Slippery Snowy Roads

Posted on 23. Nov, 2007 by in Tall Pines 2007

The Friday night shakedown has wrapped up in Bancroft, the final opportunity for teams to get their cars in order before the start of the rally tomorrow morning. Road conditions have slowly changed over the course of the day, a good indicator of what could happen during tomorrow’s action.


“The roads are snowy, and I like snow,” commented Nathalie Richard, “I just wish there were snow banks!” Nathalie was commenting on the road conditions during this afternoon’s recce, a chance for teams to take a look at the stages and write their own notes for running the stages tomorrow. With each pass over the roads, the surface has been swept bare of snow a little bit more, so much so, that ice is now visible on the shakedown stage.

“It is really slick,” emphasized Frank Sprongl as he took me out for a ride on the shakedown. Frank is entered in a “Frankiefied” EVO VI, belonging to John Kemp. “There’s almost no traction, I can spin all four tires in fifth gear!” Sprongl is aiming for a win, but knows that by sitting back and being careful, others will make the mistakes. Sprongl also added that the deciding stage will come very late in the event; that “this rally isn’t going to be over until the second pass of North Eels. That road is really treacherous with lots of little rocks sticking up everywhere.”

Antoine L’Estage is feeling confident, saying “the car feels good, everything feels good. It is slippery though.” Antoine’s experience in snow is bound to be favourable for the current Championship leader and 2006 Canadian Rally Champion.

Already crews have been caught out by the road conditions. Ian Crerar slid off the shakedown stage, as did first time rallyist Dave Mirra. Both crews and cars were unscathed, and have returned to service to prepare for tomorrow’s action.


The Planet Motorsport car of John Vanos was unable to make it out for shakedown, after a late run through scrutineering. “I’m not too worried about the rally,” commented Vanos, admitting that it would have been good to get out and practice the notes with stand in co-driver Jeff Secor.

Weather for tomorrow is forecast to hover around freezing, with a slight chance of flurries. The ceremonial start is at 9:00am tomorrow, with the cars starting the first stage at about 9:25am. With services between each batch of repeated stages, teams will be able to change tires for the changing conditions, each hoping they’ve made the right choice.


Keep your eyes on tomorrow to stay up to date with all the action from the 2007 Rally of the Tall Pines, round six of the Canadian Rally Championship.


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