|Rally de Saguenay Canada: Nismo Stuff Racing Team back in the saddle.|
Nine months can be an eternity in motorsports but that’s how long it took "Nismo Stuff Racing" to return to the dirt. Competing in the "Quebec Rally Championship" (Canada) for 2013 meant waiting until the weekend of June 15th to get back to loose road conditions as the QRC’s first rally of the year was on the tarmac, road circuit of "Rally Sanair".
Under beautiful blue skies and bothersome black fly clouds the Nismo Stuff Racing team consisting of driver Dan Spalinger, co-driver David Dennis and crewmembers Matt Weaver and Amanda McCabe arrived a few hours northeast of Quebec City after a beautiful drive through Grands-Jardins National Park.
Situated within a truly wild area of North America (both a lynx and a black bear were spotted on stages during the event) the roads used for the event were a true pleasure consisting of a combination of rough, tight and rock strewn twisties and open, flowing, “crest, crest, crest” rollercoasters. Driver Dan Spalinger was afterwards to claim that stages four and six of the event were his favorite of any he has encountered during his first nine rallies.
As has become standard for the team, the two “service” periods of the day became “rest” periods (to the chuckles of surrounding teams) with the only maintenance required on the durable Nissan Frontier were a tightening of the transmission fill plug and the sourcing of bolts for the then wobbly LED lightbar. No flats, damage or mechanical issues of any kind were experienced and a single tank of gas was more than sufficient to complete the 80+ stage miles.
With such a long time away from the heat of stage racing, the initial stages were more of a feeling out process than running at the ragged edge of performance. As the day went on, however, a rhythm settled in between driver and codriver and stage times dropped with a four second improvement between SS1 and SS2 (a repeat of SS1) and a 32 second improvement between SS3 and SS5 (a repeat of SS3).
The motto for the day was “small improvements” and that was certainly accomplished. Speeds for the event topped out around 90 mph in the fastest sections though even the biggest of crests and jumps did not seem to suck up enough of the BTF Fabrication suspension travel to get the 4000 lb. truck airborne.
In the end, the NISMO Stuff Frontier outlasted nine other competitors and finished every stage mile with no penalties. The fifth place in class finish also puts NISMO Stuff Racing in fifth place in the 2013 standings within the Quebec Rally Championship’s Jon Nichols Cup (Open 2WD) class only one point out of fourth on the year.
The next event, Lac Aux Sables, comes up on the weekend of August 10th and will be another gravel rally on which the NISMO Stuff Racing Frontier should prove once again to be a crowd favorite and a growing presence on the Quebec rally scene.
NISMO Stuff Racing is a privateer race team helmed by Dan Spalinger utilizing the current Nissan Frontier platform to create a multipurpose race vehicle. Based in southern New Hampshire, the team participates in stage rally, hill climb, off-road/desert racing, and other forms of motorsport throughout the United States and Canada, with its current focus on Eastern US/Canada stage rally events.
2013/06/26 | 23:51 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SPALINGER/BOOTLEG