Written By: Vojta Kubec
Photos By: DaggerSLADE Media
A fresh layer of snow awaits as the driver’s meeting takes place. Photo by Vojta Kubec
Many of us New Englanders are no strangers to the cold harsh conditions of mother nature. What better way to spend such a day than driving around in their beloved rallyx cars? The final NER Rallyx championship event was held at a very well known venue, not only to rallycrossers, but many others as well, Canaan Motor Club. For those familiar with the venue in the winter, you know to expect sub-zero conditions, plenty of wind, and lots of ice. This day was no different. The morning was a crisp 5 degrees Fahrenheit. What about the ice and snow conditions? Well it turns out that the early December Nor’easter which struck New England had left a nice fluffy white blanket of only 6 inches. A smaller storm the night before the event left only a dusting, but made the roads a mess. Because of this, nobody started off with a show car at the beginning of the day, with the exception of the few who tow their car enclosed.
As the first handful of cars took their first hotlap, the fluffy blanket quickly disappeared. This meant the frozen dirt underneath was uncovered allowing for lots of grip. At this point the sun decided to stir things up a bit by warming the frozen dirt surface and creating a winter soup. This is exactly what rallycrossers come to compete in–constantly changing conditions. Where else can you have a mix of snow, frozen dirt, mud, and even some ice all in one day and better yet, all in one lap?
Unfortunately, the timing system chose not to cooperate so all timing operations had to be done manually. I would like to give a big shout out to those who did this duty all day and did a superb job.
After lunch the course was run in the reversed direction. A vast amount of cloud coverage brought with it more snow flurries. We all had our fingers crossed for a storm to really make things interesting.
Lazz MaKenzie putting on a fabulous display in his MR2. Photo by DaggerSLADE Media.
Emmanual Cecchet showing how its done his Subaru STI. Photo by DaggerSLADE Media
Unlike most days, the Honda of Chang Ho Kim was not the winning vehicle in stock front. He was however one of two drivers in class who did not hit any cones the entire day. The top two drivers were both behind the wheel of a Mini Cooper. Excellent job on their end. Speaking of Mini Coopers, an all wheel drive Mini Clubman took first place in stock all as well.
Modified front wheel drive was heavily dominated by the German VolksWagen machines. Philip LaMoreaux really showed Scott Carlson who is the boss on the supercharged Golf as has won with over a 2 second lead. Way to go Phil! This was not the end of the VW dominance as Chris Zanis, Michael Gallant and Jesse Whitsell took 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively in some more VW’s.
Hats off to the amazing performance by Clifton Kangas in his non-turbo 2.5 RS. It looks like this track was not much of a turbo track. Coming in second place was Chris Regan in his Mazdaspeed 6 with less than a 2 second gap and hitting no cones!
Modified rear wheel drive saw something you don’t see everyday, a Corvette. Hopefully the next time we see it on course it will come with a set of 4 snow tires as all season tires will no longer be tolerated at winter events. Vaughn Micciche’s super soft and very studded tires once again proved dominant as he came out with a 66.6 second lead over second place. This is in a class which is typically within tenths of each other. Should I mention he also set FTD? Yes, once again a rear wheel drive car set FTD. Behind Vaughn, came in the lightweight and nimble MR2 of Lazz Mckenzie who has put on quite a performance this year. After Lazz was myself by 1.38 seconds followed by my brother, Daniel Kubec, in our Mazda Miata. We all had a fantastic day battling with the ever-changing conditions, which is what rallycross is all about!
A shot out to all of those who let Jacob Perkins drive their vehicle! Jacob is nice enough to drive the rally timing bus to all of the events and rarely asks for anything in return. It looks like he was able to get 18 runs in and if I remember correctly almost each one of those was in a different vehicle. So if you are reading this article because you are looking to get into rallyx and are not sure of what car to get, Jacob is your man to talk to!
I am hoping for a cold January so that the ground in Connecticut is frozen to make for a good event at Stafford Springs. Stafford Springs is one of the most popular rallycross events as it has an extremely long course, lots of grip, and two back-to-back days of pure fun! So check your oil, pack your boots, and see you in CT!