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Letters from Readers

Where Tracey Races

 

Drive Performance asked Tracey Gardiner to tell us more about her involvement in racing (Reverse in Version 8.2). Here is her reply. 

 

TAG RallySport is our team. My son, Rory, a friend, and I raced in the New England Forest Rally in July – all in our Subaru vehicles! Great event as well.

 

I have also competed in a few rallycross events organized by the NER [New England Region] SCCA. Last year we ran in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine. This past January we went to Stafford Springs and competed in a rallycross. There were 115 cars at that event in below-freezing temperatures! We had a blast racing in the snow!

 

Check out our website at www.tagrallysport.com and our Facebook page.

 

–Tracey L. Gardiner, North Providence, RI

 

 

 

Climb to the Clouds

 

Climb to the Clouds was fun and challenging!

 

When I got the call saying that I had been invited to Climb to the Clouds, I don't think I had been that excited about something in a long time! I kept going from being excited to thinking, “What the heck am I doing?”

 

It was a privilege to be invited, and being the only woman to boot was pretty cool! Lol!

 

Watching video of Travis Pastrana doing it last year was awesome, but now I was really going to be doing it in my Subaru! My co-driver Maureen Hascher couldn’t make it to this event. I wanted a well-experienced co-driver, and when I asked Brian Johnson and he said yes, that sealed the deal.

 

Brian has so much experience and has been key in aiding many drivers to wins at many, many rallies! He helped push me to beat my first time up there by 25 seconds on the second run!

 

My 2001 Impreza 2.5RS is normally aspirated, and we didn’t do anything to it as far as the engine goes for Climb to the Clouds – just made sure our brakes and tires were good to go, plus all our safety equipment!

 

The weather wasn’t on our side for the practice days. Not being able to practice the top half was pretty nerve wrecking!

 

We got to drive the Auto Road several times in my STI for making our notes, which was great! Brian had them down pat! We even got the Travis Pastrana “jiggy jiggy” in the right spot! Lol!

 

There were a few times the clouds cleared on the note-making runs, and Brian kept telling me to look out at the view, how beautiful it was, etc. I kept telling him, “NO! I'm focusing on the road!” There are some pretty big drops!

 

As I said, the conditions were pretty bad on race day. Not being able to see a couple of feet in front of you at the top was pretty scary to say the least! Brian said he heard me heave a sigh of relief as soon as we went over the finish line, both times! I think I held my breath the last mile and a half to the top!

 

You really have to rely on your co-driver, if you have one, to navigate you on the narrow roads with the twists, turns and big exposures! A wrong move could send you over the edge with dire consequences!

 

To be able to finish the race and come in at some pretty good times was enough to keep me smiling for weeks! I was proud to be able to say I competed and am now a part of history racing in my Subaru!

 

My average speed was just under 50 mph. David Higgins did it averaging 75 mph with no co-driver! How cool was it to be in the same race with David Higgins breaking the record in his Subaru, too!

 

Climb to the Clouds was a challenge and an adventure! I would love to compete in this event again – next time in my new 2005 Impreza 2.5RS rally car built by Graham Wilcock of Auto Sports Engineering!

 

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