Friday, May 11, 2007

Back from Argentina!

Oy, kids! Travis and I are back from Argentina.

And what a trip it was.

Started up with a little bit of recce in a rental 4x4 truck. Unfortunately the poor thing was pretty gutless so we had a bit of a struggle - the notes on the downhills were pretty good, but on the uphills, we marked almost every corner "flat out!" Not so in the rally car. Just kidding, we weren't that bad, but the lack of poke definitely made us stress out on the recce road sections.

Co-driver tip: The stages in Argentina are really rough! To write good notes on the recce, you really need a little table and some padding underneath it. The best way to accomplish this is to build yourself a recce table. Take a 3' x 4' piece of Coroplast and cut three sections from it that are approximately 19" x 14" each. You want two pieces along the grain and one across the grain. Now, paste them all together (across grain in the middle) with good rubber cement (McMaster-Carr) and round off the corners, especially the top left (so Mr. Driver doesn't cut his hand when shifting) and bottom right (so you don't scratch your arm). Finish off with a bit of duct tape edging and you're almost set. Last, pilfer a pillow from the hotel room and get a big ole binder clip. Place pillow on lap, place desk on pillow, binder-clip the road book to the top right corner of your desk, and you're ready for some recce fun! Remember to wear a long sleeve shirt on recce so you don't smudge the writing!

After that, we flew to Buenos Aires for the SSS at River Plate. I won't belabor that except to say that Jack Hitt's re-telling of "Peter Pan" on This American Life was both funnier and shorter. if you have no idea what I'm on about here!

After that experience, we went back to Cordoba and did a SSS there. Then we rallied some. Which went ok. Ish. Hit a water splash too hard on SS14 and the car sputtered and stumbled the rest of the stage. Lost more than a minute. Hit a bank on SS18 and broke a lateral link on the car. Had to drive 11km on that, and then change it on the side of the road. Lost like a minute, plus. Then on Sunday suffered a double front puncture 4km into SS20 and had to change it on stage. It took 5 minutes to change them, and we lost another 2 minutes driving slowly and trying to find a place to change them. All in all, a rough rally, but one that we were very very happy to finish without having to resort to SupeRally, as many did.

And on the plus side, now that we have notes, two higher-speed passes on the recce next year should make for nearly perfect notes, and should really allow us to attack 100%.

Next up, Olympus, weekend after this in Olympia, WA. This weekend, I'm going to Philly for a vacation. I'll be sure to let you know how the water ice (Hint: Say 'Whadder Iaice') is.


ivy said...

They sure don't make hooks like they used to.

gloriafanbud8subaru199 said...

Hope you had a great time on your vacation! You definitely deserved it.

McDickey said...

Christian, what happened to the Spec. C recce vehicle you were supposed to have? Rental cars do not make good recce cars.

Arlene said...

Christian, I hope neither you or your driver are very superstitious. :/