We put the Hurt on Dirt

North Nevada Rally – 2nd Gp2

The Crane Rally Crew is having a busy year.  We’ve done the Olympus Rally, Oregon Trail Rally, Idaho Rally, and now the North Nevada Rally.  It’s a lot of fun checking out new stages, and racing new people.  The stages were great, and the rally well run.

We’d like to thank our friend in Reno for his hospitality,

Team Rally – for their help moving around Leviathan, our service rig during the event,

the Volunteers and Organizers, for letting us race.

here is a quick breakdown of the stages, and a link to the videos:

Stage 1 – Ragged Top – our first run on Nevada Roads, a 4.9 mile stage that runs uphill to a peak then back down.  The car was getting warm, and I wasn’t sure of its temp limits, so I  took it easy on the uphill.  Some deciptive crests lead to a close call on the downhill.

Stage 2 – Copper Queen.  Another up and down stage, 5.1mi long, this one is less technical and more wide open than the first.  Very few crests or  drop-offs.

Stage 3 – Ragged top II, a repeat of Stage 1, with the same tricky crests.  I was more comfortable with the temp guage, so we kept it floored on the uphill.

Stage 4 is a repeat of stage 2.  This video is fun because of the shadows being thrown by the low sun through the car onto the dashboard.  Also look for one of our main competitors, Tom Moser in the VW Golf parked on a hill.  His car overheated,  and started leaking through the heatercore, leading to a very steamy cabin, with no visibility, then a quick stop.  We set the 6th fastest time.

North Nevada Rally – Night stages 5, 6, 7,8.  These are reverse runnings of stages 1-4, which were run in the afternoon.  Since we had over an hour to service the cars, the sun had set, taking with it some of the breaze that was keeping the dust away.  In my RWD car I found it very hard to set up for the corners when the entry is covered by dust, and my times reflect that.

Stage 9 – Wild Ass I.  This was the first stage Saturday.  Starting in a sandy open area  along a foothill, then racing up and over a ridge.  There was less elevation change than the other Saturday stage,  Purgatory, but run this direction, it was mostly uphill.  This one had some great dips and crests, with only two hairpin corners to interupt the flow.  At 9.5 miles it’s the 3rd longest stage of the rally.  By keeping it clean, and not worrying about overheating the car, I think we supprised the 2wd leader G. Doganis, by besting setting the fastest 2wd time.  Look for the jump after the cattle guard in the middle of the stage.  Also look for George’s fender liner, and tire tracks at a tricky left 3, before the final straights.

Purgatory, Stage 10.  this 10.5 mile stage was the longest and most fun of the event. It has it all, fast straights, fun crests, cows, hairpins, rocks, uphill and downhills.  You’ll have to watch it all.  Starting on the flat pastures, with a series of straights with dips into hard corners, then past the cows, along the bottom of a ravine, through some gates, then up some loose tight steep hairpins and down the other side, just as steep.  we did hesitate because of the engine temps on the uphill, but then so did everyone else.  once again I was faster than George, raising my hopes of a 2wd win.  Dust in the car and on the camera lens makes this video a little fuzzy, so check out stage 12 for a clearer view and faster time.

Stage 11 was a repeat of 9, George had caught on to my quick times, and beat me by 4 seconds.  We improved by 5 seconds over our first pass.  The video is more clear, which is nice because we took the jump a little quicker this time.

Purgatory II, I was on fire.  Or it felt like it, it was hot out.   We raced across the desert, flying over crests, and through gates. George put 12 seconds on us though, and I considered our pass faultless.

Stage 13, Purgatory East I, or hell backwards.  The whole character of the stage changes when you flip it around.  The initial climb is endless, my car was overheating even on the start line.  It was a matter of putting to the top, and letting the momentum do the rest.  The last third of the stage was a blast.  Which is why I didn’t start the camera until we were on the downhill.

Stage 14 of the North Nevada Rally, Ass Wild I.  We were excited to run some stages “down hill” and things were going great right until I heard my co-driver Britta whisper “exposure outside”.  At that point we headed off the road to what we expected to be a nice roll, our first.  Instead, after flinching pretty hard, we noticed that we had more racing to do, and headed down the wash on a 4wheeler track, untill finding a spot where we could regain the course.  After waving at the Radio Marshal, we spead off into the last half of the stage laughing all the way – even more so after the huge jump!

Stage 15 a repeat of 13, we did better, the off on 14 seemed to loosen us up a bit. We beat George again,  which felt nice.  The setting sun, and shade on the last half also felt nice.  Not nice was seeing Will and Ben on the side of the road after the first mile, their ecu couldn’t take the combo of heat, and uphill.

Stage 16, a repeat of 14, we were happy to still be in the rally. We took the jump easier, though we were spooked by Team Rally, the #530 Subaru, who rolled on the stage.  The dust was still clearing as we came past them.  I forgot to start the camera, so we have the last bit and not the first.  If you think the sun is bright in our eyes, you’re not the only one.

RESULTS PAGE –  http://www.rallydata.com/Results/NorthNevada_2011_ClubScoreBoard.htm

EVENT PAGE –  http://www.northnevadarally.com/

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