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So, tomorrow is our first proper test of our rally car!

I know those that know us are saying, "Isn't nine years more than enough time to test a friggin' rally car?!" Um, yes and know.

There are certain words in rally that have specific meanings. "Off," "Crash," and, "test" are just a few.

Testing is a controlled setting in which to change settings on the car and see if they make a positive, negative or perhaps neutral effect on the car's performance.

We've actually never done a proper test. I'm as incredulous as the rest of you-believe me! :-)

So, what's going to happen? Good question.

We're going into the forest at our uber secure and stealthy test location for about 6 hours. We'll take a couple different sets of tires and try each of those out.

We also might test out a new, LDR exclusive, GPS locating system for the rally car.

Primary focus will be on our RS+SP gravel suspension. Adjustable until the cows come home, we've never changed the settings. NEVER! I know, I know, I can see the shaking heads now....

Anyway, we've gotten quicker over the past couple of years and we really need to know which way to twiddle the adjustment knobs on the damn things to make the car handle better.

Tonight in the shop, we'll be making notes about current ride height at all four corners. We'll then make note of all current strut settings. We'll run the test road until we're comfortable and then make changes in one direction, then back to the starting point, then perhaps in some other direction.

At the end of the day, my plan is to have the crew give me one of the settings that I've decided makes me drive like Marcus Gronholm, then see if it actually is faster. Of course, they'll not be telling me which setting they're choosing. Double-blind and all that.

Now, the road and tires will change with time during the test, so it won't be a perfect test. Rally is not a perfect sport. Perfectly awesome perhaps, but it's not the same corner a thousand times during a race.

Mark Fleming, star photog will also be there snapping pics of us in. Having us in a semi-controlled environment is a dream come true for him. Perhaps he'll have an easier time making a couple of old(er) gentleman racers look sexy enough for the cover of Men's Health! ;-)

Beyond that, we'll also be looking to make sure that our new pedal assembly gives me full throttle. The pedal ratio is different than stock, resulting in more throw. I have to work a bit harder, but my legs could use more definition anyway....

Speaking of legs, I went back to an RPM class at the gym this AM. If you checked out my debrief from the first attempt, you may not have stopped laughing yet. Well, I got my cycling shoes unclipped all by myself and didn't pass out, so I'm making progress!

As always, thanks for following the team! Please check out the YouTube vids and please rate them and leave comments.

Cheers! John

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