Sunday, March 15, 2009

2009 - 100 Acre Wood Recap

The 100 Acre Wood Rally takes place in Ozark Mountains of Salem, MO. Team Hanson Motorsports was set to start the 2009 Rally America Series in their new prepped 2007 Subaru Impreza STi in the new Super Production Class.

The team arrived in waves from various parts of the country. Work began to put the finishing touches on the race car. Travis and Terry went out Thursday to recce the race course. Recce was very successful and the driver and co-driver felt well prepared to start the race the next day. On the other hand the car was not ready.

With a newly prepped car there are expected issues. However the car was not experiencing the normal new car issues. The issues that faced the team for the rest of the weekend were not easy to deal with and ultimately not fixable. The car had problems with the new diff controller. It made the car do very strange things and never worked as expected. It took lots of work and diagnostics to finally figure out that the car had improper final drive gears. It was not an issue with the controller at all.

The car also developed a big misfire on the transit to the first parc expose. The service crew worked diligently through the parc expose to try and solve the issue and it seemed as though the issue was solved. At the first service the car had used 2 quarts of oil and had pushed out a majority of its coolant. This had proved to be a much greater issues than before, but the team had to press on regardless…

Travis and Terry had a good first few stages. The car was not running correctly, and with out the diff controller the car drove mostly in rear wheel drive, but it was still fun and the times were not that far off the pace. The last 2 stages proved more difficult and the times were not as good.

The start on the Second day met the competitors with some snow. Team Hanson began the day 17th on the road way off the pace they had expected. With the slippery conditions the Hanson’s were excited to start a new day of racing. They knew they had to make the best of the car they had.

As the day progressed Travis and Terry started to reel in some of the competitors that were in front of them. The culmination of the weekend was stage 14. There was 8 inches of snow on the stage and Travis was in his element. Team Hanson finished the stage 4th overall and the fastest SP car. This stage also ended the rally as stage 15 was canceled due to heavy snow. Travis and Terry pulled back in to the top ten overall and 4th in Super Production. A great finish considering the condition of the car.

Many thanks go out to Tom Knight and the rest of the Team Hanson Motorsports Crew!!! Also thanks to the Hanson Family for their continued support at the 100 Acre Wood Rally. With out everyone’s hard work and support this team would never survive.

Post race diagnostics proved that the motor was damaged. One of the pistons had cracked and another cylinder showed a massive headgasket leak. The motor was effectively running on 2 cylinders.