For Immediate Release
Bangor, Maine USA
Maine's Last Ditch Racing completed an ambitious month of racing;
competing in three events in four weeks, in two different countries.
They clinched the 2011 Rally America Eastern Regional Open Class
Championship and two podiums in the process.
Driver John Cassidy of Bangor, Maine and Co-Driver Jennifer Daly from Kelowna,
British Columbia started their summer season with a second place in the R1 Rally
class at the Climb to the Clouds, a hill climb up New Hampshire's Mt. Washington
First run in 1904, the Mt. Washington Hillclimb is the oldest
motorsport event in the United States. Last run in 2001, Cassidy
jumped at the opportunity to compete in the event. "Jennifer and I
had no idea what to expect on the mountain. What we encountered was both a
technical and psychological challenge. The weather and visibility
were constantly changing, forcing us to push in low visibility on
roads with significant exposures." The event marked the first time
that Daly and Cassidy have worked as a team since the 2008 Rallye Defi
in Quebec. "We were ecstatic with a podium finish at the event, as we
had no prior experience on the mountain. Having to run a restrictor
in the turbo certainly kept our speeds down at altitude, but we pushed
as much as we dared in the limited visibility at the top of the mountain.
Our rally experience definitely served us well on the often wet surface
and challenging visibility."
The following week found the team in New Richmond, Quebec for the
Rallye Baie des Chaleurs. One of LDR's favorite Canadian events, the
technical and rough stages of Baie suit Cassidy's driving style. The
team was setting top ten stage times on Friday night, until they
had an off, striking a bridge with their Subaru STi on SS6. The front
suspension suffered terminal damage, and they were forced to retire
from the event. "It was a bittersweet return to Canada. We had not
been at Baie since 2008, and we were having a great time on stage.
Jennifer and I were settling into the car and getting up to speed
quite well. I came into the corner with too much speed and
understeered into the bridge. It was a very heavy hit, and we were
very lucky not to have done more damage to the car or ourselves."
Two weeks on and many repairs later, the team attended their home event, the
2011 New England Forest Rally, headquartered at the Sunday River
Resort in Newry, Maine. The twelfth consecutive showing for Last
Ditch Racing at the event, the notoriously rough roads are home for Cassidy.
"The New England Forest Rally has a reputation for being rough, and this
year was no exception. For some, the rocks are intimidating, but I'm used to
pushing on rough events." The rough roads were new to codriver Jennifer Daly:
"During recce I was surprised by both the softness of the sand in some spots, and by the
size of the painted rocks on the road, but John hasn't missed this event in over 11 years,
so I was very confident in his ability to be fast through these strange conditions."
The National event spans both Friday and Saturday's stages, and each day is
considered a separate Regional Rally. Cassidy and Daly set quick
times on Friday, but unbeknownst to them, Jason Smith and Jared
Lantzy, driving LDR's original Subaru, T-1, held a lead of 7 seconds
on the LDR team going into the final stage of the night, the famous
Concord Pond stage. Cassidy and Daly were unaware of their overall
standing, and the team goal was to set a new personal record on
Concord Pond. At the end of the stage, the crew had bested LDR's stage
record; 12 seconds quicker over just 5.75 miles, and secured the win over
Smith/Lantzy by 13 seconds. "Having both LDR cars on the podium was
great. Concord Pond is an epic stage and we wanted to push for all
the fans that come out to spectate. Taking the overall win and first
in Open Class was a fantastic end to the day!"
Saturday's regional event opened with the longest stage of the day,
where the LDR team posted the fastest time of the regional competitors
by nearly 1.5 minutes over Smith/Lantzy. A flat on the second stage dashed
any hope of an outright victory for the day, despite setting the best time on every
other stage. "We had a flat and the tire started to delaminate quite quickly.
We had 5 miles left in the stage and it was a very technical section.
The car wasn't turning well and it would have been dangerous to continue.
Changing a tire on stage is always costly, but sometimes
it's the best choice." The team was awarded first in class for
2011 has been another development year for the team, with a new engine
and other technical changes to the car. The addition of Canadian co-driver
Jennifer Daly to the team has also had a significant impact on LDR's
recent success. "Jennifer strapped into the co-driver's seat like
she's always been there. The communication in the car is very good and
we both feel there's still more speed to be had on stage." The
team's future schedule is yet to be determined and likely won't be
finalized until damage assessment is completed on the car after this
difficult schedule of events. For Daly, the possibility of rejoining
the LDR team is attractive: "It's very exciting to have some success
early on with a new driver and codriver match. John and the LDR crew
are prepared and competitive; I was very happy to be a part of such a
fun and tight knit team. When we set out to do three events in four
weeks, it seemed a little crazy, but with the right people and some
hard work, just about anything is possible."
The team is appreciative of support from Mirraco, a BMX bicycle company founded
by actions sports athlete Dave Mirra. Mirra supplied the team some of his personally
autographed signature Bell helmets, which the LDR team gave to young fans at the rally.
John and Jennifer want to extend a special thank you to their crew for 2011:
Drew Gladu, Duncan Matlack, Nathan Haskell, Jon Bolduc, Zach Sennett,
Cullen Gillis, Bronson Crothers, Kevin Sennett and John Cassidy V.
"Rally is a truly brutal sport on the car and without the support of
our talented and dedicated crew, we wouldn't think about leaving the
The team would also like to thank Dave Heerdegen of DTECH Motorsport
in New Zealand for his support in tuning the car's engine after all the recent
modifications. "Dave has been an invaluable resource for us over the past
two seasons, and we owe a lot of our recent success to his hard work."
Last Ditch Racing would like to thank their 2011 Partners for their
DTECH Motorsport, http://www.dtechmotorsport.com/
VP Racing fuels, http://www.vpracingfuels.com
Triple Caution, LLC, http://www.triplecaution.us
For more information on Last Ditch Racing: http://www.lastditchracing.com
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