FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 4, 2002
Contact: Andrew Miller
Two AM Rallysport
Waterloo, Ontario -- Two AM Rallysport returned home from Kingston Ontario this weekend with a final placing of 3rd overall in the Yokohama/Subaru Winter Rally Series. Two events were held this weekend, the Frostbite Rally all night Friday and the Ontario Winter Rally all night Saturday. Friday saw the team starting this gruelling double-header event just three points back in the standings.
This year's mild winter meant that the roads north of Kingston on which the rally is run were uncharacteristically devoid of snow. This lack of white stuff didn't make the Rallies any less challenging though.
Friday nights rally was run under cool clear skies and the Two AM team of Andrew Miller and Ian MacArthur had high hopes of a win. Full of optimism, driver Andrew Miller stated "The warm weather has left the roads rutted and covered in abrasive frozen gravel. But our car's suspension is set up to deal with the ruts and our Yokohama tires take the abuse of the gravel extremely well so we should be a shoe in for the win". A win was not to be though, as a small electrical problem mid way through the night caused the team's rally odometer to stop functioning for a time. Navigator Ian MacArthur explains, "The object of these rallies is to travel along a measured course at a predetermined speed and without a functioning odo it's impossible to calculate where or when you are." The team finished the night in fourth with 1 minute in penalties, 42 seconds back of a 3-way tie for first.
After returning to Kingston and heading straight to bed the team awoke Saturday evening to pouring rain. Since the organizers of the Ontario Winter Rally had set the average speeds for dry conditions, the rain puddling on the frozen ground was going to make for some very tricky driving.
All went well through the first leg of the event as they had remedied the previous night's electrical glitch. But in the B leg the team's fortunes changed. A flat tire after clipping a rock at the edge of the road meant the team had to pull over and change the tire. This bit of roadside repair meant the team was now 3 minutes behind going into a tough section known as Tryon Road. Miller picks up the story "By this time in the night [about 2:00 AM] the temperature has dipped so now some of the shiny spots on the road weren't just standing water but water covered ice. It was impossible to tell if you were going to have grip or not. We were trying to make up some of the lost time and misjudged the grip level on one corner. We slid off the road slightly and dipped into the ditch on the passenger side bending a control arm". Slowing due to the unpleasant noses coming out of the front right corner of the car the team feared their evening of competitive driving was through. An inspection of the car at the next checkpoint revealed that the drive shaft was rubbing, proof their night was indeed finished.
But all was not lost, the team's back-to-back wins in the first two events of the series meant they still took home the 3rd place trophy for overall series standings.
Two AM Rally sport would like to thank all it's sponsors for making their run possible as well as all the organizers and volunteers that put on the events, without them we're just crazy people driving around in the dark. The winter rally series is the fastest growing segment in Canadian rally so the team plans to be back bigger and better next year.
Two AM Rallysport competes in the expert class with help from its sponsors Yokohama Tire, Volkswagen Waterloo, Dave's Tire Discounter, Frisco Auto Parts, and AM Innovations Inc.