Guess which northwest RWD rally cars were highlighted during TopGear USA’s ‘Off-road Racing’ episode last weekend? That’s correct, both #742-Patches and #206-the Purple Panda had slow-motion sliding glory shots featured as the Nameless Rally segment was introduced. Why would TopGear bother to show us? Because we’re fast AND beautiful. The Panda managed to beat Patches (me) for the first time, securing 2nd and 3rd in the 2WD class. Results
Check out the footage at the 10minute mark by clicking here: TopGear USA ‘Off-road Racing’
Friends, it’s been too long since we’ve done an update to the blog. It turns out that winning events and prepping the Corollas for 3 events in 3 months is kind of time consuming. – Sorry, we’ll fix that this fall.
’86 Day, or August 6th is when Corolla people like to celebrate the Toyota with the heart of gold, the AE86 Corolla Sport! This year, we’ve decided to put together a gallery of shots from the past year’s rallies featuring the Panda-Crane Racing Corollas, #Patches, and the #PurplePanda. Highlights include WRC Mexico, Oregon Trail Rally, and Nameless Rally (the Idaho Rally was a low light, and won’t be mentioned). -Enjoy the pics and check out the quick essay about why we race these things below.
Why the Corolla? We get asked this all the time and below are a selection of bullet points and stock answers we give to people.
- Fun. The drifters know, stringing together turns is a blast.
- Reliable. This is known. It is a Toyota after all.
- Pedigree. The fact that there is a ‘Hot Version’, the GT-S with a Limited Slip Differential on the option sheet should be a clue.
- Easy to Drive. Ask me to blaze away in your Saab or Subaru? I will understeer it into a curb. The Corolla gives me the ‘touch’, narrow and balanced, with great feedback. Ask me why my stock mirrors are gone (I clipped them on chicanes or trees, the fenders were untouched).
- Enthusiast love. People complain about the ‘Drift Tax’, where prices on parts went way up when drifters started catching and crashing their AE86 Toyotas. We love it. The cars are rescued from junkyards, and any parts are always available.
- Maintenance. Tiny FWD engine bays, with weird mounts and axles going every which way are cramped and awful. Longitudinal is the way to roll.
- They look rad. Seriously, you’ve seen the pictures . . .
- Suspension. We’ve got it. FWD cars (Honda . . ) don’t.
- Balance. Throw a cage in a Corolla, 50/50 guaranteed.
- The 1.6l 4age engine. Wikipedia will tell you why.
- Economy. Everything is relative, but relative to some of the starter cars that show up, the Corolla is faster, fun-er, and cheaper.
- SpeedHunters.com. Go check their coverage of ’86 day.
So, That’s all we’ve got. Come to MegaBurger in SODO Seattle on Tuesday August 6th around 7pm. We’ll be there showing off some well run Corolla Rally Cars. The hot tip is that we’re also building better, faster Corollas (#Hatches) as we speak.
Thanks to the Organizers and Volunteers of the 2012 Olympus Rally, who, despite the fire danger and lack of spectators, gave us some long, fun, days of rally.
In case you were wondering, both Dustin in the Purple Panda, and ‘Patches’ with Britta and I, finished both days of the Rally. How did we do? There is a nifty results tabulator that can show you the 2wd stage results, which we think is better than sliced bread. – Three things to note, 1. Both Dustin and I ran out of gas on Stage 5. 2. Add 30 seconds to my time on Stage 3 (timing error in our favor- doesn’t affect our class results, does make us look like rockstars) 3. Stages 8 and 9 were canceled due to dust.
Did we have anything else to report? Sure. Volvo wheels are weak. Dustin bent at least 2 wheels, destroying both tires. I bent a wheel too. We’re hoping to find some budget to buy some wheels from these guys: BraidUSA.com. – I also owe Al Kun a fancy rally wheel for letting me borrow a spare wheel.
There are other stories to share, along with in-car videos and fun pictures. We’ll add them next week. Click Here to find our Olympus Videos
I wanted to end the year by compiling some of the information that I think is important to the Crane Rally Crew. It will be a long post, with lots of bullet points. If I can get my infographics team on it we’ll have a colorful update sometime later. The goal isn’t to bore anyone to death, just to show you how deep our love is for all things rally. It will also be a way to compete against Dustin.
Stay tuned for a fun future announcement in February, and thanks for all your support in 2011!
Twin Peaks Rally Cross
*with Dustin in the Panda
Britta -The Gold Standard
13 if you’re counting this one.
contour -adam 2,351 [57 videos]- dustin 2,497 [10 videos]
youtube -blocked at work
Crane Rally Crew match books handed out ~212
Candy handed out to Volunteers ~32lbs
OA 0 CRC
2WD 13 CRC 1 PANDA
Gp2 14 CRC 1 PANDA
Placing in Gp2
2nd 6 CRC
3rd 2 CRC 1 PANDA
DNF 2 CRC 2 PANDA
Championships – CRC
North West Rally 2nd Gp2
Norton Championship 1st
South West Rally 2nd 2wd
Bilstein Cup 2nd
Rumbles -RIP 8-10mpg
Nevada – great video
Mount Hood – ended up in 3rd, from 1st
Big white – ended up in 3rd, from 1st
Rumbles -5, 3 blowouts
Flat tires -1 onstage
Tire Brands used Hankook, Lassa, Silverstone
Tire compounds used hard, med, soft
Favorite tire Silverstone
Wheels Destroyed -7 -don’t use soft Volvo wheels
couldn’t begin to count.
Engines Used By Panda Team
3 – Bones, Reddy, 20v
Patches – George Doganis, Hendo, Gottlieb
Panda – Dave Clark, Patches
Biggest Fans – let us know in the comments
Most Missed Competitors
Lou and Randee
Tom and Don
Sean and Jeanne
Most lusted after new car
Most discussed topics- ME!?
Hardest working Crew-
IOU hall of fame
North Nevada, loved the roads and length.
Most exhausting rally
Idaho, a long solo drive out meant I was never rested.
Cameras destroyed – Sorry Contour, I don’t even have the footage.
Gb of footage collected – 43Gb
Scrap Metal Sold- ~$800
Event Summary -2011 -CraneRallyCrew
Twin Peaks Rally Cross
DNF – Crashed in the 3rd Qualifier while leading -Video
footage of the crash made it into the ESPN3 Broadcast
5th Max-Attack (2wd) – $500 (our largest Prize to-date)
11th OA Day1
2nd Gp2 Day1
14th OA Day2
3rd Gp2 Day2
13th OA Day1
4th Gp2 Day1
DNF Day2 DNS Day3
6th OA Day1
2nd Gp2 Day1
4th OA Day2
2nd Gp2 Day2
4 fastest 2wd times
3 fastest 2wd times
2 fastest 2wd times
4 fastest 2wd times
Hello everyone! If you don’t know me I’m Dustin, and I am the driver of the Crane Rally Crew #2 car, otherwise known as the Purple Panda. I’m gonna try and do a quick run through of my entire first rally season and then we can get into the spectacular ending of Big White Winter Rally.
The Big White Winter Rally was a Big Adventure.
The Crane Rally Crew returned to the Great White North fully prepared to finish the Big White Winter Rally. Last year deep snow and improper preparation led to a disappointing end for us, halfway through the event. This year, with help from Sean, Kris and Robert, everything was ready with minutes to spare. Speaking of spares, our good Portland OR friends managed to bring up ten rally snow tires! Thanks Garth, Pat, and Blake.
The Big White Resort hosts the Rally, and Jennifer and the rest of the organizers made sure everything was set up for us. Great roads, nice venues, killer parties. We even got help finding hotel rooms. An extra nice treat this year was a 2wd prize fund, sponsored by Rallysport.ca. The Spirit of the Rally award of $400 dollars, sponsored by Valley Mitsubishi came home with Dustin in the Purple Panda, along with a great story he’ll post here later. Despite a few delays, the event wrapped up right on time, and everyone had a hot meal in the Happy Valley Lodge, while awards were handed out to the volunteers.
We went for the challenge, and stayed for the Competition. Eric Grochowski and Leanne Junnila make up a 2wd team from Calgary AB, with an impressive string of class wins, they started 3rd on the road. Dustin and Jeff, in the Purple Panda, promised to win the novice class. Roads were a mix of nice compact snow on a hard base for the shorter stages, to complete compact Ice at the end of the long stage. Unfortunately, setting the fastest 2wd time on the first stage made me competitive, which is why we were challenged by a snowy ditch on the second stage. Halfway through Black Forrest, I dropped the co-drivers side tire a little to far into a soft snowy groove. We were caught and spun 270 degrees, ending up with the back end in the ditch. We lost ~9min while I used a shovel, wits, and floormats to rock the car back onto the stage. While our fast stage times continued, so did our ditch time, with another off on Gem Lake South. A late call from Britta, along with a competitors fallen warning triangle managed to snow bank us for another 10 minutes (there is footage of the recovery on youtube). We were now 20 minutes from the rest of the 2wd field and decided that one more trip to the bank would finish us. While cruising to the end of the stage we saw Dustin on the side of the road with the OK sign but no car in sight.
Thanks to Britta’s co-driving, we got through the last dark and slick stages without incident, only to find we’d snuck our way onto the 2wd Podium in 3rd. The 2wd Mitsubishi got stuck too along with 4 other cars on the same stage. The champagne spray was a first for the team, and I can’t wait to see the photos. We ended up taking 2nd in Gp2, and a $100 dollar check in spite of our troubles.
We finished the season with 7 rallies, and only one DNF. Look for a full season review with some fun stats in the next few weeks.
rally results are here: Big White Results
Pictures by our Media Manager Noah are here: Big White Album
After an epic season of rallying, the Crane Rally Crew got enough points to win the inaugural Joshua A. Norton Rally Championship. The championship consisted of “five rallies in four states, in six months” and as the only team to run all 5 events, we had a certain advantage. That’s not to say we were dragging our feet out there, aside from a mechanical DNF from 2nd place at the Oregon Trail rally, we finished the rest of the events on the Gp2 podium. While we were at it, we claimed fastest 2wd stage times at Reno, Mendocino, and the Mt. Hood rallies.
We’d like to thank:
Jim Robinson for organizing the Championship.
SafeDrives for the 30% off coupon.
and of course the other competitors, the volunteers and the organizers, who allow us to race.
Our next, and last event of the year is the Big White Winter Rally on Dec 2nd in Kelowna BC. See you there!