|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
February 14, 2000
|Contact: Andrew Miller, Two AM Rallysport|
Maniwaki, Quebec -- Snow, ice, a wiring gremlin and an over-ploughed road conspired to make the debut of the Two Am Rallysport team a challenging rally. Andrew Miller and Martyn Appleford were not the only team to experience the challenges of northern Quebec, in fact the snow-bank magnets spared almost none of the 46 entries in their relentless pursuit to draw cars into their icy embrace.
The team, embarking on their first rally in a brand new car, knew things would be challenging when the auxiliary odometer (used by the co-driver to navigate and call out turns) decided to pack it in on the first stage. "Two weeks of testing and the odo has never been a problem, but today it decides to go. Oh, well that's rally for you," was Miller's only comment.
Undeterred, the team set off on the first leg starting from the back of the pack (seeded draw had placed them 45 out of 46 starters). The first spectator stage held in the town of Maniwaki was short but very slick and the Two AM Rallysport VW Golf parked gently in a snow bank in front of some then very helpful spectators. Conversations with the other teams later in the day revealed that all but a few had gone off on the same corner. The remainder of Leg A was uneventful and saw the team post some respectable times for a Production car. The end of leg A brought on a reseed or reordering of the cars and Miller/Appleford where now running right in the middle of the pack.
It was on the first Stage of Leg B when the snow gods bit. "We were in a long high speed corner at about 110 kph and a back wheel drifted into the soft stuff. We spun and ended up backwards just off the road in some very soft over-plough," said Miller. Unable to dig themselves out, they had no choice but to wait to be pulled out. After an unsuccessful attempt by the team of Nytko/Nytko to help their stranded competitors, along came Steve Walkington and was able to yank the stuffed VW free. This act of generosity by a team in direct competition -as they were in the same class- was only fitting as Two AM Rallysport had lent the Walkington/Mokhtar team a set of tires at the break. "This is what rally is all about, we're here to compete sure but most of all we're here for fun and helping the other guy makes it easier for everyone to have fun," said Martyn Appleford, relieved that they had made it out of the snow bank in time to finish the rally but disappointed that they had lost almost 22 minutes.
Things got better from there. On the next stage they were able to catch the teams of Miller/Mahoney and Nykto/Nykto. The final two stages of the event were very different in character but went without a hitch for the team and they posted 17th fastest time on both of them, well ahead of some much more powerful cars.
Driver/owner Andrew Miller had this to say about the whole event, "It was a great rally despite our problems, the roads were great, the car was great, the people were great, I don't mind finishing well down the order, a lot of teams didn't finish at all."
The team now has only a few days to prepare for the Millennium Winter Rally taking place in Kingston, Ontario this weekend (Feb 18-19). Perhaps the snow bank magnets are smaller there.
The Ontario Performance Rally Championship, which consists of six events run from February to November, is about the most challenging racing series in Ontario. Teams compete in timed runs over narrow twisty closed roads at high speeds. Two AM Rallysport competes in the Production Sport class with help from its sponsors AM Innovations Inc., Dave's Tire Discounter and Volkswagen Waterloo.
Two AM Rallysport, A-18 550 Parkside Drive, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 5Z4
Phone 519-883-8288 -- Fax 519-883-0356 -- E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ontario Performance Rally Championship
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