2011 Olympus Rally Review Part 1

2011 Olympus Rally

In May 2011, the Olympus Rally brought the Demon Rally Team out for its first rally of the season. Settling in picturesque Ocean Shores, WA; the event was the third round of Rally America’s National Championship and the first round of the Max Attack two-wheel drive rally series. Little did we know that our first event of the year would be a fellow competitor’s last.

The Demon Rally Team came to this event well prepared. We had worked hard to revise a few lingering issues on the car and had tested accordingly. We were entered in the National race, both Regional races as well as the Max Attack race. Piloti was kind enough to offer up a challenge for two wheel drive competitors this year as well, taking the fastest combined time over both runs of the Brooklyn stage for free entry for the 2012 Olympus Rally.

Day one, the Ray Damitio Regional Rally, started off with a few minor issues. We were teething the car and had just moved to a larger turbo, supplied by CTS Turbo and RP turbos. This turbo pushed our power levels up in the rpm range and we found that we were hitting the limiter a lot on the first few stages. A quick Spitfire EFI computer ECU adjustment and we had upped our limit to avoid bouncing off of it on stage. Despite dropping about 20 seconds to Wyatt Knox on our first couple of stages Tom and Don were gaining confidence in the car.

After the first running of the Smith Creek stage Tom found that the driver’s side wheel had bad positive camber, unfortunately we had no time to try to fix the issue before running Brooklyn E. This is Tom and Don’s favorite stage, they were excited to run the stage and even more excited to run the stage for a chance at Piloti’s free entry for next year’s event!

Brooklyn E. went well for the team, our prior best for the stage was a 7:02; this year we ran a 6:59, putting our average speed at over 60 mph for the stage, and setting the third fastest time ever on the stage for a group 5 car. After finishing the stage, the team knew there would be some work to do on the car. Luckily there was time between stages to work not he car. Tom got out of the car and saw that the camber issue had increased and had for the driver’s side front tire down to nothing, the tire was destroyed, and the passenger side tire wasn’t doing much better. Changing the tire and doing a quick roadside camber adjustment seemed to right the problem, however, the team still had two more stages to finish on nearly bald Hankook tires and an unknown camber issue.

Tom and Don both knew is was time to back off a bit to ensure they would finish the next two stages. On their westbound run on Brooklyn the team gained 13 seconds on their first run. Luckily this time was still fast enough to win the Piloti Challenge by over 9 seconds over fellow national competitor Wyatt Knox. The Demon Rally Team took home free entry to the 2011 Olympus Rally as well as Piloti shoes to test out! A big thank you from the team goes out to Piloti for their support of rally! We were proud to run Brooklyn as well as we did, and could only hope that our late friend Ray Damitio was proud of our effort on his rally. We were stacked in third in the regional rally, just a few seconds off of second place The team then focused on the westbound run of Smith Creek, they had come back to just over nine seconds behind first place Wyatt Knox. As we rolled up to the stage start we had no idea anything out of the ordinary had happened.

Unfortunately, something had happened; something that would change the 2011 Olympus Rally and everyone involved.


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