Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty

IMG_5169Last weekend the NRSCCA Hosted their 2nd Rallycross event of the 2015 season at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, NE.  25 drivers gave their all in this technically challenging course set up by Jon Simmons, my co-driver.  The mild weather was a welcome change from the Chili Bowl's frigid teens and the track was soft, making for a fun day kicking up dirt!  When the dust had settled and the times were posted, one thing was certain: Rally Tires were the king for these conditions!

IMG_5612The top spot for the day was claimed by Mark Hill in his Mitsubishi Evolution IX.  Besides being an incredibly talented driver, he was also running new rally tires on Braid rally wheels.  Those who caught a glimpse of the white blur that was his Evo witnessed just how easily he cut through the course.  His times were untouchable.  Not only did he claim the Top 3 lap times for the day, but his overall time was a whopping 16 seconds faster than the next fastest driver.  It was a real treat watching him devour the course!
I learned a lot with my RS, too.  Like I said, rally wheels were great for these conditions, so I really think the Speedlines with the Michelin Competition Tires were at home on this track.  I managed to nab 3rd in my class again with it thanks to some great feedback and coaching from Jon.  There was an added bonus that came in the form of a bit of an issue with a fellow Subaru owner.  His Turbo Legacy was having issues after it's first run so I let him drive my RS to complete his runs until he could get his running for the second half of the day.  At the end of the day, the RS had 3 drivers put it through a total of 19 runs... and not a single run more.

That's because, as I rolled off the finish from the final run for the day, I quickly learned that there was a problem with the transmission.  I wasn't able to get it out of gear at first... and then I couldn't get it into first.  Once I got it into first to limp to the pits, I couldn't get it into any other gear.  We parked it on the asphalt and put it up on jack stands to inspect and see if something was jammed in the shifter linkage.  Everything was clear, so we fiddled with it some more until we got it back into neutral.  Then we could only select 3rd, 4th, 5th, and reverse gear.  We pushed it until I could get it into 3rd enough and took some back roads home.  It used those gears flawlessly the rest of the trip, so it seems like there's something loose or broken that is swimming around in the transmission jamming things up.  There are already plans to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs this week, so I hope to have this great car up and running again very soon.

Still, getting 3rd in my class again along with a 6th place overall is a testament to how much fun I had.  The RS will ride again and it's so fun to be constantly improving as a driver... now that I know the car can handle it.

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