As I mentioned, the BIGGSB Racing Subaru have had some challenges at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. Twitter user @kplaird has shared a bunch of photos of the rather forlorn looking WRX sporting numerous wounds. The fuel cell is bent, and the hood is sporting some creative new coloring thanks to a leaky turbo oil line leak. I’m not sure what the deal is with the garbage bag over the fuel filler.
Thanks to Twitter user @NeilMcDaid for this Tall Pines update.
I’m not quite sure how I forgot to post on this, I guess there has just been too many things in my feeble little brain.
The Rally of the Tall Pines is running today in Ontario cottage country. This final event in the North American Rally Championship and Canadian Rally Championship is also known as one of the toughest events in North America. In fact, one description over the years has been “winter roads with summer ditches”. While long time readers may recall that last year I woke up to minus 19 degrees last year at Pines, this year we’ve had a very warm Fall. Here in Whitby, 2 hours south of the event, it is about 10 degrees C out there right now. That is shorts and tee shirt weather!
The warm, wet weather means lots of muddy roads and rally crews are finding that the tires are plugging up badly with mud, making for very slippery driving conditions. You can bet that most teams were up all night grooving tires to evacuate the goo. One team that suffered was the Subaru of Pat Richard and Alan Ockwell, who had an off that fortunately only resulted in cosmetic damage.
If the Ockwell name sounds familiar, its because Alan is the brother of occasional rally guy in The Garage, Erik Ockwell. Erik is up at Pines today and hopefully will be able to get some stories together for us tomorrow. Either way, we’ll have more stories and photos from Andrew Harvey and Warwick Patterson from FlatOverCrest.
Typically when you watch a major league baseball game or an NFL football game you have a pretty good idea who stands a good chance to come out on top. The same can be said when you are watching The Olympics and it’s also understandable for world class racing as well wether it’s NASCAR, 24 Hours of Le Mans or the WRC. Like the old saying says, “The cream will rise to the top.”
But this years La Carrera Panamericana has proven to be anything except a typical year. Over 120 cars stared out and by day 2 less than 75 cars crossed the finish arch. From there things got worse. Most (not all) of the teams who where expected to finish high in the daily standings have not. Some of the best prepared and well equipped cars have suffered blown engines, transmissions or crashed into the side of mountains. There attrition rate has been high not to mention expensive. Several of the top class cars with first cabin Winston Cup engines blew in the first two days. Some very beautiful vintage cars have body’s that look like they now belong in wrecking yards. One of the cars was a high end Maserati that spun and was collected by a mountain.
Sadly teams were not allowed to race at the famous Mexico City Autodromo Hnos Rodriguez which was supposed to be the opener for Sunday’s Nascar race because it was raining so bad the whole night before. The damp weather has caused numerous electrical problems that teams were not prepared for and many have broken down during race and transit stages. On the flip side of that coin is the fact that a Volvo has slipped into second overall running against cars that can easily do over 200mph!
At this stage of the long grueling race teams are tired, frustrated, cold and many of them feel as if they have beat up and left for dead. Many team and crew members are feeling sick after being exposed to so much bad weather in Mexico City complete with lots of acid rain.
The good news…. There is no good news. This morning teams left Quertaro and will end up later today on the very narrow, twisty roads in the mountains near San Luis Potosi and last report was they are soaking wet with the possibility of rain.
…at least I can shoot ’em.
I’ve got a deep passion for racing. Always have. Probably always will. I love the sound, the smell, the visceral sensation that only heading into a corner at the very threshold of braking can provide. It reminds you that you’re alive. It’s zen in the midst of chaos. There’s a certain calm that can only be found in the fear that you’re about to crash and burn, and a great deal of satisfaction in making it through in one piece.
These days life only affords me the occasional shot at racing bliss, so I do the next best thing I can – I load up my camera gear and head out to capture the experience in the second best way. There a little of the same adrenaline rush when trying to grab the perfect shot. Second best, but better then nothing. At least I get to immerse myself in the environment, to feel the visceral sensation that you can only feel when standing 4 feet from a straightaway while a 700HP beast fly’s past at speed. You feel it in your DNA. It takes your breath away – forceably.