MGEC Victory at ASP Kuipto Forest Rally 2011

Last updated: Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:13 am

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Outright win at ASP Kuitpo Forest Rally 2011!

It was a crushing win for Gary Brown and MGEC member Mike Dale in ASP Kuipto Forest SA Rally Championship Round 4. Kuipto was run in a forests around Meadows, and with significant rain in the days leading up to the event. The roads were in dampish great condition, albeit a bit slippery in the early stages. Due to Forestry restrictions in road use, the organisers set up three very challenging stages, and repeated three times. "Daryl Powers and his hard working SDCC crew really did well to set up an event (well suited to us anyway)" explained Mike. It was very busy, very tight and hard work for driver and co driver for stages up to 19 km long. Recce was limited to Saturday morning, and crews had to be on their toes to note the three stages varying from 12 km to 19 km in lenghth. It was then over to Lanac Park near Mt Compass for three runs around the autocross track, in three differing configurations. The junior rally crews used their extensive knowledge of the track to keep the old hands honest. However, only 5 seconds separated 8 crews at the conclusion of the autocross stages.

Sunday in the forest saw the unfolding of the real action. Brown/Dale had been threatening in the last couple of events with real speed in the old forest tractor, a 1992 Mitsubishi Galant VR4. However, minor issues had derailed the efforts and we couldnt back it up with results on the board. Sunday in Kuipto was different, and the opposition crews were left stunned with a series of "off tap" stage times. It was thought that we were "misleading" crews with times, until the road card was produced.

Mike suggested that the speed came from a couple of areas "Firstly. Gary and I have worked together for 8 years. Secondly the Mike Dale Automotive high compression (10.0:1) 4G63 34 mm restrictor E85 engine really came to life with vernier sprockets and a bit of fiddling on the cam timing. This engine produces torque like no other gravel rally restrictor motor I've tuned or driven, and seems to out torque the Subarus by a large amount. It currently produces on a Mainline AWD dyno 190AWKW @ 4100 rpm @ 21 psi. Power drops off rapidly after this point, and shifts are made at 4500 rpm. However, the restrictor grind camshafts and vernier sprockets picked up 20kw at 5000 rpm, and this was the area of greatest improvement on the road. The VR4 has pretty low gearing, and at 160 km/h, the engine is at approx 5500 rpm. So, with the extra available power at the higher revs, it accelerated much faster in 4th/5th gear. Gary was muttering a bit up forest breaks, still pulling hard at 160 km/h before having to get hard on the AP brakes and back it in for the next turn. I think the speed was starting to worry him a bit, but like a good driver, he wouldn't get off the pedal unless "instructed" by the co driver! A new front LSD ramp angle and preload setting seemed to give much better drive out of tight cut up corners as well. The quickest speed seen is around 190 km/h at around 6500 rpm. I will give you the strong tip that this is plenty quick enough on gravel! Thirdly, Gary has spent years rallying in Mt Gambiers forests at night in Trials. He really does seem to have the knack of reading the forest and the roads."

Brown/Dale finished the day 2:10 seconds ahead of multiple SARC champ Matt Selly (and Claire Ryan riding shotgun), 3:30 seconds from young gun James Rodda, and approx 4:30 seconds ahead of current SARC champ Russell Marker with Mark Povey a further 1 second behind. Mike expressed "We thought it was great that a Mitsubishi can still show those 4 Subarus how it is done!"

"The event seemed to have an unuaslly high attrition rate for no real apparent reasons. I think there were 15 finishers from a field of 26 starters, and 6 DNF's in the first forest stage!"

ASP Kuitpo Forest Rally 2011 <Results>


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