MaxAttack! raised the level of two wheel drive rally racing in the United States for the past few years. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsor during those years, Danza del Sol Winery in Temecula Valley, California, the Rallysports Group of America (RSGA) paid out a cash purse of $15,000 USD per year to be divided amongst the fastest teams competing in the MaxAttack! events.

Interviews Following Day 1 of the New England Forest Rally

I found out, after my last posting from the Mexico service area, that Jim McClelland and Darlene Jones were forced to retire due to a broken tie rod end. They have made repairs and will return for the Saturday stages.

Sorry, I am too tired to post results tonight. They can be found at http://www.rally-america.com/events/2010/NEFRMAX/results/standings/

Here are some driver and co-driver interviews following the first day of MaxAttack! competition at the New England Forest Rally.

Lauchlin O'Sullivan, Driver, #90 Dodge Neon SRT-4

BB: Lauchlin, how did Concord Pond treat you?
LO: The first four miles were great!
BB: And then what happened?
LO: Then we hit a rock on the inside of a corner, covered up by grass, just took the wrong line on it and the tire went flat right away. The car wouldn't steer at all.
BB: You didn't do any other damage?
LO: It looks like maybe we bent something in the front. We've got to check it out tomorrow morning. We got into Parc Ferme just in time, we had two minutes to spare, so the guys did a great job getting us ready and going.
BB: Do you have anything else to add from today?
LO: Just wish we didn't lose that 45 seconds on the last stage, I wanted to set a good time on the thing. We were looking forward to it. It's just kind of sad to end the day that way on a downer. We're still alive.

Ben Slocum, Co-Driver, #600 Ford Focus

BB: How was Concord Pond for you guys?
BS: It's both of our first times on it, and now we can understand why it's a favorite among a lot of people. Chris took 16 seconds out of us, which we don't think is too bad considering it's his stage, he's got like a four second lead on us. He's now got a four second lead on us for second place going into Day 2. I think we can take that back. We're in good spirits. It will be fun tomorrow, a good battle.

Dillon Van Way, Driver, #600 Ford Focus

BB: How did you like the stages today?
DV: I loved them, I had a lot of fun. Concord Pond was really interesting. I think I liked the other stages a little more, it was pretty cool to have the spectators along the whole way, that's a cool feeling. The other stages suited my style a little bit better.
BB: What do you figure is your style?
DV: I think rough. As much as drivers dread going into it, I think I like the rough stages. I guess its the motocross background.

Mike White, Driver, #900 Saab 900

BB: I've got Mike White again, not quite ready to enjoy one of his Sebago Ales. What's going on here, it looks like you have a bit of a camber issue.
MW: Yeah, we lost our belts, we threw all the drive belts on the last stage, close to the start. We tried to get to the finish, overheating.
BB: Any idea how you threw all the belts?
MW: No idea. And then the last big jump was too big (laughs), and we popped the coil wire right off the cap, which stopped us. We got the triangles out, got the hood open, figured out what it was, got the coil wire back on, seriously overheating, and finished the stage. Then Ian Topping and Jeff Secor in the Volvo flat-towed us back. It appears that something went wrong on the right corner, again. This is the one we replaced the shock on. The nice thing is that we are running the regionals, so we can work tonight, and we can get back in tomorrow. It doesn't look like anything we can't fix.

Matt Bushore, Driver, #548 Volkswagen Jetta

BB: Matt, how was your day today?
MB: It started pretty slow. We realized that we were sucking pretty bad on the first outbound stage of the turnaround [ed. Stage 4]. We decided we wanted to go faster and wicked it up a bit, and I think we caught some people, or matched their times, so we're pretty happy about that. On Corcord we kind of fell off again. We're erratic at best.
BB: I heard some of the stages out there were pretty rough. Did you do any damage to the Jetta?
MB: No, it's in pretty good shape. Knock wood, which is my forehead I guess. It's looking pretty good.

Geoff Clark, Co-Driver, #501 VW Rabbit

BB: How did Concord Pond go for you? Did you catch some air?
GC: Not really, we were having some hard times seeing, we didn't have our lights aimed as well as we could, and we didn't think it was going to be as dark as it was. It got darker as we got into the trees. Once we figured that out we realized that we didn't quite have enough lighting, and then I didn't have the map light on so I couldn't see the notes as well as I could have, and when I looked up I couldn't confirm where we were on the stage. We had a couple little spots where we were unsure of where we were, but it felt alright overall. We just kind of took it a little easier.
BB: Hod did you guys feel about your performance today? Did you feel you lived up to your potential, or is there more speed to be found tomorrow?
GC: We definitely have more speed to make tomorrow, just so long as we can keep it clean, and not hurt anything. We definitely had some spots where I felt that I wasn't as scared as I normally am, so we couldn't have been going as fast as we normally do.
BB: Is this your first time teaming with Greasecar?
GC: It's my second time, I ran STPR last month with them.
BB: How do you feel the performance of this turbo diesel cooking oil VW rates with some of the other cars out there.
GC: All three Group 5 cars in STPR in the Saturday regional were within less than a minute of each other, and we were up against Healey's six-cylinder Datsun 280z and Sorensen's four-cylinder turbo putting out over 300 horsepower, and we were running with the best of them. It feels, when you let off the clutch and you get a thousand rpm's, and you got a ton of boost and that thing just takes off. There's a lot of low-end torque, and there's no power loss from going to alternate fuel. It's just a lot of little fine tuning we're doing just to get even more power out of it.
BB: How much boost do you run on it?
GC: It's about 30 psi.

Josh Wimpey, Driver, #213 Volkswagen GTi

BB: Did you ever find any repair for your power steering problems?
JW: No, we decided to not bother fixing the power steering. It's on the low list of priorities. The couple of stages that we did without power steering seemed fine.
BB: It looks like when you got back out on the forest stages things went better for you, I guess there was a lot less turning.
JW: It's not as tight. It's the real tight turns, the 2's and stuff, that really works your shoulders over without the power steering.
BB: Did you guys have a good run over Concord Pond?
JW: I think it was pretty decent. I'd never seen it before, except for on recce. We had a good time, it was fun.

Eric Burmeister, Driver, #42 Mazdaspeed3

BB: After Stage Five you described a litany of problems. Did any of them plague you on Concord Pond?
EB: The brakes actually did fade a bit on Concord as well, but the stage was awesome. It's been a couple of years since I've been in a rally car, at least doing rallies. My brain sponge is smaller than it used to be, it's taken some time today to acclimate to the pace of the notes, to be able to process things fast enough, and Concord Pond is one of those stages where you have to be able to picture things two turns in advance, because it happens so fast with all the crests and corners over crests. That's the main thing, it's just getting the driver back into shape and keeping the car in good shape.
BB: How would you rate the Mazdaspeed 3 experience today on a scale from one to ten?
EB: 10. 100%. I love this car. It's just silly. It's got a lot of power, it handles very well… This is a machine built for me. It's physically built for my stature, I could never sell this car because nobody could drive it. [Josh Wimpey: "I could drive it, Lurch!"] (laughter). Josh just mentioned he could drive it. It's a machine built for me. Because of that I keep tinkering with it, and trying new things to make it better.
BB: Are you going to make any changes to the car or your driving style for the Saturday stages?
EB: What I was talking about. My sponge is getting bigger. I'm able to commit more and more to the notes. As far as driving style, things are going to be going pretty much as we were. I think we can probably step it up a little. I don't know if we have what it takes to go after Lauchlin and such, but we can certainly run with most of the people up toward the top. I'm just going to drive as hard as I can, and push as hard as I can, and try to stay as neat and tidy as I can on the road and that's about it.
 

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