Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Hail to Mud RallyCross

I took the Rally Jeep to a local rally cross again this weekend.

This weekend's RallyCross race was more about survival than fast times.

The day started out normal enough. The four wheel drive class started first and cut the wet grass off the course.

My Jeep's 4.7L Titan Stroker engine was running great with plenty of torque to cut up the grass.

The two wheel drive cars went next, turning slightly faster times on the now much drier course.

We paused for a nice lunch break of burgers and hot dogs grilled up by JeepGirl and RallyCross Hostess Cindy.

Just as we were getting ready to run again, lightning struck and rain began to fall heavily. Well we race in the rain but not lightning.

While waiting for the storm to die down a bit we huddled under Dave's porch to watch the rain. We kept hearing banging sounds on the tin roof. Soon it became obvious that it was hailing. At first it was little pea sized chucks of space ice. But later, the big stuff came. The race field looked like a driving range with golf ball sized hail stones covering it.

Just when we thought it was time to go racing again, the clouds let loose another burst of ice. This time the chucks were the size tennis balls or even baseballs. I have seen a lot of hail in my life but never any this big.

Three chucks penetrated the rear window of one of the Subaru's, two more penetrated the roof of the timing trailer. One cracked the windshield of Cindy's Volvo and there were enough dented sports cars to keep the paint free dent removal guy busy for a while.

Surprisingly, neither JeepGirls Cherokee nor the Rally Jeep got any damage. The Jeep Wrangler parked a foot away from us had huge dents in its hood and cowl. Once again, the favor of God was upon us.

When we finally went back to racing, the course was a slimy mess. Just getting around it took skill and finesse. Even with four wheel drive there were spots when I nearly came to a stop as I tried to float the Jeep around the pylons.

The Four Wheel Drive cars finally got the goo cleaned off and the two wheel drive cars got a bit of a run in. There were still plenty of places to get stuck and many did if they failed to keep up momentum in the turns.

Time became meaningless to me but they are posted at RallyCross Results if you want to look.

The Jeep stroker motor worked great all day. Plenty of mud slinging torque!

I look forward to seeing what it will do on a real gravel stage road soon.



Blogger Tech N Toons said...

Wow, what a time. You were very lucky not to have any damage to your Jeep. Hail in May is odd enough but those were some good size pieces comming down. Glad to hear everyone was OK and that you were still able to enjoy yourself.

Bryan Henry

2:51 PM  
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