Sunday, February 18, 2007

Upcoming 100 Acre Wood

Wow! How do I talk about this one coming up? Shortly after I first moved to St. Louis in the early '70's I put together an interpid band of people who almost understood what rallying was. In 1977 the St. Louis group ran the first "Rally in the 100 Acre Wood" based out of Rolla, MO and running mostly in Dent and Crawford Counties.

Here it is 30 years later and for the first time....I'm going to be a competitor! First I have to thank the committee for letting me off the hook. Second I need to thank my wife who is doing what she and I TOGETHER did for the past years. I'm not allowed to know anything about the course. Although I am assisting in printing ID badges for the workers.

But it's a very weird feeling. I'm the guy who can walk in and out of commissioners offices in Dent, Crawford, Iron and Washington Counties....and in a good year, sometimes Reynolds County! Now my succession team is doing that. I have all the faith in the world in this team.

And it's going to be the biggest and best ever....over 60 entries and the cream of the crop!

We will be running what's called one-pass recce on Thursday. They're going to let us see the roads with the notes so we can supposedly go safer through the woods on Friday and Saturday. Mostly we'll go faster. But it's overdue. Jemba notes are OK, but tweeking them make life so much better.

Justin will be bringing the car over to St. Louis on Wednesday when we will have a Subaru Dealer promotional day at Webster Groves Subaru on Big Bend in Webster Groves, MO. Justin doesn't have a single mile of gravel thrashing in this car and the 100 Acre Wood is ALL gravel. So we're desperately trying to find a place to get maybe an hour on gravel...just so Justin can get into his head what this car will do when he pitches it sideways at 70 miles per hour. We may be doing that as late as Friday morning as it appears now. There's a closed area on a Bison Ranch in Potosi that we can rent. We'll have to see.

Anyway, the weather is scheduled to be warm with moisture in the air, so dust should not be a problem.

Justin and I are on a quest to improve everything. His understanding of what the4 car does as an extension of his butt: my staying on top of the notes and getting used to the differences between him and Matthew (last year's driver); and the crystal clear communication between teammates that just makes this stuff click. We're aware this will not occur overnight. It took Johnson and I a couple of events...but he was patient and talented enough to make it work, and Justin and I finished third in PGT at Sno*Drift, his first snow rally in AWD, so I have every belief that we will stay within ourselves and improve greatly as the weekend progresses.

We have new competition in PGT, 'tho. Stephan Verdier who we've not seen in a couple of years has re-surfaced with Scott Crouch (Tanner Fousts Co-Driver from last season) in PGT. They will be very tough to beat...Matthew will set the pace, and Pat Moro and Travis Hansen will round out the top five. I expect the entire season to see these five vying for class wins every event.

It's going to be a very exciting PGT race this year.

HEY!!!! Congrats to Jermey Wimpey (oh, yeah, his brother the driver, Josh) at Sandblast this weekend. 7th overall! 1st in M2. And this guy's going for a Ph.D.? When does he study? We're racing him next weekend in Missouri. CONGRATS, JEREMY!