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One Wild Ride!

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Baalim   Mexico. Jul 19 2011 11:17. Posts 33573
I guess ill repost my blog entry from pokerstars in here, i hope you like it.
source: http://www.pokerstarsblog.com/team_po...online/2011/one-wild-ride-083061.html

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There won't be poker in this blog post, this will be about my other passion, rally. In particular about the first rally I raced this year, Rally Sierra del Tigre in Guadalajara, México.

This was one of the two gravel rallies of the year, the others are on tarmac. My race car is a Renault Clio RS modified for rally on suspension, engine, roll cage and many other things. It's a very light and fast car, unfortunately it's very frail and it gets easily damaged on rough terrains as gravel which makes it relatively likely to not finish a gravel rally successfully.


Everyone in the ceremonial start one day before

I'll try to briefly explain how a rally works: First the rally is split in various "SS" (Special Stages), the times of the cars are measured from point A to B, and the one who has the least total time in all the SS wins, cars start 2 minutes apart from each other to try to avoid that they catch up to each other. (but it still happens very often). There's also transit stages, which are not timed. For these races, you just have to cross them to get to the next starting point of the SS. Those exist to travel through towns and parts where the race can't be held.

Before the race, the driver and co-driver pass the stages taking notes of the roads. Every corner is written down so the co-driver will dictate those notes to me as I drive and act as my eyes on the rally, this is called 'recce'.

In this rally, Sierra del Tigre, while doing the recce, we realized that the road was in terrible conditions, full of holes, bumps, cattle grids, big rocks and in general a very rough terrain. We knew it was going to be very challenging for the car, and we didn't want to go back home with the car damaged in the trailer, but we had no choice at that point, we had to race!



The next day as we were just starting the first SS, we see a rally car damaged at the side of the road. Just as we are about to pass him, something breaks on the clutch. My co-driver is quite a resourceful mechanic, so he managed to fix it quickly, but we already lost around six minutes. Six minutes is huge and normally, there would be no hopes of catching up. With such a destructive course however, we knew we still had a chance/hope that others would have problems too, so we decided to continue full throttle and have some fun.

The clutch problem continued and every few minutes we had to stop and fix it quickly. As we progressed in the stages of the race, we started to see more and more cars by the side of the road, either crashed or with mechanical problems. At this point, we knew that we might get a decent place in the race despite being so far behind in time.

A little bit ahead, my co-driver made an uncharacteristic mistake and he skipped a note that almost made me crash into some police and their trucks who were blocking a closed road. I was furious and cursed at him a couple of times since he knows he can't make those mistakes since one wrong note and you could fly into a canyon.

After finishing the third of six stages, we went into service (pit stop), and it was there we realized that there were only 3 Clio cars remaining of the 6 or 7 that started the rally. We were only behind the Clio in 2nd place by a few seconds, so we fixed the clutch again properly this time and chose to drive the next 3 stages carefully and get our third place finish. Of course, this is easier said than done.


Arriving at service

We kept going and we saw yet another Clio abandoning the race, which was great news. Now we just had to cross the finish to get second, but lady luck wouldn't let us cruise through that easily. Out of nowhere, our car just wouldn't turn. I thought we had a puncture, my co-driver got out to see what was going on, but everything seemed fine. I kept driving but the problem got worse, the car was barely able to turn. We weren't sure why, but we had no time to find out since there is a rule in rallying that says: if you don't reach the next control in time you are disqualified.

Usually that time is never even considered by us since on normal conditions we arrive several minutes before that time expires. This time however, we were forced to a crawling speed and facing the elimination, time was the only thing that mattered. It was a dangerous ride on a damaged car that wouldn't turn, along with a brutally rough terrain.


Hooooold, one time!

Finally we finished the last Special Stage, and to finished the rally, we just had to go through the last transit on asphalt to cross the finish line. As I said before, this is usually done at regular cruising speed, but we were way behind pace. We had to push it to the limit on the open road, going over 112 MPH on a 2 way road, passing cars with upcoming traffic. I remember hearing my co-driver say: We are about 2 kilometers away, and we have 50 seconds before we are disqualified. I went full throttle and managed to reach the finish line seconds before being disqualified. YES!


Happiness at the finish line

On the finish line, we saw that only 13 of the 34 starting cars managed to finish the rally and we finished in 2nd place. After a few obligatory celebration beers as the night was approaching, one guy says to me, "Hey, have you looked at your car?" So I walked around the car and I saw that the right tire was totally bent. One of two screws that holds the tire in place had broke, which explained why the car didn't turn properly. The tire was "dancing" all over the place and that little screw held like a champion doing the work of two, and it was the only thing keeping our tire from flying away in the asphalt road at 112 MPH... scary. I guess we got a little bit of luck after all the bad luck we had.



Damaged right tire suspension

So now the car went back home to be repaired for the next rally. I hope you enjoyed the read. Here are a couple of videos you might like.




This is the mistake of my co-driver who skipped the pace note, it doesn't look that fast but believe me, in-car cameras totally kill any sense of speed, this was far scarier than it looks.




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Raidern   Brasil. Jul 19 2011 11:33. Posts 4234

sick blog post
me and joy had a problem with a loose tire as well, the screw was not properly attached and he noticed something different. it was kinda scary when we realized what was the problem

im a regular at nl5 

dogmeat   Czech Republic. Jul 19 2011 11:35. Posts 6374

not bad for a shortstacker

ban baal 

DvoBoardRider   Afghanistan. Jul 19 2011 11:39. Posts 849

cool!


Baalim   Mexico. Jul 19 2011 11:39. Posts 33573


  On July 19 2011 10:35 dogmeat wrote:
not bad for a shortstacker



the fuck

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

NeillyJQ   United States. Jul 19 2011 11:53. Posts 8947

badass post

prize pool or fun?

Just remember you need to be god damn sure about their tendencies. -Artanis11 http://www.pocketfives.com/profiles/neillyaa/ 

Expiate   Bulgaria. Jul 19 2011 12:03. Posts 230

How much k you invested in the car?


NewbSaibot   United States. Jul 19 2011 12:14. Posts 4849

Definitely sick blog, enjoyed that a lot.

listening to edzwoo has made u a nit... *sigh* - Zalfor 

devon06atX   Canada. Jul 19 2011 12:18. Posts 5414

nice post


YoMeR   United States. Jul 19 2011 13:49. Posts 12424

lol loose tire goin 112 mph. sick lucksack.

eZ Life. 

jeffv8x_-_16   Belgium. Jul 19 2011 14:18. Posts 2835


  On July 19 2011 12:49 YoMeR wrote:
lol loose tire goin 112 mph. sick lucksack.



the number of the car is why it didn't crash, has nothing to do with luck

how can u shove the river, he cant possibly call with worse -TalentedTom 

gawdawaful   Canada. Jul 19 2011 15:43. Posts 8951

they made you drive and write your own blog? tough gig

Im only good at poker when I run good 

TheHuHu3   United States. Jul 19 2011 16:54. Posts 5544

Takumi does it better.

TheHuHu4 coming soon :) 

DooMeR   United States. Jul 19 2011 19:30. Posts 8480

good read. would read again. post more youtube vids sir

I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance, by running away from the scene of an accident. 

Mortensen8   Chad. Jul 19 2011 20:49. Posts 1789

good read, def want to try something like that one day.

Rear naked woke 

the cleaner   Cape Verde. Jul 19 2011 20:57. Posts 3013

Congrats and thanks for sharing.

MEXICAN ROULETTE
1. The practice of driving 112mph with a broken front suspension.
Wikipedia - Dictionary.com

Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you will be a mile away and have his shoes.Last edit: 19/07/2011 20:58

Svenman87   United States. Jul 19 2011 21:58. Posts 4636

the fact you got second must be some sort of Mexican conspiracy with George W and the shadow society.

On a totally unrelated note pretty kewl :3


qwerty67890   New Zealand. Jul 19 2011 22:53. Posts 14026

what happened to the LP sticker :<


Baalim   Mexico. Jul 20 2011 03:28. Posts 33573


  On July 19 2011 10:53 NeillyJQ wrote:
badass post

prize pool or fun?




for fun, only money that comes is from sponsorship, its not easy to get one and i dont have the time nor the disposition to get one

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

Baalim   Mexico. Jul 20 2011 03:30. Posts 33573


  On July 19 2011 11:03 Expiate wrote:
How much k you invested in the car?



This is my 2nd (or 3rd depending on how you want to see it) rally car, ive spend a lot on it, while the intial car isnt that expensive maintenance is a bitch.

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

 
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