|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
September 12, 1999
|For more information, contact: Robert Vinet|
Race Against Impaired Driving
205 - 527 Beaverbrook Court
Fredericton, NB Canada E3B1X6
Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada -- On Saturday, September 11th, the RAID Rally Team competed in their first two professional performance rally events in Parry Sound. They finishing a very respectable 3rd and then 2nd in their newly built Subaru Legacy.
The RAID Rally Team, with driver Robert Vinet and co-driver Andy deBoer, both of Fredericton, New Brunswick, travelled to Parry Sound, to compete in the Georgian Trials I & II performance rallies. The RAID Rally Team Subaru was entered in the Production GT class, reserved for the more powerful, yet basically stock vehicles.
In the Georgian Trials I event, the RAID Rally Team placed 3rd, finished a mere 6 seconds out of 2nd place. Part way through the first rally Vinet noticed that the one of the rear suspension mounts was coming loose. "At first I could hear an unusual loud noise coming from the right rear. We couldn't check the source until the rally came to a short stop in the middle of the woods. We quickly found the problem, but didn't have a spare suspension mount with us in the car. We did what we could with the tools that we had and could borrow from other competitors. I hoped the suspension would hold together for the rest of the rally." Vinet adds, "So I took it a little slower for the rest of that rally, not wanting to damage the car on its first event. The car held together and we finished a very respectable 3rd, only 6 seconds out of second place."
At the service area, the RAID Rally Team traced the problem to be a rubber bushing within the suspension system had deteriorated under the load of a performance rally and stiff suspension. Vinet said, " When we upgraded the suspension system, we should have replaced that rubber bushings. The added stress of performance rallying and the very stiff rally suspension was too much for the old rubber bushing and it just basically broke apart."
After consulting with other Subaru rally teams, it was decided that the RAID Rally Team could still run in the second rally with little chance of further damage to the car.
The Georgian Trials II rally took the competitors into the same woods as the earlier event but now with the added element of darkness. With their PIAA Professional Halogen Lamp System, the RAID Rally Team lit the night sky, north of Parry Sound. They were looking to increase their results. Vinet said, "The darkness didn't slow us down any. We were actually going faster in the dark. The PIAA lights certainly lit up the night for us. The suspension held together for us. I’m very impressed with how the Subaru did on its first rally. The RAID Rally Team finished second to a more powerful and lighter car - a Subaru Impreza RS Turbo driven by Patrick Richard of Vancouver."
Andy de Boer said, "I am truly amazed that the Subaru held together so well under these conditions. It’s a new car built by a new team, and usually there are teething problems. We only experienced a few minor problems. We should be strong for the Rallye Auto Charlevoix."
The RAID Rally Team will next be competing in the Rallye Auto Charlevoix (RAC), part of the Canadian Rally Championship on November 5 - 7, at Point-au-Pic, on the north shore of Québec's Saint-Lawrence River, northeast of Québec City. Last year an estimated 60,000 spectators lined the route. More are expected this year. The Rally will also be televised on TSN and RDS to an estimated 4 million viewers.
What is Race Against Impaired Driving
The Race Against Impaired Driving (RAID) program is a non-profit awareness program that uses the excitement and colour of motorsports to publicize the positive message that ‘Winners Drive Sober!’ The RAID Rally Team and other motorsport teams work with schools and other organizations and speak of the dangers of drinking and driving. The RAID Rally Team is the official Race Against Impaired Driving motorsport team. Race Against Impaired Driving maintains a web site at http://www.drivesober.com
What is Performance Rallying?
Art Suderman, 1989 Canadian Automotive Journalist of the Year, describes performance rallying:
A performance rally consists of a predetermined route made up of transit sections and special stages. Serenity is the name of the game in transits. Teams strictly follow all the rules of the road under penalty of disqualification.
By sharp contrast, special stages are races against the clock - one car at a time - on roadways closed to public use. Forest trails and logging roads are familiar turf to a high performance rally car as it methodically straightens the curves and flattens the hills.
Rallying is a team sport. The driver is the high profile cog in the wheel to victory. Piloting a racing machine over roads that would give a mountain goat ulcers takes plenty of skill.
But the co-driver deserves accolades as well. He or she never actually drives the car. The task at hand is to check engine gauges, monitor dual odometers, and reset them at appropriate times while simultaneously interpreting an intricate routebook and calmly reading the instructions contained therein over a helmet intercom. All this while the car is sideways at 160 km/hr. Nothing to it, right?
The last, but definitely not least, vital part of the team is the service crew. Without their selfless dedication, there would be no gas fill-ups, spare tires, or quick fixes when the rally car wheezes into services with mechanical problems.