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2012 Lanark Highlands Forest Rally

Posted by Ferdinand 
May 13, 2012 02:14PM
A week ago (May 5th), Martin and I competed in the Lanark Highlands Forest Rally, finishing 8th overall and 1st of the 2wd teams.

This is an Ontario Regional event, hosted by our own Motorsport Club of Ottawa. It's run on an absolutely amazing rally road which was used back in the 1974 Rideau Lakes Rally when that was a World Rally Championship event won by Sandro Munari in a

Lancia Stratos.

Here's the road - Google Satellite Map: http://g.co/maps/325td

We run the same road seven times, 4 times Northbound, and 3 Southbound. We had some fun with this one.

1: http://youtu.be/GcsstgFxm4A

2: http://youtu.be/W1ZOJHvsosA

3: http://youtu.be/dLXikYArCiw

4: http://youtu.be/1oovf2lMhZI

5: http://youtu.be/TzvQsRknrJw

6: http://youtu.be/obiONRo7VaQ

7: http://youtu.be/Qt3ynfM81kI

Here are a couple of in-car videos from eventual winners, Ryan Huber and John Vanos in their Subaru Impreza Sti.

The helmet-cam view gives an interesting perspective.




Just watched the first couple videos, is there any event you want to write about?

Jose Pinto
Is there any event you want to write about? :popcorn:

Everything ran smoothly for us. We had a uneventful rally, no problems, no moments, no flats, no crashes, and hardly any stories.

Results for each stage are posted here: http://kwrc.on.ca/2012/Results/Lanark/

Everyone survived the first northbound stage. We could probably have been quicker. But then again, we might have crashed. Our goal was to finish first in 2wd, but Thierry Menegoz in his Fiesta R2 beat us by 0.2 seconds on this first stage.

A1 - Northbound:


We beat Thierry by 13 seconds on the 2nd stage. Either our pace improved, or Thierry's pace fell off.

A2 - Southbound:

Speaking of falling off, Neil and Lorna Wright had an unfortunate "off" with their Mazda RX7 running head-on into a tree. On first hearing of this, Martin joked that it shouldn't matter too much with a rotary-powered RX7 because there is about a meter of empty space in the engine compartment between the radiator and the engine. But later upon seeing the damage we realized it had been a very heavy impact indeed, with the damage reaching all the way back to ruin the engine as well.

Also falling off in a big way, the Subaru Legacy of Eric Vlasic and Emily Dowell suffered a substantial rollover. Both of the crew seemed fine, but their Subaru is in sad shape.

Jeremy Norris and David Coles had a moment in the tricky tight downhill right corner near the finish line, ending up high-centered and stuck on the outside edge of the road before eventually being pulled back onto the road by Paul Hartl and Chuck Storry.

And Michelle Laframboise / Dean Hopkins were forced to call it quits after this stage because their Mitsubishi expired with spectacular over-heating problems. The team was hoping to add more water, but when the rad-cap was pulled a fountain of steam shot out at least twenty feet into the air. Obviously something seriously wrong in the cooling department there...

Those cars were all running behind us in the order, so all that action (other than Michelle's at the turnaround) happened somewhere behind us.

A3 - Northbound:

You can catch a glimpse of Eric and Emily's Legacy off the left side of the road at 5:18 on our next Northbound run, and Neil & Lorna's red RX7 pulled safely off into a sideroad on the right at 8:04.

Two more cars behind us are out on this stage. Sergei Grishechkin/Ksenia Prokofjeva broke the gearbox on their VW Golf, and Paul Hartl/Chuck Storry put their Golf off the road butted against a tree.

A4 - Southbound:

Turn the volume up at the beginning of this clip and tell me that our fuel pump starting up doesn't sound like a rooster crowing.

After three stages, Chris Martin and Peter Watt were comfortably in the lead, 30 seconds clear of 2nd place Huber/Vanos, seemingly on their way to repeat last year's win when disaster struck. When the time came for them to roll up to take the start of this 4th stage, their engine refused to start and they were forced to retire. What a huge disappointment for them.

Andrew Kulikowski / Ryan Nichols were also forced out when their power steering pulley sheared off. The loss of the water pump drive-belt then caused their Focus to overheat.

Matt Janiak hasn't posted any of his awesome photos this year because he volunteered instead to work the time control along with Greg Kierstead. As we pull up to the start line, Matt posed for our GoPro cam.

After this stage, we headed back to Lanark for a 30-minute service break.
A5 - Northbound:

We experienced our only moment of "drama" just before starting this 5th stage.

Normally, with no remote-control for the GoPro camera mounted outside the car, one of us needs to wait until the last moment to start the camera before scrambling back into the car to hurriedly get belted up. For these next runs though, I moved the GoPro to the inside of the car where it is much easier to reach. This meant I could leisurely climb into the car and take my time doing up the belts, HANS tethers, plugging in the intercom, etc. It's a good thing we had those extra couple of minutes available because...

... as I bent over to reach for the door handle to open my door, something dropped out of the sky, bounced off my foot, and rolled out of sight under the car. Huh? What the heck was THAT?

I quickly realized the reason why it went "out of sight", because my vision had suddenly gone all blurry. It was the right lens out of my eyeglasses!!! The screw had fallen out of the eyeglass frame and, when I bent over, the lens dropped out and rolled somewhere under the car. Oh jeez. That's not good.

I found the lens, but there's no chance of ever finding the tiny screw. What to do? I can't possibly read the notes one-eyed. Luckily the medic car was parked right next to us. Martin hopped out and got a small piece of white medical tape. We wrapped that around my glasses frame to hold the lens in place, and we're good to go! Looking suitably geeky now, at least I can see again.

A6 - Southbound:

The buttons on the GoPro are a bit loose and sometimes make an annoying rattling noise on the video. I "fixed" that by wedging a small wad of kleenex in there held by a piece of tape. But now sometimes the button sticks.

We had a little fun at the start of this clip when the GoPro camera mysteriously kept starting up all by itself. Luckily we got that sorted out before starting the stage.

A7 - Northbound:

Last stage. The sun is in our eyes and the road is getting deeply chewed up in some spots. Still, it was another good run.

What a fun event. Very well run and organized. Big thanks to Jane Laan and all her many helpful volunteers!

HUGE congratulations to Ryan Huber and John Vanos on their well-deserved first victory together. Everybody was pleased with that outcome.
May 16, 2012 09:15AM



May 16, 2012 09:56AM
May 16, 2012 04:38PM
Someone had fun going sideways...


Can't you lower the Nissan headlights for sligthly better aerodinamics?
From what I remember, those cars could raise the lights only when needed...
May 16, 2012 07:36PM
Jose Pinto
Someone had fun going sideways...


Can't you lower the Nissan headlights for sligthly better aerodynamics?
Meh. We don't need no aerodynamics. That's what horsepower is for! :burnout:

Martin removed the motors which raise and lower those headlamps. They were broken anyway and just extra weight to carry around. The lamps are fixed permanently in the upright position now.

On gravel rallies we rarely ever reach speeds where the aerodynamics of the headlamps would make any noticeable difference. But it would have been nice to have the headlamps retracted at Targa Newfoundland though. We were doing 200 km/h on several stages there.

Here's an interesting FaceBook photo of one of our competitors cutting this same corner a bit too much at Lanark. This image, also recorded by Peter MacDonald, comes off his GoPro video camera which was perched on a small tripod in the ditch.

You can see Peter Mac snapping that photo of us at 7:35 into our video of Stage 2:

One second later, at 7:36, you can see Peter's GoPro video camera standing on its short tripod just off the inside edge of the corner.
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