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September 2002 Archives


After four years of rallying with varying amounts ot seat time, I decided that I should siphon some money away from the rally car and invest it into my driving. Having attended a pro-licensing school at Tim O'Neil's rally facility in 1999 prior to our first attempt at the Maine Forest Rally, his school was the logical choice. I had remembered Tim's easy going attitude and his ability to communicate effectively. I also recalled reading about Tim's past rally successes and figured he was the man to break me of any bad habits I had developed.


The road to Maine Forest 2002 was paved with adversity. This event is very important for myself and the team. We consider it our home event and this year was our fourth time at the race. I started rallying after seeing fellow Mainer Carl Merril on ESPN2 and couldn't believe that someone in my state was rallying! As crazy as the thought was at the time, I bought a car and decided to go rallying. My passion for rally has steadily increased. I regret that I never got to meet Carl prior to his untimely death. From what I understand, he was quite a character. I would expect nothing less from a fellow Mainer in a rally car!

We had many obstacles to getting to this year's event. We weren't done building our new rally car, a 1994 1.8L Subaru Impreza AWD sedan. We didn't have our SCCA ProRally licenses. We had just come off a Canadian events two weeks prior.

The Last Ditch Team was up to the challenge. Team is the operative word. For the first time in it's short history, Last Ditch Racing is a TEAM, consisting of, John Cassidy, Maygen McCarty, Eric Wages, Margaret Michaels, Dave Getchell and Matt Robinson. Without the team, there would be no car, no event, no stories. A heartfelt thanks to all of them for helping me realize my dream of becoming a better rally driver and representing Maine in the sport.