The Olympus Rally is one of the most challenging rallies in the American Rally Association 2017 schedule with very long stages filled with tight twisty rocky roads that test not only the driver/co-driver but also the car.
Coming off a national class win and overall podium at their last race, the Seehorn Rally Team of Jeff Seehorn and Karen Jankowski finished in second place in class and second overall in the Sunday’s Ray Damitio Regional Rally.
The plan all along was to continue the momentum that the team had from there last event class win, however due to car issues the team was forced to withdraw from the national event on Saturday.
“It’s such a shame we couldn’t finish on Saturday because we were setting consistently fast times and since they are very long rough muddy/wet stages our Maxxis Tires and Scrubblade Wipers were perfect for the conditions,” Seehorn said.
He said the 2015 Subaru STI had more power with its new engine build, but additional power, which generated more heat and creates stress on the engine, eventually created issues with overheating and the car’s timing belt.
“We kept pushing and working to fix the issues, but on the 2nd to last stage the car wouldn’t go any further. It was one of the most difficult situations I have ever faced,” Seehorn added.
“Even though we did not finish the National event this weekend, I am happy with the outcome and our results. The weekend was a success in the fact that besides having issues with the car, our performance and team were flawless this weekend. The notes that Karen and I took during recce were spot on and Karen did a great job calling them on stage, keeping us fast and safe while I was distracted on the overheating issue. Going forward we are happy the issues we had come up at a local event and we can correct them before heading east for the last three rounds. We are very fortunate that our team and sponsors we have take such good care of us.” (Jeff Seehorn)
After it was determined what was wrong with the car and was fixed the team made the decision to race in the Ray Damitio Regional Rally where they could continue to build on their momentum and finish with a podium finish.
Jankowski thanks the “fantastic crew” of Don Jankowski, Isaac and Matt Fish, Tristan Pumphrey, and Stan and Lynn Seehorn, crediting their efforts for the team being able to continue on Sunday.
“It is easy to forget that this is a brand-new built car and only its second event. There is always going to be a certain amount of teething issues with a new car,” Karen Jankowski said. “What I saw this weekend is a team that never gives up and keeps pushing until the end, that kind of persistence is critical in a championship fight.”
The team heads east for the next two events, with the next being Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally, June 2-3 in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.