For Immediate Release
July 25, 2010
Bangor, Maine USA
Bangor's Last Ditch Racing were challenged by the 2010 New England Forest Rally and persevered, taking to the podium in Saturday's race.
The sixth and final round of the 2010 Rally America Championship, this year's event saw more than 65 teams from across the USA step up to take on the notoriously rough stages in the woods of Western Maine.
LDR started the event with a new ECU in the car. The Link G4 Extreme ECU was tuned via the internet with the expertise of Dave Heerdegen of DTECH Motorsport in Tauranga, New Zealand. "Using Skype, we allowed Dave to remotely log into the laptop while it was connected to the car. We were able to get a very good tune on the car that saw it running the best it has in many events," said driver/owner John Cassidy. "The tuning was completed in three very long days. We had a great time working with Dave, but the 14 hour time difference, working my day job and working all night in the shop was a bit surreal and not the way we prefer to spend the week prior to an event."
Friday's stages saw the team having some shifting issues after the jump on the first stage, the Mexico Super Special. The transmission kept popping out of second gear and Cassidy was forced to drive with one hand while holding it in gear. The assumption was that the geometry on the shifter was keeping the shifter from fully engaging the gear. The crew trimmed the shifter surround and sent the crew back out. The issue progressed over the next couple of stages. Said Cassidy, "I knew something was wrong-the car would now stay in second, but would pop out of 4th. We had planned on making time over a stage that had several new miles added to it for this years' event, but I spent most of it holding it in 4th and driving with one hand, trying to do my best Sitg Blomquist imitation. Dave told me that was the fastest I'd ever driven with one hand."
At the second service, Cassidy asked the crew to check the engine and transmission mounts. The driver's side engine mount was indeed broken, likely letting go over the jump on the first stage. Without a spare mount, the crew used a ratchet strap to secure the engine for the final few stages of the day. WIth the engine no longer bouncing up into the hood, Cassidy and Getchell headed back out and set some competitive times, besting their personal record on the famous Concord Pond stage by 1 second with a ratchet strap holding the engine in the car!
With assistance from the Valley Tire team of Steve Quigley and Dana Nauss, a new motor mount was fitted for Saturday's stages. Not unexpected, the car shifted well and stayed in gear! The team were hampered by a mysterious lack of boost for the day. The problem was consistent though, and Cassidy and Getchell felt it better to work with what they had, rather than potentially create more issues by starting down a diagnostic pathway in the middle of the event.
"We pushed fairly hard and had a great time on the rough stages. Having proper anti-lag on the car was an eye-opener. We were taking some corners at speeds that were initially a bit unexpected, but we got used to it quickly. We haven't had ALS on our car since T-2, and that was a few years ago. We won three consecutive Regional Open Championships without it, but it sure is a lot more entertaining with it!"
The team already has parts on order for further development of the car in preparation for the remainder of 2010 and the 2011 season. "We're going to optimize some of the systems on board, and we'll be starting with the wiring system, and then focusing on the cockpit. The driver/co-driver interface with the car needs a little work. Having our office laid out efficiently increases our comfort level in the car, letting us focus on faster stage times."
Cassidy and Getchell are honored and proud to have the best crew in the sport: Bronson Crothers, Duncan Matlack, Drew Gladu, Drew Simpson, Erik Lee, Cullen Derepentigny. Special thanks to Sean Glenn for joining the crew for this event. Cassidy would like to thank his close friend and personal trainer Scott Kahkonen for all the punishment in the gym-it makes it all easier on stage!
Last Ditch Racing would like to thank their 2010 Partners for their continued support:
VP Racing fuels, http://www.vpracingfuels.com
DTECH Motorsport, http://www.dtechmotorsport.com
Triple Caution, LLC, http://www.triplecaution.us
Team O'Neil Rally School, http://www.teamoneil.com
Luke Dobie Designs, http://www.lukedobiedesigns.com/
A special thanks to Mike at ACT clutch, Miles at Fine Line Import and Dave a Dtech for their support.
For more information on the New England Forest Rally, please visit: http://newenglandforestrally.com/
For more information on Last Ditch Racing, please visit: http://www.lastditchracing.com
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LDR's Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/LastDitchRacing
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Photo Copyright Pete Kuncis/Onalimbracing.com 2010