thedonproject
rally / oregon trail rally 2007

2007 was the birth year of one of the best ideas in US rally since the beginning: Max Attack. It was an overlay championship aimed at providing cash prizes to the fastest 2WD teams. We did set some fast stage times, but various troubles kept us out of the prize money, if I recall. We didn't actually DNF, which is very important for our first national entry, but we did finish a half-hour behind the slowest car.

I recall overheating problems on day 1. We also had the coil fall off the firewall at the very start of one of the stages. My brother and I got out of the car and I was just going to set up the triangles when he yelled out that he fixed it and we hopped back in. Luckily, the cars behind us were held at the start by some astute volunteers. The crowd at PIR was applauding when we fixed the car, though! Due to those issues, we finished four minutes behind the last car on the first day (the shortest).

I think our luck didn't get any better on day 2 and recall spending some time in the forest entertaining passing cars with various phases of the moon. Sweep must have tugged us out and let us continue, but we finished day 2 a colossal 22 minutes behind the pack, 47 minutes behind the leader of our class.

So, on day 3, we had nothing to lose. That's usually when we perform best, so we threw down our best work. Stage 14 marked our first top ten national time, beating all the other 2WD cars. We would have earned our first overall regional podium as well. However, I misread a bulletin and didn't understand how service was supposed to work on Sunday. We earned a 10 minute penalty for getting some fuel from our team and were quite upset about that. I hate penalties to this day and I don't think another penalty I've gotten has been my fault. To close on the positive, though, we forged a friendship with Jake Himes, who ran Max Attack that year and a photo from our day 3 run ended up being on the official Max Attack t-shirt.

Photo by Travis Ogden