2021 Grimwade Stages Rally

In late July we turned south for round 3 of the 2021 RallyWA championship, the Grimwade stages rally. The event had changed name, HQ location and hosting car club this year.

We took a road trip and took ourselves to Donnybrook and some sunshine. For a change the weather was quite good considering it had been raining heavily in WA for weeks.

Tiana and Graham before the start of the Grimwade stages rally

New base, same roads.

In the past the event was based further south and known as either the Lewana or Kirup Stages Rally. The actual competition roads were still in the same place however the transport distance increased from previous years with the new Donnybrook base.

The Grimwade stages rally had eight special stages for state competitors and four for Clubman. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I’m not a fan of the format for Clubman cup not having a service. Unfortunately with this rally there was no service for the Clubman.

Our team @ Grimwade

We ran a single car with Tiana and Graham continuing their Clubman series campaign in the Impreza. In between rallies M&M Autospray did a fantastic job, giving the car an eye catching paint job. Many people came and looked at the car and commented on how well it had come up too.

Unfortunately our other regular team members Hugh and Karen were not available for the Gimwade Stages rally. It had to do with a clerical issue, just one of those things with a bit of bad timing.  It was a different day for us as we trucked down south to effectively get the car off the trailer and sit around.

Something different

Instead of servicing we got a chance to head to the Grimwade Stages rally spectator point to see the last few state cars and all of the Clubman go through. We caught up with Tiana and Graham at the remote refuel after stage three.  They were complaining the car was down on power.

Unfortunately without a service there was nothing we could do so we sent them out for the last stage and hoped for the best. We got to the 2nd spectator point in plenty of time and watched the   cars coming up hill to a 90° left corner. The corner aptly demonstrated how the engine seemed to be struggling to pull the car along.

Rally cars lined up at the finish of the Clubman Cup

Battling to stay in the hunt

The lack of power didn’t stop Tiana and Graham trying though. On one straight with a slight crest they had the Impreza airborne. They weren’t going down without a fight! Over the stages they kept in the hunt often only a couple of seconds adrift from the top three.

Where we finished

By the end Tiana and Graham had finished the Grimwade Stages rally in fifth place. Their best time a fourth place. The good news was they got some points towards the Clubman Cup and a solid haul of experience. At the finish, the war stories were exactly the same whether competitors were at the pointy end of the field or on their first event.

The Grimwade stages rally was very different for us and it was good to be able to get out to the spectator points. It’s not something we normally have time to do. Despite not having a service for the Clubman, they all seemed to have a great day of racing.

The Clubman winners at Grimwade

The weather added to the excellent road conditions and as a first attempt for Jenny Gerdei and her team, the Grimwade Stages rally was a success. Well done. Congratulations also to Lochie White who turned 18 at the rally. Is there any better way to celebrate a birthday?

In the weeks following the rally we would be busy investigating why all the horses had escaped from under the Impreza’s bonnet. There was just 4 weeks between rallies which would make preparations tight.

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