Niday Rallysport is looking optimistically at their chances in the Sports Car Club of America's ProRally series. Driver J. B. Niday (of Richfield, Minnesota) and co-driver Allan Kintigh (of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota) feel they have a chance to win...
Niday Rallysport is looking optimistically at their chances in the Sports Car Club of America's ProRally series. Driver J. B. Niday (of Richfield, Minnesota) and co-driver Allan Kintigh (of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota) feel they have a chance to win the Group 2 Championship in their 1986 Volkswagen GTI. They plan to run most of the events on the ProRally circuit again this season, and will have a fresh VW GTI for most events. Their other car will be kept as backup, and will be driven by Kintigh in some ClubRallies in the SCCA Central Division.
Last year, Niday and Kintigh ran their first full season in the Sports Car Club of America's ProRally series. They were able to get familiar with their car and with some of the courses around the United States where ProRallies are held. They did not expect to be in a four way battle to take the National Championship in Group 2, a class for two-wheel drive cars with engines under 2.4 liters. When all the points were tallied after the D&N Bank Lake Superior ProRally, the final event of the season, Niday and Kintigh finished second in the Group 2 category.
They were especially pleased because their VW was fairly stock, with only safety and suspension modifications. Most cars in the category have extensive engine work for more power and torque, and drivetrain modifications for strength. In addition, several events, especially those on the west coast, were much harder on the car than what the team was used to on events in the SCCA Central Division.
"We had to completely replace the front suspension two or three times during the season," said Niday. "We also had odd problems, such as the tire failure that resulted in losing a wheel on the first stage at Susquehannock Trails in Pennsylvania. Though we had new wheels for Maine, we still broke one on a pothole and that cost us considerable time."
Niday and Kintigh are also optimistic about the switch to a different car for this season, another 1986 Volkswagen GTI. The new car, which should be ready for the Oregon Trail ProRally in April, will have considerable engine modifications, aimed primarily at low end torque so the car will be able to accelerate quicker out of corners. Niday and Kintigh will drive their 2000 Championship winning VW at Sno*Drift in Atlanta, Michigan, as horsepower is not as important on the icy roads used there.
"We were pretty surprised at how well we did last season," said co-driver Kintigh. "Our VW was not as modified for speed as most cars in our class. Our intent was primarily to learn how to handle the car and to learn the roads used on rallies around the country."
Niday was presented with another award recently (January 20th) by members of the Land O' Lakes Region of the SCCA. He was chosen for the Skogmo Memorial Award, given to the "Most Improved Driver" in the region. It was the first time that the award, named for race driver Don Skogmo who died in a racing accident, was presented to a rally driver.
What is a ProRally?
Events in the Sports Car Club of America ProRally Championship consist of flat-out racing, in any weather, on challenging forest, mountain or desert roads. No practice is allowed. Competitors generally see the course for the first time as they race it. Racing takes place only on "stages," demanding roads closed by local authorities for the event. "Transits" connect racing sections and are driven at normal highway speeds, with teams fully subject to all traffic laws.
ProRally vehicles are production-based cars (and some trucks) from manufacturers around the world. They compete both for the overall victory and wins within a class structure that groups together vehicles with similar performance. Each vehicle carries a driver and a co-driver/navigator. Using a detailed route book and a sophisticated rally computer, the co-driver keeps the team on-course and advises the driver of any hazards ahead. This role is as critical as the driver's skill, since the team is traveling at full racing speeds over roads they have never before seen, in any type of weather.