Random rubbish from the motor sport world

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Narooma 2007

What a fucking disaster.

Yes that’s right reader, I am a rally driver too. And I do drive.

I also crash.

Now, usually what i do is I like to write something vaguely funny extolling what happened in the event with some embellishment for people’s amusement. I find this time myself completely incapable of doing so, as this event really burnt me out physically and mentally. I very much have run out of funny after this big time and could I be blamed? The mayhem and problems of just getting the car to Thursday night are well documented and also got me to the end of my patience. Basically, far too much time spent on sorting out one problem, not enough attention spent elsewhere.

It stresses you out badly and stress, coupled with late nights leads to errors that you cant really afford.

So instead of funny, you get the other side that no one talks about – the Ugly “when things go wrong, you out of ideas and time and the cash is looking thin” side. It’s all part of motorsport and rally and believe me, you get even a bit serious, you get to know all about it all too well. Do you really want to rally when instead of racing through a forest, you get what I’ve been through just to even get to a point where the car was still not ready but at least RUNNING???? Much to my dismay too as I look back, I knew this was going t be an utter fuckup of an event. What I didnt know was just how bad.

Friday morning, was the day of too many jobs to do. I put business to one side, got the angle grinder out along with the electrical tools and jacks, got to work outside of the office at 9 am. Yes, I am free to build rally cars at the office. Tekko/Artisan is full of car mad freaks anyway so no biggie at all. Tekko is the business I’m helping to get going and that’s the reaosn it’s ended up on the side of the car. The first job of the day tho was noisy and it will make you wince – I was cutting a hole in the car’s roof. Why a roof vent – because the Galant is staggeringly hot in an event and the week before when I came 2nd outright, I just about melted with the heat. Thence a stream of cooling and fresh air is wanted badly. So after some measurements and then then a drill to size things up, out came the angle grinder and ten minutes later the vent was riveted on and sealed with plumber’s silicone. Much to my surprise it went damn well, which given the shit fight of the weeks before was a shock. So therefore were the spotlights in how easy they were to get going, the battery to clamp down and the mud flaps to reinstall. And thence before lunchtime the car was ‘ready’ to rally.

That meant that the other part of Artisan Group, Motographics was in play and Luke, who is our genius at Corel/Photoshop could partially execute the signwriting for the Galant.

Now, I bet most of you would be surprised to know most signwriting on race cars is not paint. It is 100% vinyl sticker, printered and cut on the biggest mother of a printer you have seen. Most race cars get what’s called a ‘wrap’, in other words a full body sticker job. One of these days I’ll do a thread on how it’s done, but for now the printer spat out the Tekko sticker and Luke showed me how to execute a sticker job. And if you think its a case of just putting it on, you are sooooo badly mistaken. Doing the job right is highly difficult and takes a hell of a lot of skill. One of the things I never expected to learn or to do!

When complete, Hunter Devourer turned up and we got to packing the service van. And, much to my annoyance, I had to attend to a server that had log files that were filled and thence it wouldnt send or recieve email. Fucking hell.

About 2 hours later than I wanted we were ready to go and this is what the Galant looked like –

Hell, it even looked pretty good and serious with the stickers, lights and vent, dont it?

Luke and HD contemplating life or amazed the car is actually about to leave.

8 pm, we finally got to the service crew’s place, picked them up, then filled both the vans, the jerry cans and the VR4 with 200 litres of fuel, then turned south for Narooma. 400 km drive, the Vr4 did not miss a beat and much to my delight was even feeling highly toey and ready to rumble. othing fell off, nothing failed and it was pretty nice to not have any misfire. Oh and the spot light really lit up the road.

However, arriving at Narooma at 1:20 am was not a good idea, as unavoidable as it was. That’s far too late and leads to fatique the next day, again not a good thing at a rally.

But for once nothing else was going wrong.

Saturday morning dawned….

And not long after this, it turned to complete shit. The car was running strong… but first it began to rain.

Then the windshield wipers were found to not do a damn thing.

Oh and the terratrip packed it in

Then the service crew fell ill and we suddenly had a real problem of not being able to service at the remote locations. Thence, a few tools in the car, tank it with as much fuel as possible and hope for the best. 4 stages without service is asking a lot…..

3:30 pm, we left the Naromma bowling club went south, made a wrong turn, righted ourselves, then drove out to stage one…. which when we arrived we found was blocked by a fallen tree. And we had to wait 40 minutes for the stage to clear. But that wasnt the worst of it – the worst was the rain really decided not to fuck around and upend on us. That meant already cut up tracks were getting turned to slop and the rain had a big chance to soak in, making things even worse.

And to top it off, the car began to mist up.


… okay, have a look at the video and you’ll see what happens next.

– 21 minutes, 300 mb


Anyway, the video explains the root cause very well. Couldnt see, I think tagged the back end on something, got forced into the bank and BANG, that’s the rally over. Still just drivable, drove it back to the hotel and then dumped it there.

And then drove the van back to Sydney in the torrential rain, fetched the WRX and then set a land speed record between Sydney and Narooma (yes KB, Geoff’s record fell and I did it in a absolute downpur the whole way), arriving back at 4 am to catch some sleep before ferrying the guys back home.

posted by admin at 8:18 am  

1 Comment »

  1. I dun fixed yer shit.

    Comment by admin — March 4, 2007 @ 3:26 am

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