The 2016 Olympus Rally is in the books! This rally is by far my favorite and actually was my first ever stage rally back in 2013 when Nameless Performance took over the rally to keep Olympus going. I know the roads very well since I have driven then many times over the last of 4 years.
After doing recce the roads looked like the typically Olympus roads pretty fast in some areas then super rough with what I like to call the baby head sized gravel! There were a few parts of Nahwatzel the 18 mile long stage that had some of the roughest areas I've ever raced on. At one point during recce my Co driver Don bounced so high in the car his head hit the celling since the road had so many pot holes and large rocks. We were even trying to avoid all of them and it was still that bad. Car breakers for sure!
Saturday was the long day for the rally. We started the day in down town Shelton at 9 am. We headed out from there on a 4 stage loop totaling around 36 stage miles. The first 4 stages went well nothing dramatic happened and we did some ok stage times but I knew there was more in the car and I wasn't driving it to its potential. After a quick service and refuel we were back out running that same 4 stage loop again. This time around we pushed harder in the 3's, and 4's and were able to shave off 2 minutes in total over the previous times from the 4 stage loop. This was awesome and definitely showed me what this car can do when you drive it hard. Im still only driving maybe 60-70% on what this car can do. It's stupid fast and as I get more seat time in the car the faster it we will continue to get. We ended Saturday with the big 18.86 mile long stage called Wild Cat. This is a new stage this year and the first half of it is super tight and technical which for me in this car right now is a challenge. Wild Cat overall was a fun stage and would love to run it again next year! We finished out the day 2nd in class and 6th overall regionally.
Now onto the Sunday stages! Sunday was short and sweet but had the notorious Nahwatzel stage to start off the morning. The boys up at Nameless were up all night re prepping the car and getting some brand new MCA gravel coil overs installed to help correct the rear camber to give us better traction and grip!
Unfortunately right off the bat on the first stage we knocked something loose on the tie rod and it caused the car to be all over the road. It was almost uncontrollable but we managed to make it almost through the entire stage without to many issues. With a few miles left on the stage one of the rear axles decided to come apart and shoot itself out of the car. It then got wrapped up in the rear brake line and got drug behind the car as we finished in 1wd! It was terrible and very sketch being 1wd and having something loose on the steering. We didn't know the axle was still dragging behind the car until we got back to service. Thank god it was because somehow John Hoyenga took that very same axle we just drug 3-4 miles on stage then another 3 miles on asphalt back to service and fixed it up with duck tape and some other white magic and got it back in the car and we were able to finish the last two stages! Having the broken axle and steering issues made us lose a lot of time which took us out of the running for any class wins but oh well that's rally!
Now the re prep for Idaho begins and I can't wait to get out there and run this crazy car. The roads in Idaho are pretty wide and very fast which suits this car's driving habits the best so I'm excited to see what I can do!
- Steven Redd