Sometimes it pays to stay up way, way too late. We have to get up at 4:30 AM for Day 3 and I'm still up sharing the internet connection with Satch Carlson at 12:25AM. But as we sat the Day 2 provisional scores arrived in our hands. The results improve my mood considerably.
The TeamD summary is that Eric and Steve move the BMW to first in class and fifth overall. This despite taking max points at Gold Pan Speedway and ruining a tire and some bodywork. Eric and Steve were also the only team to score zero points on the controversial Do-It-Yourself TSD section late in the evening.
Nick and Rob make waves in their lowly Mazda 323, taking only 4.5 points in the unstudded tire group at the Gold Pan ice race. This means they were only 4.5 seconds slower on their two runs than a high-performance Mitsubishi Lancer EVO driven by a professional driver!
Both Jim/Dan and Rob/Nick have outstanding queries in to the scoring committee about confusion at the DIY section and until those are resolved they stand with max scores of 200 points for that section, making their day two scores abnormally high.
Top positions have all changed around, read on for full scores:
1. Car #3 Carlson, Joy, Kraushaar with 24.7 points 2. Car #2 Kraushaar, Engstrom, Richardson, 28.6 points 3. Car #1 Ahearns, Schneider, Webb with 30.9 points 4. Car #4 Eklund, Rounds, Reid, 38 points 5. Car #7 Horst, Willey with 54 points 6. Car #12 Miller, Duchene, Wood with 59 points 7. Car #10 Wallace, Hightower, Carozza, 71.1points 8. Car #8 Bornhop, Kott, 116 points 9. Car #11 Hogan, Comden with 259.1 points 10. Car #6 Dunn, Marcuse, 317.5 points 11. Car #9 Wright, Fuhrman, 378 points (got a flat and accidentally discharged fire extinguisher in their car!) 12. Car #5 Elder, Elder, 481 points 13. Car #16 Brown, Morris, 499.1 points 14. Car #13 Gilland, Boyd with 627 points 15. Car #14 Weaver, Weaver, 644.3 points 16. Car #15 von Richthofen, Touring Class (raced on the ice track with his trailer!)
This is a test. This is only a test.
That's what I had to tell myself while rounding the back turn of the Gold Pan race course in Quesnel this morning. The track conditions were very bumpy hard snow, and going off course here wouldn't be nearly as forgiving as our our practice runs last month on the frozen lake. Snowbanks were window-high on the car here, and the course was pretty narrow.
I made it through fairly tentatively. Jim did much better on his first run. The other cars were a kick to watch as well, with some fancy driving being done in car #2 by Jake and car #4 by Paul. TeamD entries were happy to have an exhilarating spin around the course, though Steve couldn't get enough excitement and decided to slightly alter the appearance of the BMW. I'll let him or Eric tell that story. Anyway, Jim and I ended up with nearly the same fastest time for our car -- within 1/1000th of each other. I tell, ya, the fun you can have in the WRX is incredible.
Anyhow, few teams needed the assistance of the sweep vehicle to get towed from being high-centered, though one of the BMW X3 entries managed to hang it up right before the timing point. The crowd hooted and hollered for anyone getting sideways or, in one or two cases, backways. The touring class entry even did a lap pulling their small trailer.
After the excitement of the race course, we headed off to our first TSD outside of Quesnel. The start point was right at an elementary school and Jerry (the rallymaster) arranged for us to park in the lot there during lunch recess so the kids could swarm the cars. Trinkets from Subaru were a big hit, passed out by the Challenge Driving team, and we even had a handful of requests for autographs. The Buzz Lightyear on top of the WRX was a hit for some of the kids as well.
Our first TSD of the day got off to a spastic start, with me somehow mucking up our time by two minutes. Fortunately we got it straightened out a mere thirty seconds before the start. Even with a slightly wrong turn, we had decent times with some very challenging checkpoint locations. TSD may sound easy, but maintaining an average speed when you don't know where the checkpoints are located, and you come around a 30 KPH snow and mud covered downhill hairpin turn trying to maintain 30 *M*PH is one of the most challenging things one can do in a car. Even when you're sitting in the right hand seat!
We recorded the entire section on Jim's video camera -- the slalom we did through cattle on the road will be entertaining to watch later. From the Quesnel TSD we had to make some miles to Dawson Creek, official start of the Alaska Highway. Fortunately the temps continued to stay mostly above freezing and though the roads weren't dry, at least they were clear. A passage control and photo op at Dawson Creek was quick, then we headed off for the final TSD of the day on the old Alaska Highway on our way to Fort St. John.
Tomorrow is our longest day. We will drive nearly the distance we've travelled in two days in just one -- 830 miles or so. An early start is in the cards so I'll sign off now.
We don't have scores yet -- maybe tomorrow!
Happy, alive and well in scenic Ft. St John (the Energetic CitY).
Now, off to dinner.