Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally Pushes the Flatirons Tuning Rally Team to the Max Boulder, CO -- The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally marked round five of the 2007 Rally American National Championship. As one of the oldest events on...
Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally Pushes the Flatirons Tuning Rally Team to the Max
Boulder, CO -- The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally marked round five of the 2007 Rally American National Championship. As one of the oldest events on the calendar the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (commonly referred to as STPR) has become one of the most difficult events in the championship. The combination of high speed roads, the incredible close proximity of trees and rocks to the roads, as well as the variable weather conditions all add varying degrees of difficulty to the testing nature of the event which is unique in the championship with its one day schedule. For the Flatirons Tuning Rally Team the 2007 event would be only the second time the Boulder based team had tackled the marathon event.
"STPR is a unique challenge in the championship. With over one hundred stage miles packed into one day it is a real test of the teams and the cars. Consider the really fast nature of some of the stages that are all closely lined with ditches, trees, and rocks and it can be really tricky to go maximum speed. If you make damage the car significantly your rally can be over since there is no real long break or service period to work on the cars to fix major problems." Stated Flatirons Tuning driver Stephan Verdier.
In rallying however getting to the event can be as much of a challenge as finishing the event. "After the Olympus Rally in Washington we had a lot of things on the car that needed attention. With only two weeks it was going to be a test for any of the teams to get their cars repaired and prepared for the rally. Since we had more damage than normal due to our exhaust problems it was going to take a lot of hard work for our main technician to get the car back to the shop, repair it, prepare it, and get it to Pennsylvania on time." Said co-driver Scott Crouch.
After monumental efforts to get to the event, which included many long days and nights of work and the purchase of a new car trailer while towing to Pennsylvania, the testing nature of the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally would prove to be too much for the Flatirons Tuning Rally Team. "We came to STPR feeling good but needing a podium finish for the championship. In Washington we had some problems but when things were good we were setting really competitive stage times. For this event [STPR] the car felt perfect, we were still a little down on power compared to the rest of the field but the rest of the car couldn't have been better. Unfortunately on stage three we over shot a fast left turn and bounced off of the outside of the turn causing us to slide wide at the following right and we ended up high centered for almost 40 minutes until we could dig it out enough to get it back on the road ending our rally." Noted Verdier looking back on the event.
"Given our results at Olympus and STPR we will have to sit back and look at the rest of the schedule and the championship. We hadn't originally planned to go to the New England Forest Rally and had only really reconsidered that after Olympus. With Matthew Johnson making strong progress in the championship and Patrick Moro becoming the contender he has with his string of strong consistent finishes we have to re-evaluate our position in the championship. We have proven that we can run at the pace needed to win the class and that we have the speed to be a strong candidate for the championship so we will have to decide what our options are with regards to championship and whether or not to add the New England Forest Rally to our schedule or not." Replied co-driver Scott Crouch when asked about the team's plans for the rest of the 2007 season.