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Teams race to Charleston, wrapping up Rally Appalachia 2011!

Teams race to Charleston, wrapping up Rally Appalachia 2011!

After an exciting first day, the last two days of the Rally Appalachia 2011 proved to be an exciting race to the finish, with many scenic stops and adventures along the way! Here are the winners of each daily leg (1st, 2nd, 3rd), followed by some highlights from the last two days of the rally:

Day 1:
1) Team CJ Pony Parts
2) Team .38 Caliber
3) Team Eff Yeah

Day 2:
1) Team Mercedes
2) Team Barnett Motorsports
3) Team Z51 – Team ITG

Day 3:
1) Shasha & David
2) Hank & Bubba
3) Team Swip

Ford Drag from edante on Vimeo.

Day 2 kicked off in Natural Bridge, VA as drivers hit the road for the longest driving day of the rally. The first stop was the Motor Mile Dragway in Virginia, which was an hour or so away from Natural Bridge and gave drivers an opportunity to roar down the strip. The video above is Bill, CJ's Service Manager, on the drag strip. From there, the rally drove through a small town, Galax, VA, for a check point at an early 1900s movie theater, then moved on to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The parkway took the drivers from Virginia to North Carolina and was referred to as one of the best driving roads on the rally, right up there with the Skyline Drive. Numerous stops were made at overlook points to catch the amazing and beautiful views, and for official rally checkpoints. That being said, though, parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway were closed during the trip, forcing drivers to run an extra 1.5 hours on a detour. On a blistering hot day that started at 8 a.m., a detour just added to the length, and most teams hadn't arrived in Greenville, South Carolina by 6 p.m.!

A few mechanical problems came into play during the day, too. As we mentioned on Wednesday, one car had a blown throw out bearing, but CJ's Service Manager, Bill Tumas, with the help of Scott and Eric from our sales team, jumped in and assisted that team, Nicholas and Shelby, and had the new part to their hotel by the next morning, getting them back on the road within 24 hours. Great job Bill, Scott and Eric! Another team needed new brake pad and rotors after experiencing some stopping difficulties on the second day, and that repair was accomplished by flashlight in the hotel parking lot, with many teams jumping in and helping out. Finally, a third team suffered a major failure in their car (the Mustang II), needing to run home and swap it for a Fox Body Mustang to complete the race. See the video below to hear their story. Amazingly, with the extreme heat, no one dropped out due to overheating, though a few teams had to sweat it out without air conditioning.

While the heat intensified for Thursday, allowing a few to remark that this was the hottest weather they had ever experienced, a trip to the Darlington International Speedway was the highlight of the third and final day of the rally. Teams were able to get right on the track and run a few laps. Many drivers commented on how much more respect they have for NASCAR drivers after they got to experience the steep banks at decent speeds. Finally, the teams headed back across the state to the finish line in Charleston, SC and had a nice celebration and awards ceremony to wrap up with rally.

Sources: Autos.ca/Speed Bros/Vimeo/Sway486

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