Billy managed to pull the video from the crash:
They say there are two types of rally drivers; those that have rolled. and those that will roll. And so it happens that this last weekend, our number was up.
But before we get to that, some context. RallyNY Summer RallySprint was a fast rally. Like topping out 4th gear through narrow logging roads, around 120mph fast. The field was also packed with top tier open class AWD cars, and a healthy Production AWD class showing.
Our first run, we were within 0.2 seconds off the leader, Danny O’Brien/James McKiernan. On the second run, we cut five and half seconds off their time. We were just stunningly fast that day, especially when you consider that our Production AWD class Evo has a little over 1/2 the power compared to open class cars. We had a good rhythm going, and I even decided to turn on the A/C on stage 4. There’s something to be said about having air conditioning in your race car .
At the end of stage 6, it was clear that we were now also trading places with Cyril & Caitlin Kearney in 2nd place overall. Now, i could say that we were trying to go flat out; pin it to win it. But the reality is, in rally, you’re really just racing yourself out there. And that’s exactly what our plan was, to get faster and faster with each run. On stage 7, we were just flying through the course. We were on pace to PR that stage.
And so of course that’s when it happened. Coming from a downhill 5 right (~100mph) into a 5 left, we hit a kink in the road that upset the rear of the car. Next thing i see, we’re pointing towards the trees. Unfortunately I didn’t catch the slide in time, and at those speeds, the slightest error is often catostrophic. At this point, I knew we were in for a ride. I tried my best to pull the car back towards the road, but the laws of physics and I began having an intense argument.
The laws of physics, however, were not as upset with me as the tree we clipped.
That tree took the rear left of the car off, and the resulting impact spun the car 180 degrees and put it on its side. Next thing you know the car is dragging on the ground before finally rolling back onto the wheels. So, like any driver just recovering from a recent accident, the moment the car came onto its wheels, i dropped the clutch and punched the throttle. The lack of rear axles on the car disagreed intensely.
It was then that I realized we had a whole set of other problems. Within a minute (or less), there would be *another* rally car coming towards us at 100mph, and we were now facing the *wrong* direction, *blocking* the entire road. Luckily, the novice competitor training was beginning to pay off at this point. Instinctively, Billy darted out of the car with triangles to alert the incoming car. He managed to get to them in time, which was good, because at that moment, i was now realizing that i couldn’t open my door or window. I crawled out the passenger side of the car to find this:
That didn’t look so bad until i swung around the other side and realized what had actually happened, and why the car wasn’t moving.
After directing traffic around our rally car, we were greeted by the sweep team. Gary DeMasi, Nick Dunn, Art, and Bobby. They helped pull us off the road and made sure we were OK. Many thanks to them for their help. These are folks that you never want to see on the rally, but sure as heck are glad they are there when you need them.
After the last stage was run, we threw our rally evo back on the trailer. We have a standing tradition on the team. When we do well, we have a celebratory dinner at Longhorn. And when we don’t…McDonalds .
And now the fun part begins, getting the car rebuilt. We’ll be back.
Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for helping to put together this great event. Thanks to all the competitors for stopping to check on us after the crash. Thanks to the Black Box rally crew; Mike, William, and Cat, for doing their best to keep us going at the rallysprint.
– Alvin Fong
Black Box rally team
Black Box rally team is excited to announce that we will be running back to back rally weekends in June. First, NASA Hyperfest RallySprint is coming up June 16-17, 2012 at Summit Point Motorsports Park, in Summit Point, WV. We’ll be giving rally rides on Saturday, and competing in the RallySprint on Sunday!
The weekend following is Rally New York Summer RallySprint! This is a quick 1-day event, covering 50 stage miles over 8 stages. The event will take place June 23, 2012, completely within the 10 Mile River Scout Camp in Narrowsburg, NY.
Alvin Fong said: “A year ago at Hyperfest RallySprint, we decided to put together an evo stage rally car. This year, we’ve come full circle and I couldn’t be more excited to be able to say that, we’re actually going to rallying at this year’s Hyperfest RallySprint! This will be our first NASA event, and looking forward to not only giving fans rides in the rally car, but also running alongside the NASA crew responsible for bringing us into stage rally!
Making June even sweeter is Rally NY RallySprint. This is the same place where we ran our first stage rally and put our PAWD evo on the podium; International Rally New York in 2011. I can’t wait to get back on those gravel roads!”
More information about Hyperfest:
Spectator Guide for RNY Summer RallySprint:
Itinerary – http://www.rallynewyork.net/itineraryver1.1-03-23-12.pdf
More Info – http://www.rallynewyork.net/summerrallysprint2012.html