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.

Saturday New England Forest Rally Update #1

Before we begin Day 2 coverage for MaxAttack!, here are some updates from Friday action.

-Michael Gillespie and Brian Kirby had a gearbox let go early in the rally. It is shame to see their classic Mark II Escort out of the rally so quickly.

-Also out early was the Acura Integra of Bradford Ames and Mike Kent. On the very first stage, their distributor blew up and they were done.

-Michael White and George Loef blew a head gasket, and are running Saturday just for fun. They think they damaged the motor on their SAAB 900, though.

-Kristin Pryzybysz and Meghan Roy replaced their damaged wheel bearing. They also blew out their lower radiator hose. They borrowed another one from Kevin Turner, but when they re-filled the coolant the system was not adequately burped. Alas their Subaru Impreza overheated, and they were forced to withdraw from the rally.

On to Saturday...

Cars left the Sunday River ski area, with their first stop being a short one-mile Super Special in Errol, New Hampshire. There then followed two stages, Sturtevant Pond Long (19.5 miles) and Sturtevant Pond Short (16.2 miles) before teams returned to Errol for service.

A common theme throughout the field (all-wheel-drive and MaxAttack!) is skid plate damage and resulting oil pan problems due to the rough nature of some of the stages.

Going into the day, Chris Duplessis was leading Andrew Comrie-Picard, with Dillon Van Way holding on to third.

-Andrew Comrie-Picard and Jeremy Wimpey had their Scion XD towed in to service. They pushed the skid plate up and cracked the oil pan as they crossed the finish line of Stage 9. They also broke a down pipe. The Scion is fixed with a new pipe and oil pan and is ready to head back out. The team commented that the stages were extremely rough.

-Verena Mei and Keith Morison rolled their Ford Fiesta on the very first corner of the Errol Super Special. The windshield was damaged to the point that they were not able to continue.

-The Maine-based duo of Michael Reilly and Josh Benthien in a Ford Focus broke a CV joint, on the other side from the one they broke last night. This was also on the Errol stage. Alas this also meant retirement from their home event.

-Chris Duplessis and Karl Atkinson bent a tie rod on their Ford Fiesta R2, and did not have a spare. They straightened out the part to continue. They were seen leaving the Errol service area with fresh front tires, with the goal to get on the overall rally podium.

-Dillon Van Way and Jake Blattner are bringing their Ford Fiesta in to service clean every time. They are having no problems and are just performing routine maintenance. They commented that the stages are rough, but that the Ford is handling it well.

-Martin Walter and Ferd Trauttmansdorff did well last night in their Nissan 240SX, holding fourth in MaxAttack!. However, on Sturtevant Pond Long the team suffered two flat tires. Luckily they did have two spares on board and were able to keep going, but the front flat made the car undrivable, so the team had to stop on stage to change the flats. They lost a lot of time.

-Greg Healey and Cindy Krolikowski have not had many problems with their classic Datsun 280Z. They were able to secure a replacement intercom from Robert Sockalexis (Kevin Turner's co-driver), so communications are much better today.

-Wyatt Knox and Ole Holter also suffered an oil pan problem, resulting in a small engine fire and a DNF for their Mazdaspeed3. They also never did get their fuel delivery problems solved from last night.

-Luke Sorenson and Seth Strait also smashed in a skid plate on their SAAB 99. They discovered a very bad ball joint after hitting a big rock and going airborne. They also have an intermittent fuel delivery problem, which they reckon have cost them about six minutes.

-The VW Rabbit of Justin Carven and Geoff Clark also has a bent skid plate and oil pan leak. The team is working on fixing the leak; otherwise they just plan to carry a lot of oil.

-The Erik Potts and Steven Case Ford Focus is also suffering from a damaged skid plate and oil pan.

-It has been a busy weekend for the Dirty Drifters team of Brian Gottlieb and Patrick Darrow. The service crew has been keeping busy with creative problem solving to keep the Honda Civic going in the rally. According to the Facebook page of one of their service crew members, the Honda lost its skid plate on Friday. They fashioned a replacement out of lashed together polyethylene cutting boards hastily purchased at a local Walmart. Today they snapped a rear lateral link, and had to jury rig a repair. They also cracked the transmission case, and there is a steady leak of gearbox oil. They obtained a large funnel from the service crew of Subaru Rally Team USA, and taped it in the engine bay. This way that can pour gearbox oil directly into the transmission.

-The Broken Motorsports Ford Fiesta of William Petrow and Jeremy Neyhart keeps breaking the rear bolts from their skid plate. They have been catching people and suffering in the dust. They replaced all four shocks last night, installing new Bilstein units. The car is working much better on those.

-On Stage 9, Simon Wright and Angela Cosner hit a rock. The right front strut tower broke away from the body shell of their Ford Focus and punched up and damaged the hood. They are heading out to the forest to retrieve the stricken car.

-Edward McNelly is a chief mechanic for Tim O'Neil, and is a major part of the effort that has put eight cars in the New England Forest Rally field. He and co-driver Pascal Belperron are driving one of them, a VW Golf. They broke a front tie rod, but they had a spare and were able to replace it and keep going.

-Tim Chevalier and Alan Moody are happy with the shakedown of their new Merkur XR4ti. Despite the rough stages, they are having no problems and are going well.

-Kevin Turner and Robert Sockalexis are having a good day in their Subaru Impreza. They have hit lots of stuff, but seem to be getting away with it. Their car is tough!

There are 25 stage miles remaining in the event, the 13.2 miles of Fish Pond In and the 12.3 miles of Sturtevant out. A lot can happen in these remaining two stages! Stay tuned...

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