Prescott Rally highlights! The band is “3421” and the song is called “Sparks” – Enjoy!
Finally sporting the rallynotes.com silver and red paint scheme. The team unveiled the new livery at the Prescott Rally last weekend. This is the second car that Kristopher Marciniak has built from scratch and it marks a huge milestone in its development. “We tested the car for one day at North Nevada. New suspension, new everything. It was successful and the time was right to finish the car with a great paint job from Danny’s Auto in Long Beach,” said Kris. Vinyl and stripes from Streetwise Motorsports pull it all together and the lightweight hood from Seibon Carbon not only adds to the performance, but completes the “angry rally car” look. Kris adds; “I love it! This is the rally car that I imagined more then a year ago. It took a lot of work, but it came together great!”
On Friday evening; driver Kristopher Marciniak and Co-Driver (navigator) Christine Marciniak had just settled into a rhythm, when the dust settled in on stage 3. Christine recalls: “It’s never been this bad… I was very worried we were going to go off the road in a big way.” Visibility on the first night stage dropped to zero several times and driving lights became useless in the thick dust. Kris describes it: “We were flying along over a cattle guard and I was setting the car up for a left four (a fairly tight turn at speed) and a wall of dust just moved in. I had to come to a stop and find the edge of the road out my side window before continuing.” Dust was an issue for everyone and after the night was over it was a bit of a surprise to see the team in 1st CRS-2 and 1st in Open 2WD. “It felt like scoring spun a big wheel on Friday stage 3 and handed out random times. We got lucky and I think the fast section of Witty Tom was clear for us, but not for others,” adds Kris. See the video highlights at https://rallynotes.com/2012/10/2012-prescott-rally-highlights/
When they returned to the hotel on Friday night a tire change was performed and the service crew of Brian Driggs and Dan Green discovered a leaking strut. Doug Nagy of Streetwise Motorsports was consulted and late night strut repairs began. A call to Odi from FEAL Suspension gave the team clear repair directions. The leaking O-Ring was replaced and fluid was injected back into the assembly with some makeshift tools including a baby ear and nose cleaner. There is no more resourceful group of people then at a stage rally service park on a Friday night in Prescott.
Saturday morning sitting in 1st with a somewhat repaired rear strut, driver Kristopher Marciniak made the decision to go for it. The team of Eddie Fiorelli and Tom Smith (in 2nd) had been faster on every stage but special stage three. Michel Hoche-Mong trying to avoid a huge rock had crashed on SS2 Friday night. Michel, the clear favorite, was now unable to start day two and the podium was up for grabs. Fiorelli turned up the pace at the same time and beat the Marciniaks on SS5 & 6 in the morning. Now the lead was down to a handful of seconds and rallynotes pushed and won Stages 7, 8, and 9. Going into the final stage 10 with only a 5 second lead, both teams charged down the 20.1 mile Firstville stage. Kris describes: “A lot can happen on a 20 mile stage. We were going 90MPH in places I’ve never gone over 70. We got loose in the middle of the stage and clipped a rock, and I though – that’s it… but it was okay and we pushed all the way to the end.” The final time for Marciniak was 20:35, and Fiorelli had set an amazing 20:20 in his 2.0L VW Golf. Thus taking the lead and winning by a scant 10 seconds. “The competition of the California Rally Series is like no other series. We had a fantastic time pushing the new car hard, and doing great at our first big rally since 2008!” said Kris. The rallynotes team captured 2nd in 2WD at the 2012 Prescott Rally!
What’s next for the rallynotes.com team? Engine upgrades and a full 2013 season! The Marciniaks will be taking the next few months to continue the Dodge Rally Neon 2GN SRT-4 development. Be sure to watch the progress and updates on https://rallynotes.com and more frequent updates at https://rallynotes.com/tumblelog . We’d like to send thanks out to 2GN.org, Neons.org, and gearboxmagazine.com for their support!
See you on the stages!
The Prescott Rally in Arizona is a fantastic event. The roads, the volunteers, the organizers, and the stages are awesome. This year the organizers gave us the opportunity to test out our new rally car on the stages by running zero car.
How did it go? Great! The chassis feels solid and the steering modifications are amazing at speed. Tossing the car through the end of Witty Tom South (a stage with lots of 4’s and 3’s) had me turning the wheel no more then 90 degrees. A big plus for the quickener experiment. The rallycross suspension setup was decent, but not ready for cattle-guards at 70+ mph. We embarrassingly nosed in a couple of times, and after the third time hopping the rear end through a ditch, I slowed for the remainder of them. This 2.0l n/a motor feels stronger then the one in the Production car and it will be fun to rally on for a couple more events before swapping a turbo SRT4 power-plant in.
As I feared, the stock engine mounts are completely unable to cope with this kind of abuse. The motor mount rubber on the passenger frame side ripped about halfway through stage 2. This added to the noise in the cabin and kept me from really putting down the throttle. It was a mistake not to address this before Prescott. Solid “dog bone” mounts are on order and I’m going to poly fill or weld (haven’t decided) the engine and trans mounts before the Glen Helen rallycross on October 16th.
We have a laundry list of things to fix and change, but overall it was a very successful test!