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Thongs Awarded!

posted in Thong Award by Last Ditch Racing


What follows is a myriad of Triple Caution Thong awards, presented by Last Ditch Racing in conjunction with Triple Caution at three recent North American rally championship events.

The Thong is presented by Last Ditch Racing, in conjunction with team partner Triple Caution, Inc. at each event the team competes in. The skimpy garment is awarded to teams that meet the ever-changing criteria as determined by the Last Ditch Racing team. Criteria heavily favor finishing the event in the face of adversity. Each Triple Caution Thong is custom embroidered for the specific event.

McGeer Thong

Says Last Ditch Racing driver John Cassidy, "The Triple Caution Thong is an award earned and not won. At a recent event, we had people asking us if they qualified. Many hope to win the thong, and some actually try and meet the criteria. Although many may feel they qualify, the winners are truly deserving."

Rocky Mountain Rally, Round 2 of the Canadian Rally Championship

Driving a 1989 Suzuki Swift, Ashton Evans and co-driver Jeffrey Hagan drove their car to a first place in P1 in both the national and regional portions of the 2004 Rocky Mountain Rally in Calgary Canada.

The 1989 Suzuki Swift of Evans Motorsport was the smallest car in the field with a 300cc disadvantage to its closest competitor! Once again, the team was plagued with problems leading up to the event. Two weeks before the event things started to go wrong. Even simple tasks like an oil change were turning into two or three day jobs with an excessively high price tag. Crushed oil pans with smashed up drainage plugs, broken CV boots, incorrect parts orders and parts being unavailable were just some of the fun the team ran into.

The team's new navigator seat was and still is stuck at customs, and a last minute effort was made to install a VW GTI seat in the car. During the first stage of the day Ashton had his first taste of the Swift on gravel and 130km/h! The thing he soon realized was stopping the Suzuki with its 40 pound gravel tires at 130km/h is not as easy as it sounds! Only a couple minutes into the first stage they passed the spectator area at around 130 km/h. From the spectator area there was an easy right and a 4 left which is a medium left. Ashton explains, "The entrance to the left hand turn was hidden by a tree on the left side of the road, but you could see the edge of the turn just past the tree, or so I thought! Braking as hard as I could, the turn was coming up awfully fast! I tried turning the car a little at the tree to cut in as hard as possible only to find that it wasn't the start of the turn but the start of what appeared to be a steep gully!

With the front of the car now in the gully and the car sliding along the brim sideways the car managed to complete the turn. The problem was now getting the front of the car pointing down the road instead of down in to the gully! I turned into the slide and the car suddenly dug in. It dug in so well it flew up over the road rotating 180 degrees and off the other side in to the ditch where the car rolled on to its side! Looking out the front window, we could see the ground to our left and the sky to our right! Luckily the spring loaded side mirrors, with a little help from the small berm to the side of the ditch, put the car back on its wheels!" The car stayed running and was able to finish the stage!

Upon arriving at the next time control, they noticed rolling the car did some damage. Both of the left hand side tires had been lifted away from the rim and large stones had gotten down the side of the tire. The front right tire was completely flat and the exhaust had been broken in two at the engine! The team would now have to run the rest of the day with an 85% worn all season tire and an exhaust that you could hear from five miles away!

Despite all the excitement, Evans/Hagan brought the little Swift across the line and into the history books as a Triple Caution Thong winner!

Susquehannock Trails Pro Rally, Round 3 of the SCCA ProRally Championship

Pat Richard and co-driver Nathalie Richard current SCCA Overall and Group N leaders and Canadian Overall and Open Class leaders, battled brake system issues to salvage a seventh overall and fourth in Group N at the 2004 Susquehannock Trail ProRally in Wellsboro PA.

Richard had some brake issues going into the evening service and the crew worked to correct the problem. Soon after departing service, he reported a loss of brakes again. Stopping mid-transit, he sussed out that a rear brake caliper had failed. He pulled out some locking pliers to crimp and seal a rear brake line, allowing him to continue and finish the event, albeit with only front brakes. Not wanting to speed on a transit and knowing that time penalty for arriving late at a control are less than for early arrival(to discourage speeding on transits), Richard thought he had incurred a 90 second penalty. The penalty was later determined to be 9 minutes due to STPR's event specific minute-for-minute early and late penalty rule.

Richard is no stranger to the elusive Thong. Winning all US and Canadian events to date, he had been in contention for the Triple Caution Thong at The 2003 Rally of the Tall Pines in Ontario Canada, watched it slip from his grasp and into the hands of his teammate, fellow Subaru Canada driver Tom McGeer. Pat and Nathalie graciously accepted the award at the recent Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs in New Richmond, Quebec.

When advised that there would be a press release relating to the award, Pat was overheard saying, "You don't have to do that." Richard joins fellow Subaru Canada driver and Canadian Champion Tom McGeer as a Thong winner. The award means that Subaru Canada is the first and only factory team in the world to have both their drivers win the diminutive yet illustrious award. Crew Chief Stewart Ho was seen smiling proudly during the award ceremony.

Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs, Round 3 of the Canadian Rally Championship

The Last Ditch Racing Crew set a lofty goal for the Triple Caution Thong award at the Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs. Said LDR driver John Cassidy, "We decided that the team whose car most resembled a shrubbery at some point during the event would win the thong."

Local favorites Martin Gauvin and Daniel Duchesneau, in their 1986 Toyota MR2, were seen airborne at the jump on the famous Camp Brule stage with a large bush which had obviously jumped from the roadside onto their hood, partially obscuring their view. Throwing caution, and the MR2 to the wind, the team nonetheless launched with the greenery flapping in their face. They later admitted to the LDR crew that there had been more flora decorating the car, but it had been removed en route.

Despite some language barriers, Cassidy and Co-Driver Dave Getchell used their broken French to try and describe the, "G-String Triple Dangeur," to the winners. The full impact of the award was seen on the crew's face when an interpreter was brought in to assist. "We wanted Martin and Daniel to understand what the award was about, and the widening of their eyes soon indicated that the language barrier had been crossed."

Thongs will be awarded at the Maine Forest Rally as well as the remaining Canadian Championship events.

For more information on the Canadian Rally Championship, please visit: and
For more information on the SCCA ProRally Championship, please visit:
For more information on Last Ditch Racing and to read about past Triple Caution Thong winners, please visit:
For more information on Triple Caution, MOTUL distributor, please visit:

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