Our lodging is a cabin on the north shore of Lake Bonaparte - a great location but with the busy rally schedule we don’t get a lot of time to enjoy it. All our in-car video is available in the viewer above.

Friday afternoon starts out with a slight drizzle and we feel fast on stage one. However it seems that others are faster in our class and we are in 7th place as we go into the evening and night stages. Unfortunately I’m one of those drivers that gets slower (some get faster) at night and we fall back. A couple of the last night stages are cancelled since the event is running late following a bad wreck on an earlier stage. We have to replace a damaged top mount and are delayed getting out of service taking a time penalty. We have some fun with some glow sticks and decorate the car with a Tron effect as can be seen in the top banner picture.

Saturday starts cool and cloudy and we start to climb back up the leader board from twelfth up to ninth by stage 15. In that stage, about a mile or two from the end we break the driver side engine mount. Under normal circumstances that would mean the engine falls out but ou
r skid plate managed to support it until we got off the stage. With generous help from other competitors as we wait for the next stage to begin we manage to jack the engine/transmission back into place and support it using a wrench and a nylon ratcheting strap. But I know we can’t run at full race speed so we elect to fall back to the end of the pack so that we don’t hold up anyone else. I was planning on returning to service but the temporary engine support seemed to be holding up and we elected to attempt the final stage. On the transit to that stage we learn it has been cancelled and head back to the finish.

A good example of the never-give-up, press-on-regardless attitude that is prevalent in this amazing sport. Many, many thanks to the other teams for their help - we managed to avoid a DNF and keep our rally finishing record intact.