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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

UP2MTNS Debuts in 2010 at Desert Storm Rally with TheSmokingTire.com!



A little late (Desert Storm was 1.5 weeks ago), but I was specifically waiting for the first (of two) episodes of Desert Storm coverage on www.TheSmokingTire.com, and its finally out!

DS was a great rally that took a full five days of towing out to Blythe, CA...then some car work, recce, racing, and towing back to San Francisco. The first issue came about when we were having some tuning issues a week before. It turns the car had a loose coil pack connection (easily fixed) but also an exhaust leak from our GrimmSpeed uppipe. True to their high levels of customer service, GrimmSpeed expedited a replacement part to arrive just before I hit the road for Blythe (Wednesday night).

Picking up my Crew Chief, Zach Dickenson in California City, we arrived at Blythe at 4pm on Thursday which gave us enough time to swap out the uppipe and still pass tech that night.

The following Friday was a full day of recce with Tom Morningstar (co-driver) and Matt Farah, both from TheSmokingTire.com. And here is their newest video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-pAqd4TwPU

Racing starting early Saturday morning, and will some small technical difficulties on the organizers part, stage one (a long fast stage) was canceled and we quickly moved on to Stage two...Tom and I started out slow as we got to know each other over the intercom and slowly picked up speed throughout the day. Unfortunately a small off put us up and over a berm on the last stage and that through us out of contention for day 1.

Day two started with a bang as we actually won the first two stages, which were quick with some VERY rough spots (see videos below). This was a nice surprise as we were in the pack leading professional driver Lauchlin O'Sullivan and fellow regional competitor Keith Jackson. The lead was short lived as they caught up on the third stage, both longer and much faster, and their experience at those speeds took control.

Sunday, Stage 10


Sunday, Stage 11


Sunday, Stage 13


We had to slow down a bit on the last stage as we had just busted a front axle on Stage 14 and had to take it easy...the 20kg center diff did a good job of keeping power down, and our 3WD Subaru was more like a RWD Ford Escort!

We finished 3rd OA for the day, a respectable finish for our rookie team, last minute fixes, and missing ANOTHER bumper!!


Photo: Aaron Stump

Big thanks go out to Miles at Fine Line Imports, the Grimmspeed Team, Lars Wolfe for some last minute emergency suspension welding, and Odi at Feal Suspension for rebuilding a great set of inserts that took at beating!!

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