Rally: the original motorsport
Photo Courtesy of Tim Winker
Photo Courtesy of Warwick Patterson
unknown photographer
Photo Courtesy of plaftaphoto
Rally of the Tall Pines
Bancroft, Ontario
November 21-23, 2003
3 teams of Saabs took on the Tall Pines Rally in Bancroft Ontario and 3 teams of Saabs Finished. Mike White and Andrew Steere in the "1984" 99, John Groo and Brian Johnson in a 1983 900 8v non turbo, and James Fox and myself (Seth Strait) in Fox's 1985 900 2 door 8v turbo. There were approximately 60 cars that started the rally and only 26 that finished. There were many crashes and mechanical problems. James and I were running Kumho tires and had no flats, no mechanicals, and no offs. John Groo landed his car off of a particularly big jump and managed to bend the frame so much that the front fenders crinkled.
Groo managed 2nd in group 2 and 3d overall in the regional event, james and I were 7th overall and 2nd in open (for the regional, and Mike was 14th overall and 3d in groups 2. It should be noted that there were 28 starters for the regional event and there was a 50% attrition rate.
My event started well with me having a good amount of sleep, proper diet and being well hydrated. I was using several anti motion sickness techniques. We were using stage notes and managed to pass at least one car on every stage. Unfortunatley on the second stage we had to pull over so I could puke my guts out the door of the car 5 times. we then finished the stage where I then puked 3 or 4 more times right in front of the check point workers (sorry). We transited back to service and I drank some water and ate pretzels. For the next stage I put away the stage notes and stuck to the route book (which has about 10 times less info). Unfortunately this was no better and i spent a good portion of the stage being sick into a zip lock bag. This was pretty much the routine for the remainder of the day. I wasn't able to eat or drink anything until about 8 that night. Even so, James drove amazingly and still turned in decent times considering he was driving completely blind on most of the stages as I couldn't event look at the route book without losing it.
The good thing was that several of the stages were run multiple times and we were able to memorize good portions of them. We were able to catch 1 or 2 cars on every stage which was the equivalent of gaining 5 to 10 seconds per Kilometer on every stage. Had I been able to call the notes we could have been that much faster. However, I think this was my right of passage as a codriver as I have heard similiar stories from others. On the transit to service after the 2nd stage, we passed the Arrietas pulled over and saw Belen leaning out the door in an all too familiar postion. I found out later that a number of other codrivers were sick as well.
As for the Tall Pines Rally....IT was one of, if not the best rally I have done as far as organization goes. Everything went on schedule and was well done. The workers were friendly and crowd control was impressive. We had a few delays due to spectators and we heard of a few that had actualy been arrested. There were spectator stages with 1000's of spectators lining the road (which is just cool). James put on a good show for the spectators and with any luck we will be on tv when it airs the week of December 8th (according to www.tallpinesrally.com) .
For all the result go here:

Seth S

© 2004 Team Saabworks
Team Saabworks is in no way affiliated with Saab AB or Saab USA (although they could sponsor us, really we wouldn't complain!)