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Tartu Sugis 2004 [Otepaa, Estonia 20.11]

Again one rally event has passed. This time Ė Tartu sugis 2004, which was held in Otepaa region, where in the beginning of this year, sports cars rally Esti Talv 2004 took place. At that time sportsmen said that it was a tuff rally. Only this time the race went on at night. Our starting time was 8:43pm and we finished just before 7 in the morning. Our start number was 50.

We are very satisfied with the rally as a whole. The track was very interesting with a lot of jumps and tight corners and corners in jumps! Kept us working at all times!

The very start. In the first stage before the first shikane I started to brake too late + it was very slippy and we hit a big tire and had a little jump. We hit it with the left front end of the car. Luckily the lights were still on and it didnít harm my tires (they sometimes get loose and then flat).

The hardest part only began. Waiting in the line before SS3 we lost the all lights. The light switch broke and we couldnít turn them on. It is a quite common problem to this kind of cars but it just wasnít the right moment. If you hit it hard enough it sometimes turned on but it just wasnít enough. But we couldnít drive fast because you never knew when the lights will go off. And it happened before one shikane. The only thing I could do is to hold the flash-brights switch on with my left hand. It wasnít that easy because then I had to steer and switch gears with one hand. After that we somehow fixed it with a wire, causing a shortcut (without the help of the light switch). I called guys here in Latvia in the middle of the night to ask which wires to connect. They looked up in schematics and helped me out. So we went with that wire but as it appeared later it wasnít any better. Well it was but still there were some interruptions. Because that wire was a little bit too big for those holes in the car and it didnít want to go in properly.

In the leg 4 which was the last one we started to have problems with sleep. It was already 4 or 5 in the morning. And to make it even harder we woke up early morning to get all the race documents and to do the reconnaissance. We had to wait before stage starts some 15 minutes or so because of the lines and during that time it was hard to fight with the sleep because there wasnít anything much to do than wait. Once the stage got started the sleep was gone.

We didnít like the stage 8 and 11 where the road went in some kind of a forest. It was very fast and thatís why there were stupid shikanes which you had to pass going off the road. As you can imagine 150 cars going at full speed some place where is no road Ė it was bumpy as hell. Because we didnít want to harm our car, we went slowly there. The result wasnít surprising but in the other hand Ė if we had gone faster in that stage Ė maybe we would broke our car and didnít finidsh at all.

Conclusion: this was our first Estonian rally and we will come back thatís for sure. They have more interesting rallies there than we do in Latvia.

Results: 23rd place out of 129 absolute and 7th place out of 16 in 4WD group. Plus the first 6 places got Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo owners.





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