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2011 Tall Pines Rally - Martin/Ferd Nissan 240SX

Posted by Ferdinand 
December 20, 2011 11:01AM
Major repairs were required to the broken strut. Martin had a spare insert, but not a spare strut tube. That's usually not a problem, but this time we had also managed to damage the tube itself. The upper end was all mangled. So it was a major project just to pull the damaged strut insert out of the also damaged strut tube. The frantic activity attracted quite a crowd of spectators.

After pulling the front strut off the car, the work involved first burning the end off the twisted insert, then using a hacksaw to cut the top end off the flattened strut tube, then welding a square bar to what's left of the bent insert, liberal applications of shock loads delivered by the BF hammer, twice re-welding the bar to the insert, plus one or two well-timed cuss words, and Bob's your mother's brother!

Slap in the new insert, screw everything back together, pop it back on the car, wheels on, drop the car off the jackstands, we're again good to go. Only nine minutes late checking out of Service. At 10 secs penalty per minute late, that only cost us 1:30 in penalties. Meh, that's nothing. We're still running. That's all that matters.


December 20, 2011 11:04AM
A9 - Middle Old Hastings 1:






At the start line Martin remembers how we "


almost went off here" in the opening few corners back in 2009.

In the low-light conditions of these night stages, the camera image has a green hue. The exposure corrects itself at 0:56 when the nose of the car drops through a dip and the view momentarily shows more of the road. From there on the image has better colour.

We were not feeling at all confident in the early portions of this stage. It takes a little while to adjust to driving in the dark. Plus, this stage starts off with very busy section, way too much detail in the notes, and it's difficult for me to read and Martin to process all that information while we're struggling to follow the twisty road. I'm not at a comfortable rhythm with the notes, and Martin is hesitant and unsure about some of my calls. So we're a little slow at first.

At 1:35 we come up on the warning triangles placed by the Narini brothers, off the road on the left.

We got ourselves sorted out after that, with the notes flowing a bit better, and our pace improved. Still, this is a tough roller-coaster of a stage.

Near the end of the stage, at 5:15 there are a couple of jumps with hard landings. I think the second one of those jumps already spelled the beginning of the end for me. But it was the following stage, Lower Old Hastings, that really did me in...
December 20, 2011 03:48PM
A10 - Lower Old Hastings 1:






Martin says he's going to try to keep the car on the ground over jumps so we don't break anything else. That sounds like an excellent idea to me. The stage starts off okay. We're feeling more confident now and the notes are working well.

At 2:50 we're catching the tail lights of the Fiesta R2 of Thierry Menegoz and Guillaume Bechard, who started into the stage a minute ahead of us. They must have had some sort of problem for us to have caught them so suddenly, but they seem to be running alright now.

At 3:40 we pass the Subaru of Pat Cyr and Mark Biernacki, pulled off to the side with what must be a mechanical problem, unless they just decided to stop for a cigarette break. Either way, they don't appear to be in any distress and are safely pulled over in a well visible spot.

The stranded Subaru only presented a momentary distraction, but otherwise was not a factor in what occurred immediately after that.

"L4+/Cr ruf no cut. 60/smCr R6+ 50 ! BIG Jmp into stay right/jmp..."

In hindsight, studying the video now, I'm convinced this was all entirely my fault. The problem started right after we'd passed the Subaru at the L4+/Cr ruf no cut. It actually was rough at that spot. The bumps made it difficult to breath properly, causing me to pause for a moment. Then I fumbled the following R6+ instruction, all of which added up to me being waaaay too late on the Caution BIG Jump instruction at 3:55.

Although Martin had promised to keep the car on the ground over jumps, the warning came much too late for him to back off in time for fear of causing the car to nose-dive on landing. The bugger is that this jump leads directly into a second jump. Catching any air on the first jump means landing the car smack into the uphill slope of the following jump.

We slammed the car down hard on landing. I'm surprised we got away with that without breaking any more suspension components. We broke me instead. Three weeks later my neck still hurts now.

It felt like a pile-driver had punched my head down through my ribcage. Whiplash, concussion, whatever. I got my bell rung big time on that one. And, of course, nausea followed soon thereafter...

At 4:45 I was still cross-eyed from that hit, so I didn't really see much of Max Riddle and Aaron Neumann's wreck at the "L4 deceptive/Cr", but Martin tells me their Subaru had rolled and was well and truly messed up.

Thereafter my note-calling is inconsistent, sometimes too early, sometimes right on, sometimes too late. Martin is not attacking the stage with quite the same enthusiasm anymore. That's probably a good thing.

At 8:20, more warning triangles. It's Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell out with something busted on their Subaru. This stage sure is claiming a lot of victims.

At the finish it's only 5:30 pm. Oh god. The toughest portion of the rally is still to come with us not expected to finish for a long time yet nearer 10 pm. After the end of this stage we have a 45-minute long transit and then the 27 km long rough Egan Creek stage, before a service break, then another repeat of this entire long tough loop.

I am so going to die...
rkj
December 20, 2011 10:08PM
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Ferdinand
A10 - Lower Old Hastings 1:






Martin says he's going to try to keep the car on the ground over jumps so we don't break anything else. That sounds like an excellent idea to me. The stage starts off okay. We're feeling more confident now and the notes are working well.

At 2:50 we're catching the tail lights of the Fiesta R2 of Thierry Menegoz and Guillaume Bechard, who started into the stage a minute ahead of us. They must have had some sort of problem for us to have caught them so suddenly, but they seem to be running alright now.

At 3:40 we pass the Subaru of Pat Cyr and Mark Biernacki, pulled off to the side with what must be a mechanical problem, unless they just decided to stop for a cigarette break. Either way, they don't appear to be in any distress and are safely pulled over in a well visible spot.

The stranded Subaru only presented a momentary distraction, but otherwise was not a factor in what occurred immediately after that.

"L4+/Cr ruf no cut. 60/smCr R6+ 50 ! BIG Jmp into stay right/jmp..."

In hindsight, studying the video now, I'm convinced this was all entirely my fault. The problem started right after we'd passed the Subaru at the L4+/Cr ruf no cut. It actually was rough at that spot. The bumps made it difficult to breath properly, causing me to pause for a moment. Then I fumbled the following R6+ instruction, all of which added up to me being waaaay too late on the Caution BIG Jump instruction at 3:55.

Although Martin had promised to keep the car on the ground over jumps, the warning came much too late for him to back off in time for fear of causing the car to nose-dive on landing. The bugger is that this jump leads directly into a second jump. Catching any air on the first jump means landing the car smack into the uphill slope of the following jump.

We slammed the car down hard on landing. I'm surprised we got away with that without breaking any more suspension components. We broke me instead. Three weeks later my neck still hurts now.

It felt like a pile-driver had punched my head down through my ribcage. Whiplash, concussion, whatever. I got my bell rung big time on that one. And, of course, nausea followed soon thereafter...

At 4:45 I was still cross-eyed from that hit, so I didn't really see much of Max Riddle and Aaron Neumann's wreck at the "L4 deceptive/Cr", but Martin tells me their Subaru had rolled and was well and truly messed up.

Thereafter my note-calling is inconsistent, sometimes too early, sometimes right on, sometimes too late. Martin is not attacking the stage with quite the same enthusiasm anymore. That's probably a good thing.

At 8:20, more warning triangles. It's Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell out with something busted on their Subaru. This stage sure is claiming a lot of victims.

At the finish it's only 5:30 pm. Oh god. The toughest portion of the rally is still to come with us not expected to finish for a long time yet nearer 10 pm. After the end of this stage we have a 45-minute long transit and then the 27 km long rough Egan Creek stage, before a service break, then another repeat of this entire long tough loop.

I am so going to die...

That video only goes to the jump-ouch, that is what you intended, right Ferd?

The surfers have a saying about that condition on impact (I forget the word they use but...), it's when you take a dive in to the sand head first and really see stars. It can be crippling but most times you shake it off after a few days or more.

I've had a few wicked falls in motocross, spent weeks recovering. Can be a real hassle Ferdinand, hope you straighten out soon but keep an eye on your condition, a close eye, bro.

Night racing, looks like a pisser thoughsmileys with beer

Cheers, Rick
December 21, 2011 12:03PM
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rkj
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Ferdinand
A10 - Lower Old Hastings 1:




That video only goes to the jump-ouch, that is what you intended, right Ferd?

The bad jump is at 3:55, but the video continues to the end of the stage and is 12:18 long.
December 21, 2011 02:02PM
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Ferdinand
Catching any air on the first jump means landing the car smack into the uphill slope of the following jump.

AU! Just looking at it makes me feel your pain. Very unfortunate landing. Was the car undamaged after this event?
rkj
December 21, 2011 03:56PM
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Ferdinand
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rkj
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Ferdinand
A10 - Lower Old Hastings 1:




That video only goes to the jump-ouch, that is what you intended, right Ferd?

The bad jump is at 3:55, but the video continues to the end of the stage and is 12:18 long.

Interesting, I couldn't get it to move past your accident... Probably my Barney Ruble computer :laugh:
December 23, 2011 11:14AM
Let the misery begin...

I've got a splitting headache, and I'm feeling deadly nauseous. No amount of rolling windows down, drinking water, or anything else, was going to make that go away. And worse, we had a long 45-minute transit to reach the start of the next stage, Egan Creek.

The straight highway portion is no problem, but from there on the transit road itself is already a roller-coaster, well before we get anywhere near the start of the stage. Once on the stage I'm busy with notes to read telling me what's coming up. But during the long transit I have nothing else to do but hang on while trying not to think about how my head is pounding, how I'm breaking out in sweat, and how I'm convinced I'm about to die.

We reached the arrival control with lots of time to spare, so I got out to walk around trying to shake this off, or better yet trying to puke already to just get it over with. Too bad, so sad. No luck either way. It's time to climb back in the car...

A11 - Egan Creek 1:






I was dreading this so much, I forgot to start the video camera. I only remembered to turn it on about a minute into the stage.

The Egan Creek stage starts with a very fast smooth wide open section. We reach some scary speeds on this road, so it's best if I don't screw up the notes along here. Still, you can tell I'm not on top of things as my delivery sounds flat and lifeless.

At 1:05 we reach the turn off from the smooth road onto the narrow rough stuff, and I warn Martin that he might be on his own from here on. But I hang on for another minute and a half, until 2:35, before I eventually have to quit.



Martin does a great great job of driving without notes. There are plenty of blind crests with sudden sharp turns hidden over them. Notes would have helped a lot, but at least on this roller-coaster there aren't any straightaways long enough to reach crazy speeds. If we go off, it will hopefully only be a minor crash. Besides, Martin is trying as hard as he can to be gentle while still trying to maintain some semblance of speed. I like to think he's doing that out of consideration for me and how sick I'm feeling, but I suspect it's more a matter of him not wanting to startle me into dropping this plastic bag and spilling its contents all over the car before I've safely secured the zip-loc.

At 4:04 we pass Dillon van Way and Jake Blattner, with their turbo Ford Fiesta broken and stranded at a point that's just about as far distant as it is possible to get from the service park. They've got a long wait ahead of them before they get rescued.

Dillon was our only remaining competition in the Group-5 category. Lance Webb and Maxime Vadeboncouer were out already on A3 when their Golf sheared off an axle stub and lost a wheel. Jan and Jody Zedril's Mitsubishi Lancer broke down on A7, as did Greg Healey and Aaron Crescenti's Datsun 280Z. Now Dillon and Jake are out, leaving us as the only Group-5 competitors still running. Well, Martin is still running. I'm hoping I'll soon be unconscious.

At 5:30 I'm still incapacitated, so Martin gets a bit of a fright when he stumbles into the ! L5/Cr>3-. Because he was driving blind without notes, Martin was being cautious over blind crests. This Left-5 drops downhill over a crest, then tightens significantly to a 3-minus. That alone wasn't too bad and Martin was prepared for it. But what surprised him was that this corner, unlike all the previous corners, was coated in slick mud!

This is the same corner that scared us earlier when we were coming the other direction on the A7 - Mayo Lake stage (7:05). Back then I said, "Ooh that's slick!", and Martin responded, "Note it, note it please."

Almost understeering off at this corner now prompted me to stop feeling sorry for myself and maybe try making myself useful again. So I started flipping pages to find our spot in the notes. I knew the big rough washout and Tee-Left was coming up, after which we get into the fast and busy section leading to the "double-dips", all of which would go much safer if I was reading the notes.

At 10:35 we see more warning triangles. It's Martin Donnelly and Angela Cosner. Not quite sure what happened there, but it looks like they're missing their left front wheel and Martin & Angela are down in the forest with flashlights, having a picnic, or searching for the lost wheel.

I'm good for another minute until 11:25 before I'm done again. Martin is on his own until 15:25 when we reach the Tee-Right onto the fast smooth road to the finish. This bit is relatively dangerous because of the greater speed, so it's time to make another effort at reading the notes.

But I only last until 17:45... I'm so gonna die...

This is starting to sound much too familiar. This all happened to me before at the 2009 Tall Pines Rally. See previous stories here: [www.mco.org] That was the event which convinced me that it's really dumb to pack only a single zip-loc bag! Ever since I've carried three zip-loc bags, just in case. Well, I've already used all three on just this one stage, and we have five stages still to come.

I'm so gonna die, so gonna die...
December 27, 2011 07:59PM
Reading notes in a fast moving car is the worst thing to do when your sick...
I know that was sure thing to make me sick, i couldn't read notes even if it was to save my life!
I imagine a cup of tea and an headache pill is not easy to get over there in the woods.

Hope it turned out all right, Ferdinand...
December 29, 2011 01:45PM
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Michiel 318iS
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Ferdinand
Catching any air on the first jump means landing the car smack into the uphill slope of the following jump.

AU! Just looking at it makes me feel your pain. Very unfortunate landing. Was the car undamaged after this event?

Other than the bent left rear upper control arm that was replaced at the first service stop, and another bent left rear upper control arm replaced at the second service stop, and a complete right front strut replaced at the third service stop, surprisingly this hard landing off the jump only bent back the leading edge of the skid plate under the car.

Beyond a quick check to ensure nothing had fallen off, (off the car, not off me), there were no repairs required during the 4th and last service break.
December 29, 2011 01:47PM
Quote
Jose Pinto
Reading notes in a fast moving car is the worst thing to do when your sick...
I know that was sure thing to make me sick, i couldn't read notes even if it was to save my life!
I imagine a cup of tea and an headache pill is not easy to get over there in the woods.

Hope it turned out all right, Ferdinand...

So far I've only ever puked at Tall Pines. There's just something about these roads. It's all in the head though, (except for those times when it's all down the front of your driving suit). I've never been bothered with even a hint of nausea at any other venue, but it seems that for some reason these Tall Pines roads just freak me out. It's not only me. Poor Craig Henderson, three years in a row, got sick at Pines while driving.

My first time ever co-driving in a performance rally was with Martin at the 2007 Tall Pines. I can't even ride the bus to work without getting car-sick. What the hell was I thinking agreeing to co-drive in a rallycar? I was very worried about puking. So I made sure to buy a large package of Gravol anti-nausea pills beforehand. Except, on the morning of the rally, to my horror I discovered that I'd forgotten the Gravol pills at home!! Oh nooooo! I broke out in a sweat and almost puked during the drivers' meeting already! Luckily Jane Laan had extra Gravol pills to give me and after that I was fine.

Method for dealing with it? If I take a Gravol pill before starting I'm not sure whether it actually has any real effect at all, other than as a placebo to give me peace of mind. But if it doesn't work, and I start feeling nauseous, then the only effective method of dealing with it would be a bullet to the head. Nothing short of that helps in any way.

Because of my bad experience in 2009, I already knew with dead certainty that my situation was not going to improve from here on. As-is I was already feeling downright suicidal. No way could I face another round of Middle and Lower Old Hastings and Egan Creek to finish the full length of the National rally.

I told Martin that I would stick it out until the end of the Regional portion of the rally, but I was sooooo done after that.

We just have that damn Golton rallycross spectator stage to do. I can do that. Really I can...

As we lined up to start, all I could think about was how bad it would look to be doing this last short little stage, in front of all these hundreds of spectators, every single one of them armed with a camera, and I'm going to have my head stuck in an (already filled) bag the entire time! I'm not going to puke, I'm not going to puke, I'm not going to puke...

Turns out I didn't puke, hurray! But I couldn't read any notes, and I forgot to turn on the video camera. Not that you missed anything interesting.

Now it's straight back to service and the end of the Regional rally and I'm done. Hurray, I survived!

But nooooooo... There's more. The Regional portion of the rally includes yet another round of the Golton stage after the service break. Damn, I'm still going to die...
December 29, 2011 03:11PM
After all the drama of the frantic repairs needed during the first three service stops, service stop #4 was leisurely with nothing to do. A quick check revealed no issues with the car. Maybe a little smelly, but it's still good to go for more punishment. I however am very rapidly approaching expiration.

Meanwhile, with nothing else to do during the service break, Martin had enough spare time on his hands to hatch another plan. What if we were to swap in a different co-driver? Would he be allowed to continue on to complete the last stages of the National portion of the rally using another co-driver?

Martin ran off to confer with the officials and stewards. Obviously it wouldn't count for points. To be scored as finishing, all three components of the team must reach the finish under their own power - the car, the driver, and the co-driver. If any of those three components fails, it's game over.

Ya, but, the car is still good to go, and Martin is itching to continue. We're the only remaining Group-5 car, since all the others are already out. Is it going to cause anyone grief if he continues with another co-driver? The stewards wouldn't commit to permitting or preventing the co-driver swap, they merely pointed to the rule-book where it says we'd be excluded from the results for doing that.

Okay, so it's a choice of retiring early as a "DNF" (did not finish) due to co-driver illness and missing the last three National stages, or gaining more stage experience with another co-driver over those last three awesome stages and subsequently being "Excluded". That's a simple enough choice.

But first, we want to ensure that we finish the Ontario Regional portion of the rally. For that, I only need to hold it together for one more round of the Golton stage to reach the end of the Regional portion of the Tall Pines Rally. Then I can call it quits.

The Golton spectator stage is a super-special run on a short rallycross track ploughed out of a field.

The benefit of using this stage is that it is conveniently located near downtown Bancroft and is easily accessible to a huge crowd of spectators, all of whom can be safely corralled into a fenced off spectator area from which almost the entire stage can be viewed.

That's about the only benefit though. Martin and I both hate this stage. It's a short little mickey mouse stage, barely 2 km long, all hairpin turns. It doesn't suit our car, or Martin's driving style, and we're always dog slow on this stage.

Thankfully I remember very little of either of our two runs here because I was pretty much comatose by this point. Again I forgot to start the video camera, and I couldn't even attempt to read the notes. All I managed to do without passing out was calculate our proper check-in times so we wouldn't earn any road penalties.

At the conclusion of this stage there was an optional 5-minute refuelling stop back at the service park. Those teams registered for only the Ontario Regional rally then pull into parc fermé for the conclusion of their rally, whereas the National competitors (like us) continue on for yet another long, gruelling, bone-jarring, nauseating loop of the Middle and Lower Old Hastings and Egan Creek stages.

We were already fuelled to the end of the National rally, but took the opportunity of those extra five minutes to stop and perform our co-driver swap.

Lance Webb and Maxime Vadeboncoeur, our competition in the National 2wd Group-5 category, had been forced to retire much earlier when they broke an axle stub on their VW Golf and lost a wheel on already just the 2nd stage of the event. Max is always keen for any adventure and he was eager for a chance to jump in and ride with Martin. It was a win-win opportunity. Martin gets his money's worth from paid entry fees, and Max gets a chance to ride with his closest competitor.

Also a winner, I was now free to search for a rock to curl up under and die...

In-car video of Martin and Max still to come...
Golton Spectator Stage

Before we get to videos of Martin and Max, because we have no video of our own from the Golton Spectator Stage, here's one from Ryan Huber and John Vanos.






Note John isn't calling any notes in this short stage either. But, unlike me, John wasn't nauseous at this point. Ryan didn't need notes to find his way around this track as he was one of the guys that originally created this layout. The Maple Leaf Rally Club hosts a year-long rallycross season open to anyone on this track.

Ryan & John were 8th quickest overall on this run with a time of 1:55.9, compared to our time of 2:14.6 which was only 22nd quickest of the 30 cars still running. blech.

We nearly got stuck during recce in the deep mud on this stage, but then were pleasantly surprised at the condition of the track when it came time to run it at speed. It had been scraped down to dry earth and was in the best condition I've ever seen it. We still hate it though...
January 03, 2012 03:45PM
B2 - Middle Old Hastings 2: -






Here's the first video with Maxime Vadeboncoeur co-driving for Martin. There are lots of interesting things to note in this video.

It's not at all easy swapping co-drivers.

We didn't have a lot of time to make the switch. It would have been much easier to do this during the service break, but I had to continue after the break in order to ride out the second short Golton spectator stage. That meant we now had only the short 5-minute period available during the optional refuelling stop.

We had to readjust the belts to fit Max, remove all my gear, and replace it with Max's kit. Then there was the question of using the notes Martin and I had prepared, or using those that Lance Webb and Max had done for themselves. We decided it would be better to have Max read his own notes, as opposed to trying to decipher my scribblings.

When I first started co-driving for Martin (my first time ever co-driving) we found that the notes provided for the Tall Pines Rally were far too detailed for us. I kept getting lost because I couldn't decode the shorthand notes quickly enough, or spit them out quickly enough to keep up with Martin's driving, so we ended up simplifying a lot of that stuff. Big crest, small crest, long crest, short crest, what's the difference? Just scribble all that stuff out and call them all crests. Same with R6+sh. What the heck is a right-6 plus short, versus just a simple R6? Instead of wasting breath stumbling over each little R6+sh and L6+sh, by which time we'd be past them already anyway, we used to scratch those all out and put something like "kinks 200" at the end of which is a big crest, since Martin could see past all those squiggles anyway and the only feature that really mattered was that big crest coming up.

But, upon gaining more experience, we've come to realize that those little details become more and more important for keeping us on track. Now we hardly make any changes at all to the provided notes because they're usually much better than anything we would have come up with on our own.

It's really interesting to see how Lance and Max (still relative newcomers) have made changes to "simplify" their notes, and how that affects Martin's driving now that he has become accustomed to using more detailed notes.

There's a really good example starting at 2:25 in this video. "Keep Left over Big Crest 100." That's straightforward enough. After this big crest, the next instruction isn't for another 100 metres.

Then "Right 5 short over big jump (at the end of the 100)." Here Lance and Max had crossed out a couple of unimportant instructions to simplify their notes. The road actually first goes slight right over a small crest, then slight left over another small crest, before finally reaching the Right 5 short over big jump.

During recce, done in daylight, Lance and Max figured they could do without mentioning that little zig-zig, because you can see that the road basically goes straight before disappearing over that big jump 100 metres later. It works fine in daylight.

However, when using the bright rally lights at night, both of those small crests cast long shadows so you can't see where the road goes behind them. And it's very difficult to tell how far 100 metres actually is. So Martin is expecting the next feature in the road to be a Right 5 short over a big jump, except this feels more like a Right 6 over small crest. It certainly isn't a big jump. And what's this left over small crest that's coming up here? Where's the big jump?

There's nothing actually wrong with doing it this way, as long as both the driver and co-driver know what's happening. Max is right on top of it. He knows where they are. He even points out to Martin, "this one, right 5 short over big jump." But you can also tell that Martin was unsettled by that and not really sure about what had just happened there.

Rallying is very much a team sport built on trust between driver and co-driver. I know Martin is an excellent driver. And, having watched this video several times now, I can't see anything that Max is doing "wrong". But it's clear that they haven't clicked together yet. Nor would anyone expect them to, this being the first time they've ridden together, especially on such a challenging night stage.
January 06, 2012 12:29PM
B3 - Lower Old Hastings 2: -






With one stage done, Martin and Max head into this next one with more confidence and Martin is charging right off the start. Then there's a small hitch.

At 0:53 it's, "keep right over jump 180... Care keep left Crest L5+ into R4+sh..." But there are several other small crests not mentioned along that 180 metre section. I can feel Martin starting to get nervous as he's wondering if he's already covered 180 metres yet, and which one of these several crests will eventually be the one that he's supposed to take Care over.

It's probably all very obvious in broad daylight, and it actually is obvious when you eventually see the crest at the end of the 180 metres, but at night the deep shadows cast behind each of those crests makes Martin lift off the throttle each time as he's unsure of where the road goes.

Finally Martin sees the Crest L5, and asks for confirmation that this is the L5 here. And that temporarily throws Max off his stride as he repeats the instruction when they're already into those corners. That makes him a little late reading out the following instruction "Care L4 into BigCrR4+". Martin takes a moment to digest that instruction and turns in late on the L4 and then nearly cuts too much on the R4.

And just like that, the initial burst of confidence is gone. It takes a few more instructions after that before they're back on the same page and the pace picks up again.

You have to see this next bit...

At 3:50 is the 100 metre straight where Martin and I earlier, while chasing the Fiesta of Thierry Menegoz, passed the stranded Subaru of Pat Cyr on our first pass on this stage. That means the nasty jump with the hard landing, where I hurt my neck, is coming up soon. But it all looks different now without those other two cars, and Max hasn't seen this stage in the dark yet, so he doesn't know it's coming.

At the end of this 100 metre is a "Care Big Jump". Martin is focused on that, and making sure not to jump the car. But this isn't the big one yet.

Immediately following is a "L4+/Cr ruf no cut". Martin is still worried about that big jump, which wasn't this one, so he didn't really catch all that L4 instruction and asks for a repeat. Max has to repeat the L4 instruction in mid-corner.

Except the L4 is "ruf", ie ROUGH. It's difficult to speak while getting bounced through that rough stuff. So exactly as happened to me earlier at this spot, Max has to pause for a moment to catch his breath before reading the next instruction.

"110... care Big Jmp into stay right/jmp..."

Compare Lance/Max's note above to our notes below for this bit.

"60/smCr R6+ 50 ! BIG Jmp into stay right/jmp..."

Lance and Max simplified their notes by taking out the small Crest and R6+ instructions, combining the 60 and 50 metre straights and instead simply calling that whole bit as a straight "110" metres long.

That wasn't such a bad idea. I hesitated over the L4 ruf portion, then stumbled trying to spit out the "60/smCr R6+", which made me late calling the ! BIG Jmp.

But, taking out that portion of instructions and replacing it with just "110... care Big Jmp" didn't work for Martin. There is a small but definite crest in there, followed by a slight right bend, before eventually reaching the jump. Martin was probably thinking to himself, "that was no big jump, that was just a small crest, and then what's this right bend here? Oh, ok, this thing coming up here must be the jump..."

If you turn up the sound, you can hear Martin suck in his breath when he suddenly realizes what's coming. He's about to say, "Frack! This is the ONE!" Except it's already too late.

SLAM kaBANG!

The car again comes crashing down hard off that jump, landing on its nose. You can see gravel spray forward up into the lights. Martin later discovered the leading edge of the skidplate all curled under from that impact.

It makes me cringe and flinch watching this again, but evidently Max is built of tougher stuff than I am. That hit didn't seem to bother him one bit and he continues reading notes without pause.

The rest of the stage goes fine until the finish at 11:00, after which it's fun listening to some of their post-stage discussion.
January 06, 2012 03:19PM
B4 - Egan Creek 2

After forgetting to turn off the camera until about halfway through the 45-minute transit to this stage, Martin and Max then forgot to restart the camera. So, we have no in-car video of this final stage.

Martin tells me that parts of this stage went really well for them, other parts not so well. That sounds a lot like how Ryan Huber and John Vanos experienced it too. You can watch their in-car video instead.






I think Ryan & John's videos are great because they're always so similar to our own. John groans and complains through all the rough portions, exactly like I do! This stage was particularly rough and beat up. Upon reaching the finish line Ryan exuberantly says, "Ya Buddy!" Poor John can only say, "Thank god. I'm gonna effing puke..."

Of the 31 entrants in the Ontario Regional Rally, which ended three stages earlier, Nick & Kelly Mathew took first place, thereby winning the very closely contested 2011 Ontario Performance Rally Championship (OPRC).

Michelle Laframboise and Dean Hopkins finished 2nd, beating husband Ian Crerar and Doug Draper who finished 4th. This awesome finish brought Michelle to within just one point of equalling Ian's OPRC points total of 48. Michelle finished the season with 47 points. Go Michelle!!

Ryan and John finished on the podium in 3rd place, and Martin and I were 5th.

Interestingly, of the 12 Regional 2WD entries, the top three places were claimed by the only three RWD cars. Martin and I were 1st in the 1991 Nissan 240SX, Ian Topping and Jeff Secor 2nd in the 1980 Volvo 242, and Nuno & Isabel Pereira 3rd in the 1977 Toyota Corolla. 4th were Alexei Stapinski and Jeff Hagan in the FWD 1992 Suzuki Swift GTI. None of the other 8 FWD regional entries finished.

Of the sixty entries overall, National and Regional combined, Martin/Me&Max would have finished 17th overall and 3rd out of the twenty 2wd entries, behind the 1st 2wd (9th overall) 2011 Ford Fiesta of Wyatt Knox and Ole Holter, and 2nd 2wd (13th overall) 1990 VW Golf GTi of Simon Dubé and Pat Lavigne. But of course we were excluded from the National results because of our illegal co-driver swap after I wimped out due to a crippling overdose of pukitude.

However, the biggest story of the event by far was the enormously popular first ever overall National win of "Crazy Leo" - Leonid Urlichich with Martin Brady co-driving. For the full story on that, watch the excellent 23-minute TV coverage posted at FlatOverCrest.com courtesy of TV2Go and CARS.

Huge congratulations to Leo! Surely that's the first of many wins to come.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow 5:30pm EST Saturday, Jan 7th, on TSN2, for the 2011 Year-In-Review show! (Will probably also be posted to Flatovercrest afterward?)
January 27, 2012 01:26PM
I knew there had to be someone with a camera at this corner!

Here is a great sequence of shots showing how we tipped the car way up on its side on A2 - Upper Old Hastings 1.

The front wheel left a neat imprint in the dirt. The rear wheel smacked that tree stump, resulting in a bent upper control arm.

Photos by Charles Spivak.

January 27, 2012 01:32PM
Exciting pics.

So how many control arms is that now? I've lost count. smiling smiley

__________
Dave
'91 325iX
January 28, 2012 06:50PM
Quote
Dave_G
Exciting pics.

So how many control arms is that now? I've lost count. smiling smiley

This is how they bent the CA shown before.
January 29, 2012 03:11AM
Can't you make control arms like the blue ones yourselves, made out of two halves that bolt together, so you can replace them with the strut in place?
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