FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2005
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Last Ditch Racing
By Nigel Prodrive, Last Ditch Racing Media
Bangor, Maine, USA -- Maine-based rally team Last Ditch Racing had a weekend to dream about at the recent International Rally New York. Driver Dave Getchell and codriver Erik Lee scored a Top Ten overall finish, won their class, and clinched the 2005 NASA ESRC P2 championship.
Getchell and Lee moved up from their 32nd starting position to finish a solid 9th overall against one of the largest and strongest fields of any North American rally this year. The team pushed "Tulip," their trusty 1994 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS, ahead of many more powerful turbocharged cars en route to winning RNY's normally aspirated P2 class.
One of the unusual aspects of International Rally New York was that nearly half the stage mileage ran on tarmac. "Thanks to a new close- ratio gearbox and limited slip diffs, we were pretty sure we could hold our own on the gravel," said Getchell, "but we worried that the turbo cars would eat us up on the tarmac. Surprisingly, we moved up steadily on the tarmac sections."
"We learned a lot from other much more experienced teams about racing on the paved roads," Getchell noted. "Lots of these guys have rallied on tarmac for years in Ireland or Poland and the rest of Europe. They were real helpful in talking about lines and braking and such."
In only their fourth rally together, Getchell and Lee have settled into a strong partnership. "Erik really was spot-on with the stage notes. We did the full recce on course, which helped tremendously. Knowing that Erik was so good with the notes made it a whole lot easier to keep my foot down on fast blind bends--and there were plenty of those!" enthused Getchell.
"The roads and the crowds were fantastic. "We had a total blast," said Lee. "And when we came back to service, our crew was awesome." Alan Moody, Ed McNelly and a team of auto tech students from Maine's Lincoln Academy did stellar work in the pits. The team replaced a few bent wheels, some flat-spotted tires, and repaired a broken exhaust, but it was a relatively uneventful rally mechanically.
LDR team principal John Cassidy said, "Dave and Erik put in a tremendous drive on this event and I'm impressed with how they're progressing as a team. Dave is not only a fantastic co-driver for me in our Open Class car, he is a talented driver. Having a co-driver who wins a championship as a driver is something I'm very proud of. Last Ditch Racing continues to push the envelope, fielding two cars, in two countries over events in three different championships.
The next race for LDR will be the CARS Pacific Forest Rally in Merritt, British Columbia on October 14-15. The team is currently 3rd overall in the Canadian Rally Championship for 2005, with two races remaining on the calendar.
Last Ditch Racing would like to thank their 2005 team partners for their continued support!
For more information on Last Ditch Racing, please visit: www.lastditchracing.net
For more information on the Pacific Forest Rally, please visit: www.pacificforestrally.com/home.html