FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2005
For more information, Contact:
Last Ditch Racing
Bangor, Maine, USA -- Maine based Last Ditch Racing, a performance rally team, completed the Rally of the Tall Pines over Thanksgiving weekend, the final event in the 2005 Canadian Rally Championship. Having damaged their car at the event the last two years, the team were apprehensive, more so this year due to the slippery conditions. The event saw 4-5 inches of fresh snow just prior to the start, with frozen gravel and ice underneath. This was the epitome of saying for the event: "Winter roads, summer ditches!"
The team finished 9th overall and 7th in the Open Class. Just over three minutes behind 6th place Frederic Labrie, the team lost nearly 7 minutes while stopped on a stage checking on the well-being of fellow competitors that had rolled their Subaru. "The safety of our fellow competitors is of the utmost importance to our team. We were glad to see that all were ok, and once the road was cleared we continued, albeit delayed moreso than some competitors behind us." said driver John Cassidy.
Said Cassidy, "Overall, we had a fantastic event. We weren't sure how competitive we'd be as snow hasn't been my favorite surface. I'm becoming more proficient with every low grip event we do, and that's encouraging to the team. Our times were quick all weekend long, and the last few stages saw us setting some top 5 times. The fact that 3 of the 4 drivers ahead of us were either past or now present Canadian Champions was quite satisfying." Cassidy credits his increased pace to having competed in the 2005 Challenge Sur Glace, an ice event in Sherbrooke Quebec. "It doesn't get much more low grip than racing on glare ice with studded street snow tires!"
The team has completed the entire 2005 Canadian Rally Championship season without a single DNF, despite racing in 4 different cars at events spanning the continent. After the team lost their turbo car in an accident at the Maine Forest Rally, they were forced to rent cars from both Lachute Performance and Rocket Rally. In order to compete at Tall Pines, co-driver Dave Getchell offered the use of the original, "Steel Tulip," Cassidy's first Subaru rally car with which he won his class at the inaugural Targa Newfoundland. "Without Dave's commitment and trust, and excellent work in the right seat, we would not have been able to make it through to the end," said Cassidy.
The 2005 season is the team's most successful to date:
Canadian Rally Championship
4th Overall driver/co-driver
2nd Open Class driver/co-driver
5th P4 Class driver
2nd place(first national podium) at Rocky Mountain Rally First fastest stage time in a National event at Rocky Mountain Rally
Ontario Provincial Rally Championship
2nd Overall driver/co-driver
2nd Open Class driver/co-driver
The team is presently constructing a new Subaru and putting together a program for the 2006 season. The first season of the 2006 Canadian Rally Championship is the snowy Rallye Perce Neige in February. Soon after, the team will trade snow for the cacti and high elevations of North-Central Mexico, where they'll contest the 2006 Corona Rally Mexico in a Peugeot 206 Cup Car.
John and Dave would like to thank their fans, family and crew for their support and professionalism during the season: Bronson Crothers, Steve Chatfield, Eric and Margaret Wages, Duncan Matlack, John Cassidy V, Ed McNally, Erik Lee and Michael Rademacher.
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 Rally of the Tall Pines, please visit: www.tallpinesrally.com