This may have been the most appropriate question of the weekend...though you could throw "got squishy tires?" or "got a squishy suspension?" or "why on earth don't you have an anti-roll bar?" to the list as well.
As is evidenced by these pictures at Rallye Sanair 2013 (the first round of the Quebec Rally Championship) the NISMO Stuff Racing truck was perhaps not the most nimble of competitors at the event. OK...to be honest...a water buffalo is more nimble on a tarmac event like this than the wallowing monstrosity that is the NISMO Stuff Frontier. A HMMV might be more inappropriate for this type of tarmac rally--but only just barely.
Leaving Friday under wonderful conditions--in the 70s, first real shorts and tshirt weather of the year--the weekend appeared off to a good start. We (myself and my intrepid codriver, David Dennis) left EXACTLY on time (amazing how infrequently that happens in motorsports) had zero traffic and a very smooth ride some 4+ hours to the North to a town about 30 minutes Southeast of Montreal. The border crossing was backed up a tad as the border patrol was stopping and talking to everyone crossing due to the ongoing situation in Boston. Nevertheless, we crossed in a matter of moments into Canada and began converting kilometers to miles in our heads.
At the Hotel Bienvenue (which I have now renamed Hotel Au Revoir--as in...I'm happy to say goodbye!!) I was snookered into upgrading to the "suite" room for $30 more a night than I had intended when the neither French, nor English speaking woman behind the counter made it seem to me that the "suite" room was the only one available when in fact I don't think there were more than three other rooms taken during the whole weekend...Ahhhh, the enjoyment of travel!!
Forgoing the 30 minute ride into Montreal and an evening of strippers and Ste. Catherine St., we ran over to La Cage Aux Sports some ten minutes away, your typical Quebec sports bar for some typical sports bar food and beers. We were only the 4th English speaking guests our waiter had ever served and his English was not much better than my French, but hey, burgers are burgers and beer is pretty much beer wherever you go so we all got on fine. The whole town we were staying in smells permanently of brownies...as in...roll down your windows and you think you are swimming in the batter bowl of your mom's just baked fudge brownies on a cool fall day. Its heavenly--until it seems they burn all the residue from their ovens and the town smells like your mom got too wrapped up in watching "Day of Our Lives" and left them in far too long...
Anywho...early to bed, early to rise makes a rally team healthy, wealthy and wise (OK these three things do NOT describe any rally teams I've made friends with!!) and we were at the Sanair track early the next morning for our 7AM inspection which was completed in short order with about 1/2 the event staff speaking English and willing to translate for those who did not. No issues with the truck were found and it was passed quickly and moved back to its pit stall. One nice thing the Quebec Rally series does is provide yellow with red lettering 2x2 stickers to affix to your vehicle pointing to where your fire extinguishers and first aid kit are located. For this event the staff also installed a transponder in the truck in order to facilitate the tracking of your various laps. As David and I went and parked our race vehicle it garnered a ton of attention from the 200 some spectators who had showed up from the surrounding communities to take in the event--Oh, and did I mention that the lovely 70 degree temps of the day before had now dropped to the low 40s's and the wind had come up to a "brisk" 20-30 mph blow?