So, 2017 has turned up and with it, the realisation that my goal of Rally NZ is now less than a year away. Scary.
Along with that, 26 other events already on the calendar, no doubt with more to come as events get promoted. Aiming for plenty of seat time before the rally so we can at least do it justice. Won’t be at the pointy end of the field by a long shot but would like to put in a reasonable effort at about the level I do at sprints.
A new vehicle joined the fleet late last year. Multi duty as tow vehicle, daily driver, ski trip wagon.
It’s a 2008 Ford Ranger. 3 litre diesel ute. Has plenty of grunt to tow a race car on a trailer without breaking a sweat while comfortable and easy enough to drive to be a daily driver or touring wagon. 4WD for getting up skifield access roads and extracting rally cars out of muddy pit paddocks.
Even got a couple of new shoes with decent tread on them.
The red beastie will make getting the race car to and from the events that need travelling somewhat easier on the race car and hopefully cheaper, though having to hire a trailer as I don’t have one yet will put a dent in the budget still. Not to mention carrying spares and tools along with somewhere dry to keep the gear rather than under a tarp on the side of the road.
I’ve been slowly working on kitting it up for the job. New headunit with BlueTooth connectivity, both for playing music off the phone and works as a hands free car kit too. Lighting upgraded and installed with all the headlights uprated as much as legally possible and a 5m strip of LED lights fitted inside the rear canopy to illuminate that for either night events or late finishing events. For interest, it takes 7m of cable to run power wires from the rear of the ute to the front in order to provide power and feed from the switch.
A winch bumper and winch is on order and should show up around the end of Feb, so no doubt there will be more photos when that gets fitted. Looking forward to having that on, except for parking as it’ll add a fair bit to the front end, mostly out of sight.
The Ranger wasn’t the only thing that got new shoes though. Some new tarmac race tyres were ordered. Nice and sticky and somewhat wider than the previous ones so hopefully they’ll give plenty more grip on the tarmac events I do.
So far this year there’s been one event already. And that’s the January edition of Port Rd. Unfortunately due to significantly adverse weather it was called off after just one run was completed. A few of us got a 2nd very wet run before they cancelled the event completely but that’s sometimes how it goes. The new tyres definitely stuck well as I wasn’t anywhere near their limits. But I can’t really say I was pushing anywhere near as hard as I would have liked. Ah well, maybe next time. Plenty more events to come yet.
Here’s an in car showing just how wet it was. Port Rd wet run
So while the focus will mainly be on gravel events so gain more experience and confidence in that surface, I’ll still take whatever opportunities I can to play on tarmac, or even grass. It’s all learning the skills needed to keep me out of trouble (hopefully).
Sarah and I are both looking forward to this year. A combination of gravel, tarmac, grass, day, night, short and longer events. Somewhat busy between March, April and mid May with events pretty much every weekend and the few weekends there isn’t, I’m likely to be doing Rescue events. Might need a nap by the end of May. Somewhat nervous about the rally itself as it’ll be our first full rally but I guess if we just treat it like any other event, albeit a somewhat longer event with potentially more race kms than the rest of the year put together, it should be fine right?
Aiming to blog a bit more regularly this year too so we shall see how that goes. Who knows, may even manage to complete the Lego Porsche build.
So those goals? Rally, lots of events leading up to it, keeping the car in one piece, blogging more and getting the Lego build done. Probably more as I think of them.