1999 Ski Sawmill

Ski Sawmill

Is it possible to have nothing break at a ProRally? Well, not really. It was amazing how many mechanical problems everyone had and how much stress gets put on the vehicles. Combined with the actual training going on, it was a very hectic weekend.

Our problems were, fortunately, restricted to overheating and coolant leakage problems. After torquing the head bolts and completely removing the thermostat, we were in business. The thermostat had just about seized closed! Arthur "Artex" Wojcik provided major help in that diagnosis and recovery.

The rally itself was amazing! It might be difficult to understand, but going 80 mph on a dirt road is a lot faster than 130 on the tarmac in the RX-7! Especially when you have no idea what is around the next corner!

We have to thank Martin Allen for his advice as we were on the starting line of stage 3, English Run: "After this corner it straightens out, so flat out boys, flat out!" We did, and that was one of the fastest stages of the day!

Even though we were actually last on the road, as Production cars are the started last, and within our seed we had an unlucky draw, we ended up pleasantly surpised to finish well above many cars in the other classes. Drove as hard as we dared, with our main goal being to finish. You can't collect any trophies if you're sitting in the woods waiting for the tow truck! We were stoked to bring home Second Place in our class.

And then the partying started! With the abundance of international participants, we found it difficult to keep up with first the Irish, and then the Russians! A late night with much storytelling, a short walk back to the rooms, and then remembering that we had our National Licensing Exam in the morning!

Jeff Denton set the alarm, but he actually didn't set the alarm. Eight o'clock found us scrambling! After the largest three minute breakfast ever, at least for half the team, we both made it over to the exam!