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2012 Perce Neige - Martin/Ferd Nissan 240SX in-car videos

Posted by Ferdinand 
March 04, 2012 02:55PM
SS16 - Lapointe -

It's late. The rally started at 9am and it's now already past 11pm. It's a long tough event. We're fried and just want to get home in one piece.

This last stage is intimidating. Most of the opening section of this road is ridiculously fast, where we're well up into 4th gear. It's scary. The road is icy and lined with telephone poles. The final section is more typical winding rally road. But the first two-thirds is nuts.

Our in-car video makes everything look much slower than actually is. Sure we could have gone faster. You can tell from the engine sound that we're not committed to taking these fast corners 100% flat out. We're so far behind now, there is no point in taking risks. Martin is giving a healthy lift off of the throttle over every blind crest. We're not prepared to take unnecessary risks with these A034 snow tires on such a glare ice surface. Especially not at these high speeds. But, we're still clipping along at a pretty good rate. At 2:20 there is a really cool external clip of us, a night shot by "wakenphotography". You can tell from that video, although we're being careful, we're still flying.

That clip is from this awesome video:


It's really interesting to listen to the engine note of all the cars. You can tell how very very few of the drivers have the confidence to keep their throttle foot planted through this very fast section. At 0:20 there's Antoine, super-smooth as always. And at 0:31 it's Leo, showing why he's known as "Crazy". And check out Peter Kocandrle at 3:33 in his VW Golf. Certainly no lack of confidence there!

We made it to the end with no further incidents. Simply being scored as finishing in this event is a considerable achievement. Of the 41 teams starting, there were seventeen who did not finish.

We finished 1st in Group-5, but that's nothing to crow about. Being the only entry in G5 means we also finished last in our class of one. Even though this certainly was not our best performance to date, we were still 14th overall in the National results, and 2nd out of all the 2wd entries, behind only Peter Kocandrle & Angela Cosner.

Everyone was happy to see Sylvain Vincent & Simon Vincent take 3rd place on the National podium, demonstrating that the sly old fox has lost none of his talent. "Crazy" Leo Urlichich & Carl Williamson, despite their frightening crash into a telephone pole on the BlueSea stage, took 2nd place. And Antoine L'Estage & Nathalie Richard claimed 1st overall.

Antoine and Nathalie always make these wins look so effortless, as though it's easy for them. They finished 8 and a half minutes quicker than 2nd place Leo. We finished 1:20:54 behind Antoine and Nat! Okay, a full 30 minutes of that was due to us either being stopped in snowbanks, or penalized for being early at the Tortue time control. But still, they were 51 minutes faster on pace than us, while making it look easy! That's astounding.
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