RSport Rally driver Scott Trinder and navigator Bill Westhead stepped up to a national-level podium at the 2009 Pacific Forest Rally this weekend. The pair finished third overall behind the two works teams of Subaru and Mitsubishi at the fifth round of the 2009 Canadian National Rally Championship. The RSport team was also the top finishing crew in the Western Regional Rally, capping an impressive weekend of rallying,
Heading into the weekend the event seemed destined to live up to it's reputation of providing extreme weather shifts as teams encountered up to four inches of snow during recce on Friday. However, with the weather changing by the hour it did not take long for the snow to clear, leaving behind a perfect surface for rallying - wet compact gravel.
“I had some unfinished business to take care of this year,” said Trinder, referring to last year's event when the team’s car suffered a mechanical failure while running in third place. “Scott wanted this finish and drove a smart and tactful event without taking any unnecessary risks," said Westhead. "He worked hard to insure the car would make it to the end of the rally.”
This impressive result did not come easy however, as things got off to a rough start during the opening night's stages. The pair ran the first stage with a stuck electrical relay and no rally lights! “We lost a lot of time on the first stage," Westhead remarked. "Thankfully Scott was able to fix the problem and with proper lighting we really picked up the pace, clawing back most of the lost time over the subsequent nighttime stages.”
“Our result was certainly well-earned, as we faced a few challenges with the car,” Westhead observed. The team ran the entire event without a service crew and could not afford to damage the car. On Friday's overnight service break Trinder discovered some serious noises coming from the front end. He traced the issue to the use of incorrect half shafts mounted at the front of the car and, with the help of an onlooker (Thanks Greg!), the team's reliable Subaru was ready for more rally action.
“Thankfully luck was also on our side, as we had two flat tires and could've easily been out during the running of the last two gruelling stages,” said Trinder. “Scott always checks the tires before each stage and just before running the longest and last stage of the rally he noticed that one of the tires looked a little low," commented Westhead. "He checked the pressure and found it was down to just fourteen pounds! We completed a frantic roadside tire change and avoided the flat tire drama that struck many other teams.”
“Going into the rally Bill and I had a plan and throughout the weekend we worked hard to stick to it,” said Trinder. "This result shows that our strategy really paid off!"
RSport Rally would like to thank: Techworks Engineering, Ampco Grafix, Richmond Auto Body, Pacific Parts, Pennzoil, Dragon Optical, NGK, AMT Machine Shop
RSport Rally Team RSport Rally
RSport Rally is supported by:
Richmond Auto Body “collision plus”
AMT Machine Works