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New England Forest Rally weekend went the best EvAr. Best LDR team effort, best car, best performances on stage. Though field was modest size, it was quite top-heavy. At the start line, at least 20 crews were primed for top 5 finishes.

Field might not have been the biggest, but the quality was stellar: Irish Evo ace and former PWRC Champ Niall McShea showed up to vie for the coveted X Games wildcard invite, Pastrana with McRae's WRC-winning codriver Derek Ringer, Block/Gelsomino, Canadian champs Antoine L'Estage/Nat Richard(who've won 2 US events this year), R-A series leaders ACP/Goldfarb, Hankook/Rallispec's Matt Johnson/Jeremy Wimpey, US-based Irish stalwarts Seamus Burke/Eddie Fries, Cowboy Kenny Bartram/Dennis Hotson in the ex-Iorio uber-GC, etc etc.

Well, going up against all those speedy well-supported teams was a bit intimidating at first, so John and I concentrated on the regionals and let the National stuff sort out later. We just went out and tried to go wicked fast and not hit things...and by jeez, it worked. Our stage times were close to top 10 against the full National field, and we were running well ahead of the R-A East regional guys all thru Day One. Hmmm, which got us to

On Day 2, the LDR game plan changed as the rough Maine forest roads started chewing up rally cars and we started climbing the national event leaderboard. Burke/Frie's Evo blew up on the first Super Special. Johnson/Wimpy, ACP/Goldfarb, and Cowboy Kenny all suffered at the hands of the rocks on the "stupid-fast" Dillon-Success stage, one of the fastest of the entire R-A series. Cowboy Kenny hit a rock going so hard and so fast, they not only tore the right rear wheel clean off, they had to walk back
down the road on gather up the pieces! Next thing we knew, we were sitting 10th overall and the rally was still young.

We kept on pushing, running clean and tidy. Of course everybody else was going fast, but soon they started hitting things. Block/Gelsomino got bit by a rocky crest and destroyed the left rear suspension, at almost the exact spot where they went out at Maine Winter Rally a few years back. Antoine and Nat's battlewagon Hyundai expired on the very last stage. And so, LDR found itself Very Much In The Hunt.

We ended up winning regional events both days, and had great battles in the national with Dave Mirra/Alex Kihurani in a fire-breathing VTCar STi, Bill Bacon and veteran Canadian navvie Peter Watt in an immaculateEvo VIII, Jeff Moyle/Scott Putnam in Colin McRae's ex-X Games car, and PGTseries leaders Pat Moro and Scott Crouch. We ended up ahead of all but Bacon/Watt--fifth overall--LDR's best result by far in a US national event.

Yeah! LDR's car T4 is the real deal--we're talking a wild, wild horses kind of ride. I got strapped in next to a madman this weekend, and we rode the wild pony past almost everybody else in the rally.

It's gonna be a tough week, climbing back into normal life, back to dealing with boat shows, house construction, girlfriends, families and stuff.....


We had a MOST eventful debut with Tulip 2, LDR's new GC8 Impreza WRX rally car. Wild as even two crazies like me and John could want!

Day One:

We start 52nd of 60-some teams. The new car runs like the hammers of hell. John does his best Richard Burns imitation (i.e., driving fast and smooth), we are really on with our pace-note timing, and start moving up at every stage. It rains most of Friday afternoon and evening, with wicked slippy mud...quite entertaining. The nighttime tarmac stage at Concord Pond is like a freaking unlit skating rink with a BIG jump at the end in front of soaking-wet spectators. Air time, whoa!! Huge fat raindrops come whizzing at us like asteroids thru the glare of our rally lights. End of first night, we're 24th, less than 2 minutes out of the top 10.

Day Two:

Saturday morning's start order is reseeded by Day One results, so we line up ahead of cars run by guys we've idolized for years, much less ever imagined we'd be on par with. This presents a whole new, eye-opening view of the rally for us. Kind of amazing what a season's worth of seat time (not to mention an agile new car with 100 extra hp) can do!

Navigating for John Cassidy

posted in Co-Driver by Steve Carrick


First of all, I would like to thank John very much for the wonderful drive he made to complete the Targa, and to finish first in Class with a very underpowered, but very sturdy little car.

Patience is the key word re John’s approach to breaking in a new navigator.

Some of the things John had to have patience with;

-Stop Tee Left, (instead of 90 left at Tee)

-I have to pee again

-90 left, right here

-Ummm (as we bore down on an unexpected corner with lots of spectators and marshalls)

-Oops, I pushed the wrong button.

Onto the Podium from Back of the Pack

posted in Co-Driver by Dave Getchell


A Maine Yankee crew grows up (sort of) at Quebec's Rallye Baie des Chaleurs

Where else but Canada could a rally team finish dead last but still win prize $$$ ?

The Bangor, Maine-based Last Ditch Racing Team is just back from Rallye Baie des Chaleurs in Quebec, running its first national rally after years of paying dues in regional events. Running with the big dogs is a real eye-opener and true experiential education in the world of rally. Despite finishing dead last on the road, we take second in Group 2--thanks to an amazingly durable little red Honda named Fireball, a relentlessly determined driver and co-driver, and a service crew that would make that old TV-show improviser MacGuyver proud.