The past year marked another winning campaign for the RSport Rally Team! RSport Rally driver Scott Trinder successfully completed four championships this year and was once again crowned the 2003 Western Canadian P4 Rally Champion. This follows on his success of 2002 when Trinder won both the overall Western Canadian Rally Championship and the P4 class championship.
In partnership with Total Autosport of Vancouver, RSport Rally’s Scott Trinder mounted challenges towards the following championships in 2003 and secured an incredible string of results:
- 2003 Western Canadian Rally P4 Championship 1st - 2003 Western Canadian Rally Overall Championship 2nd - 2003 Canadian National Rally P4 Championship 2nd - 2003 North American Rally P4 Championship 2nd
The year started out on a high note when Scott and co-driver Bill Westhead took the team's 98 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS to a commanding class victory at the Cochrane Rally held near Calgary, Alberta. This set the tone for the year and from that point forward Trinder absolutely dominated the Production 4 class in Western Canada and the US, winning his class in every event the team managed to finish.
In early May, an expected repeat drive with the Knight Motorsport team immersed Scott in the thick of the SCCA National Pro Rally Championship. Scott and father/co-driver Bob piloted Knight’s Open class 450+ Horsepower Subaru Impreza 2.5 Turbo at the 2003 RIM of The World Pro Rally, based out of Palmdale, California. Unfortunately, mechanical difficulties beset them while running as high as 9th overall, resulting in a DNF early in the event.
“At RIM of the World my team boss, Jon Ryther, announced that they would be taking a few years off from the sport, so our fight for the SCCA championship pretty well ended just as soon as it began. However, I'm looking forward to the team's return and, should I get the call, I would gladly drive for them again,” remarked Scott.
The next series of events were back-to-back rounds of the Canadian Rally Championship held in Alberta. At the Big Horn Rally near Edson, Trinder set a blisterng pace with new co-driver Brian Wende, finishing 5th overall and 1st in P4 - nearly two minutes ahead of his nearest rival. A week later at the Rocky Mountain Rally, Trinder drove a steady, measured race against strong competition from the Open class regulars and wound up 7th overall, again 1st in the P4 class.
However, at the next event, the Oregon Trail Pro Rally in July, drama struck the RSport Rally Team. While again leading the P4 (PGT) class by a healthy margin, the team rolled hard, out of the event, and Trinder's North American Rally Championship hopes suddenly looked grim.
“We were so lucky that there was a month-long break between the Oregon Trail and Wild West rallies," said Scott "Our sponsors did some great work to help us get the car back on form and keep us in the hunt for the championship. We wouldn't have made it if it weren't for Richmond Autobody, Ad-Print "the decal people", Pacific Parts/Auto Parts Plus and Total Autosport.”
Going into the Wild West Pro Rally in Olympia, Washington, Trinder desperately needed a strong finish to regain momentum in his title hunt. The two-day event was held in the heat of late summer, in some of the harshest conditions on the West Coast. Against a strong field of championship regulars, Scott and Bob Trinder absolutely stunned their opposition with a winning margin of over seven minutes! Such was Scott's performance that, at post-event inspection, series scrutineers demanded to see the official seal to note that he had been running the proper sized turbocharger restrictor.
"At the inspectors' request I opened the hood to show them the car's engine," Scott said grinning, "Imagine their surprise when I pointed out that the production class Subaru 2.5 RS didn't even have a turbocharger!"
The next round marked a return to the Western Canadian Rally Championship at the Mountain Trials Rally held in Merritt, BC. Reunited with co-driver Bill Westhead, Trinder drove a measured, but quick race until mechanical drama occurred part way through the penultimate stage. The gearbox in the team’s car failed, leaving them without second gear for the final 22km long stage...all uphill.
“At Mountain Trials, Scott worked hard to keep the momentum up and, through some very smooth driving, he nursed the car to the finish and the Overall win,” commented Bill.
The overall win at Mountain Trials had assured Scott of victory in the 2003 Western Canadian Rally P4 Championship!
Finally, going into the last round of the Western Canadian Rally Championship, the Kananaskis Rally, the team was in an awkward position. Trinder stood 2nd overall to his main rival, who competed in an Open class car with substantially more horsepower.
"By my calculations, he would have had to DNF the event and I needed to win overall in order to retain the Western Canadian Rally Championship Overall for a second consecutive year," Scott observed.
Scott was back with father/co-driver Bob this time and were leading the rally overall until part way through the third stage. Unexpectedly, disaster struck when they suffered a major mechanical failure while moving at a very high rate of speed.
“I set the car up for a fast easy right turn and just at the apex we heard a loud bang. It sounded like the rear wheel had hit a rock and all of a sudden I had to give the car massive amounts of oversteer correction and full throttle just to keep it on the road,” related Scott. "It turned out that the rear differential had siezed solid and we slid sideways down the road for about 100 to 150 feet before stopping with the car completely blocking the road at a 90’ angle."
Unfortunately, the rear differential could not be repaired in time to have the car ready for the next day's train from Calgary to the final event of the season, the Tall Pines Rally in Bancroft, Ontario. Through an unexpected twist of fate, Trinder would not make it to the final round of the Canadian National and North American Rally Championships. The RSport Rally Team left Calgary leading the 2003 North American Rally P4 Championship, but with no car to drive in defense of his position at the event, Scott’s championship result dropped to 2nd.
At the close of 2003, Scott has put the Subaru up for sale that lead both himself and Pat Richard to numerous championship victories. Looking to the future and 2004, next year Scott hopes to drive for a professional rally team while sharing occasional rides in his father's Group 2 Toyota Corolla GTS.
“I've taken a production car to the limit in all of the major North American Rally Championships," said Scott. "My next goal is to complete a full national campaign in either the US or Canada in an Open class car. However without full financial backing this dream is just not financially viable at the moment. I am currently pursuing a couple of different options, so stay tuned.”
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