First test drive – 2nd Gen Neon Rally Car

The other day I was pretty excited to pop the axles in and go for a spin. Unfortunately I still had to re-attach the front bumper, lights, and hood. There was also adding fluid to the transmission and the modified power steering pump.

Monday, I wrapped up all these tasks and set the car back down on the wheels. The steering made no argument turning rally tires on concrete. No noise from the pump and the steering felt light. I idled slowly out of the driveway, listening for any weird noises from a car that I’ve taken completely apart and put back together.

Ferrari F355 ChallengeMy first reaction to the quickener is that it drives like a video game. That tight – instant steering you get from your Logitech Gaming Wheel. It feels natural and I didn’t even think about adapting to it. You just drive it like you would Sega’s Ferrari F355 Challenge. The car drives straight and I didn’t tax the steering pump puttering around the neighborhood swerving around trash barrels. The real test will be at speed – and at a rallycross in 3 weeks.

The plan has been finalized to be ‘Zero Car’ at Prescott. This is a lot less stressful then competing and will be a great shakedown of the systems and setup so far. For those of you unfamiliar with the term: 1 or 2 course opening cars are sent down the rally stage to make sure it’s clear and the time controls and signs are in place (000 and 00), then the 0 car (usually a rally car) is run at a fast pace before the competitors. The zero car reports any change in conditions to the drivers, any potential safety issues, and declares the stage “hot” and ready to run. The Prescott Rally is September 30th – October 1st, and we have one last weekend of prep to get the new Dodge Neon rally car ready to run. See you on the stages!