Rally Action at the 2015 Carrington’s Traffic Services Safari Rally

The 2015 Carrington’s Safari Rally should have been a ripper for the Rally Action team. Five of our cars, 130km of competition and eight special stages.
The roads had all been graded and a new format promised plenty for all who entered. Another bonus was a spectator stage that ran literally behind the service park allowing the crew to be close to the action.
In the state line up we had Geoff/Paul in their Sil80 which had undergone considerable development work since the last event. Brad had gone 4WD during the break since the last rally, upgrading his Yaris to a 4WD Turbo Subaru WRX STi. For the rally Shaniece jumped in to call the notes with Richard unavailable. Rounding out the state trio, Dannielle and Neil brought out their Excel to run in the 2WD Challenge category.
Andrew brought out his Civic to lead our Clubman charge, this time co-driven by brother Stuart as Jess was away overseas. Rohan and Jace lined up for their second event in their Galant rounding out the team.
With half of the team running the event, the other half required some careful planning to manage the three services during the day. Luckily with the Clubman starting later in the event, it allowed a little breathing space at the first and last service with only the state cars to worry about.

Safari Rally Nissan 180SX rally carIt wasn’t far into the event that Geoff & Paul were having troubles. The Nissan had developed a misfire and when the spark plugs were checked, they were found to be melted! It was a sign the engine was running too lean. Having had new programmable engine management fitted and a thorough dyno tune, the outcome pointed to a fuel issue. The decision was made to retire the car before any terminal engine damage was done.

Dannielle & Neil were only a few kilometres into stage 2 when they slipped off the road and nudged aSafari Rally Excel rally car stuck tree with the left front guard. Luckily they were able to recover the car with a slight loss of time and continued the rest of the event unabated.

Andrew and Stuart were the next to have troubles. About four kilometres into SS3, the Civic lost steering and investigations showed a broken left front ball joint. Unable to repair or recover the car, the boys were out and spent their afternoon with a good spectator point.

Our list of retirements were not over for the day though. Rohan & Jace found a tree with the left side of the car in SS4. The panel damage was superficial, however broken steering components forced a withdrawal.

Our score card was looking quite grim by the final service. Of five cars we started with, we only had two left. After the second service the late afternoon was causing problems for all competitors. Dry conditions caused a lot of dust and the sun’s angle often reduced visibility to nearly zero in some places.
The heat too was taking its toll. Many were finding the warm day a struggle and it was imperative that everyone kept their fluid levels up.

Subaru WRX rally car in service Safari rallyAt the finish line, Brad and Shaniece rolled in. It had been a challenging first event in the new car. The WRX was straight, the only issue was a failed rear damper which had leaked oil inside the cabin. The pair had done very well though, finishing in 11th place.

Neil & Dannielle were the next to come in from our team. Apart from the early off track excursion, they had driven well and took third place in the 2WD challenge section of the event.

Our attention is now firmly fixed on the last rally of the year, the Darling 200 in November. We’ll have the five cars all sorted from this event plus two new cars to debut as well. It will take our total to seven cars for the final round.

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