After the dominating win at the Seattle Round of the Red Bull Global Rallycross, DirtFish employees continued the domination this past weekend with a podium sweep and four amazing people in the top eight at the Doo Wop Rally.
This past weekend, Shelton, Washington was home to the 5th round of the Cascadia International Rally Championship. The Doo Wop Rally is a one day event that uses a limited number of roads, each being run three times a piece. Typically, rally events will span over multiple days and across one to two hundred miles of stage roads; for Doo Wop Rally however, competitors only race on fifty miles of stage roads. This is a great system because it allows drivers to push a little harder than they normally would, and it provides time to really focus on the setup and feeling of their cars on consistent roads.
Saturday started off with a short two-pass recce and tech inspections. Recce showed the roads to be a great combination of fast, wide-open sections with tight technical corners in between. The afternoon was then dedicated to just one thing – racing.
DirtFish Instructors, Sam Albert and Michelle Miller, were back in the race-car together for the first time since 2015.
Sam and Michelle started the rally being fourth on the road. After not working together for so long, it took a couple of stages for the duo to get back into the groove they had created the previous year. Even without being at the top of their game, they were still able to lay down the fastest times on stage one and two. After a quick service, Sam and Michelle embarked on stage three and four, finding a great rhythm that worked well for them and making immense improvements in stage times with much more satisfying driving. By the end of stage four, they were leading the rally by 2 minutes with only 2 stages remaining.
After another short service, Sam and Michelle’s game plan was to drive consistently, allowing them to still set a good time without taking any unnecessary risks that could cost them the lead. When they repeated the two stages for the third time that day, they were able to shave five second off of each stage time. The final stage of each NASA race is known as the “Power Stage”, inferring regardless of placement of all other stages, the fastest all-wheel and rear-wheel drive competitors of the Power Stage celebrate with champagne spray on the podium. Not only did Sam and Michelle win the Power Stage, they also won every single stage that day. Smiles were abound in the DirtFish service area after news came down that DirtFish had swept the podium with Derik Nelson and Adam Newell finishing second, and Travis Nease with Krista Skucas coming in 3rd. To top it off wholly, DirtFish Mechanic, Tony Torchia and Client Services Specialist, Chantelle Troutman-Watson, rounded out the DirtFish representation with a 7th overall placement and 2nd in the Open Lite class.
As always, a rally wouldn’t happen without all of the work of the organizers and volunteers, so thank you so very much to everyone who was there that made the day so great!
We are very fortunate to have the support of our friends and family who helped our drivers and co-drivers prepare, work service, and supported them throughout the race.
This was again, another weekend of top finishes for not only DirtFish employees and drivers, but DirtFish as a whole.