Its been a while since we’ve posted on the ol’ blog here. So I thought I would update you guys on the happenings and events that we at J.E.T Motorsport experienced over the last few weeks. Starting with the final event of the Indiana Rallycross Season.
After we had got the car prepped the week before, we headed out on the afternoon of the 1st of November for a pretty monumental occasion for Indiana Rallycross, their first night rallycross, and their first two day event! We arrived early at Badlands Offroad Park in Attica, Indiana and gave the IRC staff a helping hand mapping out the course for the day/night and laying down some cones to mark the way. After we finished up we checked into out pit and tech, then proceeded to mingle and talk with the other drivers and teams that came out to attend the Saturday night event. Before you knew it though, it was time to start racing!
Our first two runs went well, the spot lights we added to the front of the Audi really helped with the visibility as the barreled through the black Indiana night. On the third run though, I drove the car through a pretty rutted part of the course, bottomed out, and knocked off one of our lower fog lights. I didn’t know till after the run that the light had been damaged. The reason we got out to have a look at the car was as Nick and I were finishing up the run something didn’t feel right with the car. I could feel the rear of the car stepping out on left hand turns, I had a hunch that we had a puncture and one of the rear tires were leaking air. Sure enough, the right rear had a pin-hole in it and was leaking air. It wasn’t until later that we figured out that I had in fact, ran over the glass from the broken fog lamp and punctured the tire. (Thank you to the gentleman that lent us the tire repair kit and the fresh air!) It was about during this time that one of the competitors had a little accident and caused action on the course to be suspended.
The driver was okay, his Subaru will need some repairs though.
Once the tire was repaired, and the stricken Subaru removed from the course, our subsequent runs could begin. On the fourth run, I had to dodge a cat that decided to play hooky with a speeding Audi 90, and that put a damper on that runs time. So on the fifth run, I went for it. That’s when it all went wrong.
I was really getting a hang of the lower quarry section of the course. There were a pair of 90 degree left hand turns that led to a transition from the sand/clay mixture that makes up most of the quarry to a tarmac stretch of service road. On the previous runs I had gotten pretty good at swinging the rear of the car around on the last of the two left handers and drifting the car over the transition and onto the road. So, being me, I naturally wanted to do it faster and with more flair. I pitched the car into the first of the two left turns, and held the car in a four wheel drift all the way through the second turn. When I hit the transition, disaster struck.
What I didn’t see, was that after six or so rotations of eight plus cars running over this transition was that the cars had dug out a pretty sizable ledge from the dirt to the tarmac. When the right front wheel hit the tarmac, it hit the edge of the wheel, broke the wheel, then continued to forcefully dismantle the right front suspension of the Audi.
I immediately knew something was wrong. I short cut the rest of the course and parked it in the service area. All said and done, the ledge ate, one wheel, one tire, the lower control arm, and the tie rod. Needless to say, with no trailer to tow the car home, we were in a serious pinch. We opted to leave the car for the week with the gracious Badlands staff and pray no one messed with the car.
The following Saturday, Brendan, our new mechanic and I headed back to Attica with trailer in tow to retrieve our stricken rally car. We had alot to do, as we were just invited to Brian Ballinger’s farm for his end of the year Dirty Wayners rallycross/fundraiser event. After just two short weeks we had the car back up and in her fighting shape again, ready to tackle another weekend of rallycross action.
We arrived at Brian’s parent’s Hardware store/farm in Upland, Indiana on November the 22nd with renewed hopes that we were going to make up for our failures and mishaps that happened at the previous even. We were greeted with thawing ground and warming temperatures. We knew the ground was going to be soft and muddy but mother nature had another trick up her sleeve.
When the drivers meeting was about to commence, the skies opened. A heavy drizzle blanketed the area, further saturating the already wet ground. The thick slippery mud proved too much for most of the cars, as most of the drivers oped out after just their first run. It was at this point Brian gave up all hope for timing the event and just told everyone “Have at it, but don’t go too nuts”. It was at this point, when Nick and I jumped into the Audi and let loose a few runs of hoonage. I even got the chance to give my brother Brad a ride in the car. After a few runs I choose to call it quits. The pudding like texture of the ground was putting a huge strain on the car, not wanting to break a major component for the second event in three weeks I ended our weekend. We had a great time, and are looking forward to what 2015 brings us here at J.E.T Motorsport