The Rally Action Team Sept-Oct 2013

Normally we run Rally Driving Experiences, manage a rally team and organise motorsport events at our venue, however we don’t usually do all of the above simultaneously. Mid September to Mid October changed all that.

For the last 4 weeks, the Rally Action team has been tied up solid. On top of our normal schedule, we also took on the running of a State Rally Championship rally with only a few weeks to go to the event.

The days very quickly turned into a blur. First up was to get the rally car sorted to compete in the rally. This took time during the days to replace a turbo and complete exhaust, perform front suspension changes and complete general maintenance items ready for the rally. The service trailer that carries the all important spares and equipment for each rally was unloaded, sorted and re-packed at the same time so everything required for competition was more or less ready to go.

In the evenings, rally organisation took priority where much time was spent sending emails, processing officials’ paperwork and pouring over maps and through route instructions.
Sometimes during the day, we were out on the rally stages (roads) performing safety audits and checking the route. In several places we found large fallen trees blocking the road that had to be cut up and moved out of the way. It was time consuming work.

With just two weeks to go to the rally, we at least had our customer’s rally car (Nissan 180SX) sorted and on the trailer. Apart from needing a wheel alignment, the car was ready to go. It meant we could focus our energy on making sure the rally itself would run well.

Being based in Mundaring, the Carringtons Safari Rally is closest the state rally championship comes to Perth. Mundaring however presents its own challenges, particularly safety and the security of keeping other recreational forest users out of harm’s way when high speed rally cars are hurtling through the forest.

As the last week approached before the rally, we had to split the Rally Action team. Half of the team were either organising the rally or else key safety officials on the event. The other half of the team were going to run and service the rally car competing in the rally.

As the day of the rally dawned, both halves of the team looked set for their respective tasks. The rally got underway as per the schedule and everything seemed to be ticking along. Soon however it was evident that the crew looking after the rally car would be very busy.

In the second stage of the nine stage rally, the radiator of the Nissan developed a crack. The crack became bad enough that the coolant started to leak heavily and the driver and navigator had to stop when the engine overheated. The team duly recovered the car and brought it back to the service park for repairs. In service the team also discovered that a turbo cooling hose had failed and was also leaking. The repairs took over 2 hours and the best the team could hope for was to go out on the remaining stages for more seat time and to test and tune the car for future rallies. After all the hard work to repair the Nissan, the short drive from service back to the forest revealed the head gasket had blown during the earlier overheating and the car would not make further competition. The team looked dejected after all the hard work. Unfortunately sometimes these things happen, and that as they say “is rallying”.

On the other hand, the rally itself ran smoothly and no major problems were encountered. There were no safety or security issues and the large field of 46 cars provided a good spectacle for officials, competitors and spectators alike.

By the end of the rally, everyone in the Rally Action team looked tired. It had been a long day and an even longer month.

Even for us that are so passionate about the sport and case hardened to rallying, you’d think after that effort, we’d need a holiday.
No way! Plans are already in motion to contest the last rally of the year and rally cars are being re-prepared as well as running our Rally Driving Experiences. Rallying is our way of life, it’s almost our religion.

1 Comment

  • Kasia

    Reply Reply 26/05/2015

    yepp a great supportive rally for you,,i think that come end of year and the pnoits are in the bag for championship/cars (you will be let off the leash)as we say..on wrc/gb and wot better event to show all of your talents..big time!!! a first year for you&team its gotta be a very important role you’ve bin given,,points make prizes ” and it aint killed u ” so it can only make u stronger “right???so safe trip home and good chill time..enjoy Budapest&the ring!!racing..too safe flight home cheers&ciao tutti “tony c uk the sea!!!

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