FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, SC (November 26, 2011)
In their first full-season of competition, the 2011 Dirty Rallysport team comprised of driver/owner Eric Wages and codriver Marcel Ciascai, secured the 2nd overall driver and codriver awards in the NASA Rally Sport Atlantic Rally Cup. The Atlantic Rally Cup, spanning events in both Canada and the United States, covers all types of off road surfaces and conditions: sand, dirt, tarmac and gravel. Finishing 2nd in the championship in the grueling multinational series was not easily achievable. "We fought all forms of technical difficulties and other excitement all season. Without the assistance of our friends, families, and sponsors RallyTools, TurboTime and KNSBrakes, we would not have been able to push on and ultimately take this great championship podium!" says Wages.
Looking ahead to 2012 season, the team will see two new changes. First, as a reflection of the team's 2011 championship success, the Dirty Rallysport Subaru Impreza WRX will be displaying the #2 on the doors. Secondly, Sarah Montplaisir, a long-time codriver and friend of Wages, will be replacing Ciascai as the team's navigator; Ciascai will be continuing in the NASA Atlantic Rally Cup as a driver of his own car in his own team. "Sarah will be a great asset in the car and her diverse rally and other motorsport experience will be essential to the continued success of Dirty Rallysport. I wish the best of continued luck to Marcel and I look forward to swapping times with him on the stages in the near future" indicated Wages.
Sarah Montplaisir is a seasoned rallyist with several seasons of co-driving under her belt, competing from 2001-2006 in SCCA, Rally-America and CARS events. During that time she amassed several class wins codriving for the production class Neon piloted by Brian Goss. She also campaigned her own VW Rabbit in the New England Hillclimb Association from 2002-2005 and participated in FSAE and autocross events from 1997-2001. In 2003 Sarah had the opportunity to build a Pikes Peak Hillclimb vehicle for Jesse James on the Discovery Channel series Monster Garage.
2011 SEASON RECAP
The first event of the season, the Sandblast Rally, brought the team a particularly frustrating problem. "The front brakes would not release when they were suposed to. The solution? Don't brake! When braking, the vibration was so bad that it loosened the lugnuts from the wheels!" remembered team crew chief Ryan Davis of TurboTime. The team pushed on and secured their first podium ever - 3rd overall - even in light of all of the challenges.
After changing a number of parts trying to resolve the braking issues, the team tackled Rally Tennessee, an all-tarmac event. "With high speeds, sharp corners, and lots of elevation changes, a dependable braking system is essential. Unfortunately, our gremlins were still present but more muted." remembered Wages. "We went through three sets of rotors on this event alone!" Even with the issues, the team once again achieved 3rd place podiums for both day 1 and day 2.
Thankfully, the next event was the NASA Hyperfest. The Hyperfest provides a low-key, shakedown type atmosphere that allowed all participating teams an opportunity to ensure their cars were prepared for the rest of the season. Prior to the event, the team consulted with KNSBrakes and made additional changes to the car's braking system in an attempt to eliminate the braking issues. After verifying the problems were resolved during testing, Wages and Ciascai went on to the competition portion of the event where they had a close scare when they nearly rolled the car over on a tight corner.
Newly resurrected Rally West Virginia, hosted at the Snowshoe resort, yielded different equipment problems. The car was low on power during the first day's stages and on the last stage of the night, a critical hose split wide open effectively removing all power from the car. "A 6-inch gash opened up in the intercooler Y-pipe allowing all boost pressure to leak out." said Montplaisir. Luckily, the team was able to borrow necessary parts to fix the car and continue on the next day to score valuable championship points.
The team's last rally, Black River Stages, brought an untimely end to Wages' and Ciascai's season. During the first day's night stages, an unfortunate impact to the left wheel of the car resulted in a perfect storm of damage to the vehicle. "Even though the suspension mount points were reinforced, we ripped apart the seam welds on the left rear of the car in multiple places, bent the struts, lateral links, and sway bar. The crew tried their best to fix the car until 3:30am but were unfortunately unable to get the car safe enough for Marcel and I to continue." reminisces Wages. "Black River was my first DNF. I'll be back to slay my dragon in 2012."
Dirty Rallysport would like to thank our 2011 partners for their support throughout the season:
RallyTools, LLC: http://www.rallytools.com
ABOUT ERIC WAGES
Eric Wages is the Operations Manager for the Google datacenter in Moncks Corner, SC. In his spare time when he's not working or racing cars, he likes to mentor budding rallyists and brew beer. Eric lives in Charleston, SC with his wife Margaret and their two Welsh Corgis.
ABOUT SARAH MONTPLAISIR
Sarah Montplaisir is a mechanical engineer by trade and when she’s not building or racing cars she spends her free time as a mentor and volunteer for F.I.R.S.T. Robotics, teaching kids how to build robots and is a YMCA STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) coach. She lives in Baltimore, MD with her husband Jeff.
Media Contact: Eric Wages, email@example.com, +1 843-408-4880
*More information is available on: http://www.nasarallysport.com/
(Links to pictures)
Photo of car on stage, photo credit Jillian Casey: