RAmer: Widget Rally Team Ojibwe Forest summary

Podium Finishes In Two Minnesota Regionals First in Class and Second Overall for Hintz and Dillon Bemidji, MN. Dave Hintz (Enumclaw, WA, driver) and John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA, codriver) made the long trek to Bemidji for the 2007 ...

Podium Finishes In Two Minnesota Regionals
First in Class and Second Overall for Hintz and Dillon

Bemidji, MN. Dave Hintz (Enumclaw, WA, driver) and John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA, codriver) made the long trek to Bemidji for the 2007 Ojibwe Forest Rally, sanctioned by Rally America, Aug 24th and 25th. Sponsored by Perforce Software of Alameda, CA, they first joined forces in Dave's Subaru at the Olympus Rally in May, where together they won both Regional rallies. They hoped to repeat the Washington result in Minnesota, but turbo failure and brake problems slowed them down. Despite these mechanical issues they still finished second overall in each of the two regional rallies, with Friday's result also earning them a first-in-class trophy.

"We had a challenging weekend at Ojibwe," reported Hintz. "On the third stage we lost our turbo, which cost us nearly three minutes of competition time before we could get back into service. Once we arrived, Doug Chase and Chip Miller were able to pull out the old turbo sans exhaust wheel, which had disintegrated, and bolt on a fresh unit."

"With the new turbo, we proved to ourselves we were fast, but on the seventh stage, a new problem appeared," explained Dillon. "We were diving deep into a sharp corner when the brake pedal went to the floor. He wrestled the car down a gear and pitched it sideways to scrub off a bunch of speed, but he told me later it shook him up a bit. He adjusted admirably to the problem, dialing the bias all the way forward, then backing off the pace enough to insure that we'd finish. We later learned that the rear rotors had cracked completely." Once again the crew vigorously tackled the task, so the next morning when the rally restarted, things went smoothly.

The team started the second day conservatively, making sure the brakes were bedded properly and that everything was working as it should. By the second stage of the afternoon, however, they picked up the pace and took the lead, a position they held throughout the day. It wasn't until the final twilight stage, "Sawmill Lake," that they were knocked down one spot in the finishing order. "We caught two cars on the final stage," reported Hintz. "With the sun going down and the air going still, the dust was absolutely atrocious. Meanwhile, Henry and Cindy [Krolikowski] were attacking hard behind us. They caught one of the two cars, so dust was a problem for them too."

"Although Dave thinks he may have been too cautious on the last stage, I think he drove brilliantly all weekend," explained the codriver. "We'd already seen several top contenders out of contention because of the tricky conditions. I think Dave demonstrated intelligent driving by keeping a level head and not making a stupid mistake late in the rally. I'm completely satisfied with this weekend's finishing result." He added, "To be honest, I think we were both really 'on our game' this weekend. It's too bad the turbocharger let us down on Friday night but--hey--;we're not trying to yank the car out of the trees!"

Unless something changes, family commitments prevent Hintz from attending any more rallies this year, but Dillon will be competing thrice more in 2007—first in Quartzsite, AZ, then at the Prescott Rally (also in Arizona) and finally at the season-ending Laughlin International Rally. "Laughlin is my favorite rally of the year, so I'm really looking forward to it. If we can duplicate the success we enjoyed at Ojibwe, it'll be a great way to end the season."

-credit: wrt

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