Well, we're lucky here to have the Rally America National Championships come through rural MO this year for the first time. Having been a die hard WRC and SCCA Club Rally fan for 5 years, I couldn't resist but to sign up to work. My area of expertise is medical, so I rented a 4X4 and headed down to run medical crew.
Today I got to work the start sweep for the "Shakedown" or practice stage, so I got plenty of video of the drivers and cars. Drivers and co-drivers from Poland, UK, New Zealand, Ireland, and Italy just to name a few, were present (among many from around the US). Mostly Suburu STI's and Evo's, but there was a Jeep Commanche pickup and old Volkswagens.
SVOboy, you're going to love this. My favorite car was a Volkswagen TDI powered by soy oil. The drivers claim that they average 35 mpg RACING! The car was a blast to watch -- billows of black smoke, the turbo spooling up, and low RPMs -- but it hauled a$$. A real testiment to not sacrificing power for economy. I really had to commend them for their stance. Visit their Website. I can't wait to see them in action during the actual stages tomorrow.
I'll soon convert the video to pix if anyone is interested. More tomorrow!
Well, I'm back from the Rally, and let me say it was a BLAST! I only wish I could drive. Actually, the medic on the stage could run the course full-bore 2 minutes after the last car started, if an accident occurred, then I'd stop. I rented a Chevy Trailblazer 4WD, 4.2L Inline-6 -- on the last stage, I drove as hard as I could and posted a time consistent with the last 6 cars! What a rush -- and thank goodness for Stability/Roll Control.
2 major accidents (on my stages):
Believe it or not, the Driver and Co-Driver was OK. Once the Jeep Club got it shiny-side-up, they started it right up and drove it back to town!
The Subaru team from Boston wasn't as lucky:
They rolled 4 times into a barbed wire fence and caught fire -- we put out the fire and everyone was OK, but the car was toast. They had to fix all 4 suspension corners to get it roll onto the trailer. The wreck closed the stage.
Cool pix From the Rally-America.com website:
"Bumper Not Required"
"Low Water Bridge (LWB)"
This was my favorite car at the rally: the Golf TDi converted to run on Soybean Oil. The car averaged 35 mpg RACING! They only needed 20 gallons of fuel for the entire rally. Very impressive. The drivers were cool too -- they're trying to get alternative fuels into the racing scene. They posted some pretty good times too...
But the winners: Subaru reigns supreme...
If anyone ever has a chance to work or even spectate at one these events, you won't be disappointed.