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My Weekend

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My Weekend

Post by Guest on 2/5/2012, 9:00 pm

Just got back a little while ago from Sandblast Rally in Eastern SC. I got into town Friday afternoon and got registered, then went out to get settled in at my campsite. Went back into town for a course worker meeting. That wrapped up around 10pm, so it was between 10:30 and 11 by the time I got back to camp and got squared away.

Temps were supposed to stay in the 50's, so imagine my surprise when I woke up absolutely freezing at 3am. It was 39F! I added a couple more layers, but couldn't really get back to sleep. I had to meet up with my stage team at 6am, so I went ahead and started getting ready. I ended up at the meeting spot at about 5:30. We had everyone in place and were ready for the first racers to start at 8:30. Unfortunately, the pre-race meeting fell behind, so I don't think anyone showed up until about 9:00. Ideally, there should be at least 5 people at start control - One to check in the cars when they arrive, one radio operator, a person to hold the racers at a stage point, then 2 at the actual starting line (one records the start time on a card for the racer and on a start log, then the other does the countdown and releases the racers). We started with 2 - The stage captain/radio operator logged arrival times, then I took care of starting duties.

Before the first racers can leave the start, we have a 000 car run the course. They are making sure that the route is marked appropriately, that all spectators are in the appropriate areas, etc. Our 000 was a Ford Excursion. After 000 clears, the 00 car will go through at about 60% speed, again verifying the course is appropriately marked. This was our 00:



This car has an interesting history. It is an actual Celica All-Trac and was originally built by the Rod Millen for Jason Priestley (yeah, the guy from Beverly Hills 90210) to race in SCCA Pro-Rally in the mid 90's. The last person to race it (before the current owner) rolled it pretty bad during a race a few years ago. Aside from body damage and the frame being tweaked, the cage kept everything relatively together. The current owner picked it up for $3000 on eBay and has been rebuilding it. This was it's first official shakedown run since being fixed and he will likely race it later this year.

After 00, a 0 car will run through the course at about 80% speed. Once they are done, we are cleared to start. One thing that is unique to NASA Rally Sport is the inclusion of motorcycles. The RallyMOTO riders are the first competitors to run each stage. After all of the bikes go through, they are followed by a "Combo Car", which is a full-size pickup that sweeps the course looking for any downed riders that need assistance. When combo is done, it's time to run the cars! Speaking of which - this was the first event for a new class: RallySOLO, which, as the name implies, is a car and a driver, that's it. No co-driver. According to the organizer, "it takes the expense of racing a car, and the balls of racing a bike." Can't say I disagree with that assessment.

Now, like I mentioned before, we were shorthanded, so I couldn't get any pictures or videos of the cars launching. Ours was the first stage of the day, then it was run in reverse for the 6th of 7 stages. After stage 6 was cleared we went through gathering the course workers and cleaning up all of the barricade tape and signage. By the time we got back into town, the bikes were already there and the cars were only a few minutes out. I apologize in advance for the picture quality. I was too tired to grab my good camera out of the car!



Yes, that is a Ford Escort Cosworth in the foreground. It won quite handily, as it did a few years ago before it was "retired". This was it's first race back after being restored. Also, from what I heard from the people working the spectator areas, that Nissan was a sight to see ripping through the stages.




My friend Eric's car. Finished third overall, even with blowing a radiator hose at the end of the last stage and being towed back to the official finish. Also, note the flag by his name. Very Happy






This morning, everyone gathered at a local restaurant for breakfast before going out to finish cleaning the stages. I got these pics there:






And then a couple of my car I took while blocking the road in between stages. Very Happy





And one of the perks from the weekend: Doing clean up we were instructed to drive the stages "at a moderate pace". Since the roads were closed until we finished clearing them, moderate was a totally subjective term. Wink I may have gone a wee bit over the posted speed limit once or twice. Of course, there was plenty of sugar sand and trees around to remind me that I didn't have a) dirt tires, b) a helmet, and c) a roll cage affraid

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Re: My Weekend

Post by Guest on 2/6/2012, 2:22 pm

Sounds like a pretty sweet weekend there. Beats looking at screen for hours Laughing

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Re: My Weekend

Post by Guest on 2/13/2012, 9:09 am

Here's a video from the Dirty Rallysport #2. on the stage I was working. BTW - that's me at the beginning of the video sending them on their way!


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Re: My Weekend

Post by Guest on 2/13/2012, 9:16 am

This is one of the stages I ran,er, I mean helped clean up. Very Happy


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Re: My Weekend

Post by Guest on 2/13/2012, 9:17 am

Here's me again working the start of the same stage as before, but in reverse.


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Re: My Weekend

Post by Guest on 2/13/2012, 3:05 pm

Wow, those are some great photos you have taken. I especially like the KTM Hauler/Truck with the anime girl on the side.

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Re: My Weekend

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