FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2006
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Last Ditch Racing
Bangor, Maine, USA -- Last Ditch Racing, Maine's premier rally team will travel to the Canadian Rockies to compete in the 2006 Rocky Mountain Rally. Round 2 of the Canadian Rally Championship, the event is held in the breathtaking foothills of the Rocky Mountains and is based in Calgary, Alberta. This will be the first pairing of Driver John Cassidy and Co-Driver Erik Lee at this event. Lee joined Cassidy in the right seat this season after the team decided to field a two car team, with Dave Getchell piloting the second car. "Erik and I have two events as a team now, and it's working very well in the car," said Cassidy. "I'm looking for our pace to be near the top at Rocky this year."
2005 saw the team in a battle for the lead with Canadian Champion Peter Thomson and Rod Hendricksen, eventually taking second on the podium at the end of the weekend. Driver John Cassidy recalls the event as a high-point of the 2005 season. "Dave and I had gotten a taste of Rocky in 2004 and were better prepared mentally for the speed and surface changes of the road in 2005. We pushed from beginning to end and took our first poidum and first top stage time in a Canadian national event."
2006 has seen the team with little time to breathe. The team completed the build on their new Open Class 2003 Subaru WRX just prior to Rallye Perce-Neige/Maniwaki, Round 1 of the CRC. "We spent almost two days without sleep finishing the car so that we could attend Perce Neige. It was a herculean effort and we were fortunate to just start the event! The fact that we finished is a testament to the skill of the crew," said Cassidy. Since Perce Neige, the car has undergone a new round of development, with more expected between future events in 2006. "We know where the car needs to be to be competitive, and it's a matter of time and investment to get it there."
The team made Maine motorsports history in 2006 by competing in the Corona Rally Mexico, a round of the FIA World Rally Championship. "Competing in a WRC event was a dream come true for the team and I. We found the experience we've gained in the Canadian and US championships over the past several years had prepared us very well for the experience. We're already at work on a programme for the 2007 Corona Rally to improve on our performance."
The team is excited to welcome Hydra Engine Management Systems as a team partner for the 2006 season. "They're coming on board quite literally! We've adopted the Hydra Nemesis ECU for our Subaru WRX for the season. We've been discussing parternship with Hydra for a couple of seasons now, and the debut of our new car has facilitated the process," said Cassidy.
The Hydra Nemesis 2.1 offers the user with all the ease of "Plug and Play" Technology without losing any of the performance enhancing capability and safety net offered in the newer OEM engine management systems. "We've used various aftermarket ECU's and felt that the Hydra offered us a rich feature set and depth of tuning that other companies don't. Launch control and anti-lag features have also been added to the latest version of the ECU at the request of race teams. "We're looking forward to working closely with Hydra and giving them some great results in the Canadian Championship!"
The team will face a busy schedule after Rocky Mountain. The car will return to Montreal via train and be brought home to Maine. The team will have a scant couple of weeks to repair and perform any other developments to the car prior to the Rally Baie Des Chaleurs over the July 4 weekend. Two weeks later the team will be fielding two cars in the Open Class at the Maine Forest Rally, their home event. Cassidy and Lee will pilot the 2003 WRX and Getchell will pilot the 1995 Impreza Open Class car. Said Cassidy, "If I told you we had other hobbies, I'd be lying!"
A special thanks to Iain at Planet Motorsport for assistance with ECU tuning for the Rocky Mountain Rally!
planetmotorsport.com/ Last Ditch Racing would like to thank their 2006 team partners for their continued support! http://www.teamoneil.com http://www.mainehost.com http://www.carmodifications.com/ http://www.f1dyno.com/ http://www.triplecaution.com http://www.rallyxi.com http://www.andrewharvey.ca http://www.rev-lab.com/
Last Ditch Racing would like to thank their 2006 team partners for their continued support!
For more information on Last Ditch Racing and to hear our podcasts, please visit: www.lastditchracing.com
For more information on the Rocky Mountain Rally, please visit: www.rockymountainrally.com
For more information on Rallye Baie Des Chaleurs, please visit: www.rallyebdc.com