
3) I ain't invincible
4) now I know why everyone says that
you should have a strong car and stuff
5) don't freak when driving - bad
for health and wallet !
6) DNFing aint that bad - as long
as it is at RAC !
7) Now I know why everyone is laughing
at my "stock" car - it aint the way
if you have
a small off
8) Doesn't matter how strong car
is - sketch == DNF
9) You actually have to try to stay
calm in a big event
10) Shows for the spectators are cool, but
I still don't
think we were driving over our limits though,
just that we made some bad judgement calls in
terms of how hard to push and all, but now I know.
So I'm all cool with it and everything. First
DNF is always tough I guess !
here we come (keep 'em crossed) !
post the in-car to the net as soon as I get a