Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2nd Place At International Rally New York!!

My goal in fielding the NISMO Stuff Racing Frontier was always just to have fun.  I never thought I'd actually do well.

Turns out, due to a fantastic debut by my co-driver Mike Beliveau and the epic durability of the Nissan Frontier, I actually can claim a top finish in one of the most car breaking rallies in recent history.

By the time the International Rally New York was over, only five of the original 17 vehicles that started the event finished both days.  On day one nine of the 17 entries DNF'd while day two saw only seven out of the eleven cars that started the day (some that DNF'd on the first day were able to be repaired and return for action on Day 2 under Super Rally regulations) at the finish.  In the end, out of the 17 entries, only five vehicles completed both days and ran every stage mile.  The NISMO Stuff Frontier was one of those five.

The truck experienced no downtime whatsoever.  Unlike at the Black River Stages rally about a month ago that we undertook, we did not even cut a tire this time.  With zero mechanical difficulties, no punctures and virtually nothing to do but wipe down headlights, check tire pressures, adjust lugnuts and examine for any hanging parts or dripping fluids, my co-driver and I had a relatively stress free weekend of racing.

That isn't to say it was easy.  It wasn't.  The stages were rockier than they were at Black River Stages and narrower for longer distances while turns linked one after another after another making it a bit squirrely for a vehicle as large as this truck.  By far the most difficult situation encountered during the race was a narrow, hairpin, asphalt, downhill turn on one stage that we ran twice.  The turning radius of the truck was just too large and each time the truck could not make the turn and ended up in a bad spot where the rear tires could get no grip to pull the truck back up the hill and the front of the truck overhung a substantial dropoff.  Some careful maneuvering, a good deal of throttle and a lot of time and a complete 405 degree turn around was required each time to continue.

Ah, but I wouldn't trade the truck for anything.  While other cars were breaking axles, bending wheels, snapping shock shafts, overheating, blowing turbos and more, the NISMO Stuff Frontier calmly went about her business and did not suffer the indignity of a wrench all weekend.  Finishing 5th out of the 17 entries for the entire weekend and finishing 2nd amongst any of the 2WD vehicles was an incredible experience and one that I honestly don't know how long it will be before I see again.

I'd like to thank Mike Beliveau for codriving the event with me and keeping me on the straight and narrow, Dube's Custom Street Machines , BTF Fabrication, Nissan Motorsports, Fiberwerx, PCI Race Radios, General Tire, PRG Products, HMS Motorsports, Braid Wheels, Go Fast Energy Drink, and Gamer Soda.

Lastly I want to thank all the NY Rally organizers who put on an event that ran so smooth with some great roads and terrain while keeping it all low key, unstressful and most of all--fun.  I will definitely be back again in the future.

1 comment:

RC Miller said...

Nicely done mate, very impressive.