Archive for March, 2009

First Rally Cross in our car

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Cassie and I competed Saturday at our first rally cross using our new dedicated race car (we were renting, believe or not, from some of those companies you find at DIA). It was a riot, and everyone was really supportive, friendly, and helpful, as usual.

We ended up purchasing a Volkswagen Jetta 2002 GLS 1.8T for a number of reasons, after consulting with the Colorado Rally Cross e-mail list, where many helpful (and a few hilarious) suggestions were proffered:

  1. I have long legs, German cars work well for me.
  2. I used to own a Audi A4 1.8T quattro, so am familiar with the engine and the modifications possible on it.
  3. There’s a number of Volkswagen repair places in Boulder.
  4. The vehicle is a practical, decent car with plenty of oomph, that could easily be used as a primary car if needs be.
  5. The Jetta came with two sets of tires and rims (winter tires are the “most” you can use in stock category)
  6. It’s two wheel drive (front). Subarus dominate the AWD categories, and I wanted to perhaps start against less competitors in a category not overrun with overpowered WRXes. I’m hoping this choice allows Cassie and I to be a little more competitive in this class.

On our fifth run (of 12), the check engine light turned on. We were horrified, as we hadn’t even started abusing the car yet. Had we made a huge mistake buying a dedicated race car, with almost no automotive repair experience or skills?

Fortunately, within 5 minutes, the extremely helpful folks who attend Colorado Rally Cross events had a) diagnosed a loose mass-airflow sensor hose, and b) reset the check engine code. How cool is that? What a great crowd these people are!

I highly recommend rally cross to anyone who has a desire to race a car, in a safe, fun environment. Try it, you’ll thank me. It’s one of the cheapest of the automotive sports. There’s no danger of collision, as you race the clock (not other cars on the course at the same time). Speeds are relatively low, as the course is on the flat, in an open area, with sharp turns around traffic cones. Stock vehicles (i.e., unmodified) race in their own class(es). I have found the entire community very supportive and friendly, especially towards newbies such as myself. What’s not to like?

Hearing of a teenager

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