Well the 2016 Idaho Rally was one for the books. Hands down the worst rally I've done. The team and I just couldn't catch a break it seemed. The car was on absolute fire when it was on point but some very large rocks it took us out of the running unfortunately.
Friday we had Parc Expose at Larry H Miller Subaru in Boise! We drove the car there and back perfectly fine. Went to give her a bath that night at the hotel and for whatever reason a nasty electrical gremlin popped its head up and the car was completely dead. We frantically tried to fix it for hours and when almost all hope was lost John Hoyenga figured out the issue!
That next morning was the start of the Idaho Rally! The first stage was one of my favorites Harris Creek. It's super wide and free flowing. You could push the car to its limits and have enough room on the road for error. Towards the end of the stage the car suddenly filled with smoke. The Oil temperature shot to 276 degrees and hit 0 Oil pressure. I thought the rally was done and over for us before we even really started. I put the car in neutral and just coasted downhill for the last couple miles to finish the stage. We pulled over and oil was all over the engine. I checked the oil and it was still full and the motor sounded perfectly normal. It was then I could see our oil pressure sensor had failed and was leaking oil! So got back in the car and drove to service and the amazing crew up at Nameless got the car fixed and we went onto the next loop of stages.
The first loop of stages after we fixed the car went great. The new rear suspension geometry John Hoeyenga made after learning the behavior of the car form Olympus was spot on. The car had so much grip it just wanted to be sideways the entire time to have some slip angle and would hook up with all the traction with that little amount of slip angle compared to just driving perfectly straight. The next loop of stages did not go as planned. We had a small off that bent the pin on the rear knuckle thus causing a ton of toe out on the rear. The car was all over the road but we had a similar experience at Olympus so I was ready to tango with the beast again! We got to the next stage and were on fire when while fully committed to my line around a Right 4 at 40mph we struck a large 88.85lb granite rock right on the apex of the perfect line. This causes the front passenger wheel to basically rip off the car. We shattered the front knuckle and some how broke one of our MCA coilovers but with all that craziness we did NOT break a Braid wheel somehow. They must be made from the strongest material known to man! We couldn't fix the car on stage so we were dead in the water and that was the end of the day.
The guys from Nameless were up all night fixing the car getting it ready to go for Sunday with the spares we had. The car was all ready to go for Sunday's stages which are the same stages you run Saturday just the opposite way. We did one stage that start at 6:20am! The sun was rising and the dust was just lingering around so it made it very hard to see the road. At some points I had maybe 20 feet of visibility. We got through the first stage with a decent time then went onto the next stage. Don and I were on it with the car. The notes were spot on and I was pushing harder and harder when suddenly around a very slow corner 1.2 miles away from finish the front corner that we smashed yesterday on the rock gave away again. Typically the knuckles we run on the car have the ball joints welding in place otherwise the car will try and destroy them! Which our spares were not welded and then that joint failed. Not the way me or the team wanted to end the rally but we did learn a lot again and also learned that I'm getting faster and faster each rally we do and figuring out how to tame this beast. We seat a few top 5 overall fastest times and one 3rd fastest only two seconds off the guy in second. I was very happy with that!
Now the car will go back under the knife and fix the issues we had at Idaho then come at swinging for the Doo Wop Rally on September 24th!