Novice Driver Exemption for PGT Cars (2.1.C.2)

Rally America introduced a rule this year that limits inexperienced novices to Group 2 and Production class cars. As with any drastic rules change, speculation and rumors have been flying around for the past few months. Although the rulebook has been out since January, few people have actually read the rule:

Licensing 2.1.C.2:

A Novice ClubRally Drivers License will restrict a driver to compete only in a Group 2 or Production Class car. Exception: Until December 31, 2005, any Novice wishing to compete in a class/car other than those listed may request a special waiver for their car. These cars will be subject to special restrictions to be determined by Rally America, e.g. they may be required to run a 28mm restrictor on a turbo car. Such requests must be submitted in writing and will be noted on the Drivers logbook.

I received my novice exemtion from Rally America yesterday, and I’m officially allowed to drive my 1996 Subaru Impreza 2.2 L (PGT 762 Non-Turbo 137 HP). In hopes of squashing some of the rumors, I posted my findings on the Rally America Licensing Questions Forum. I also received a forum reply from J.B. Niday, the Rally America Managing Director:

I’m sure Sean means well by posting the information above. Here’s the problem: there seems to be a desire to create a FORMULA for getting an exemption. There is no magic formula.

Novice exemptions are issued based on a number of factors:

  • Your Driver experience. The more one relies on this over everything else, the better this experience needs to be. We’re looking for competitive motorsports at serious speeds. RallyCross is nice, but all by itself, it is never enough.
  • Your Vehicle. If one is going to rely on the vehicle over their experience, then less is more. If your PGT, G5 or Open car is comparable to typical G2 cars, then there is more room for consideration… thus the 28mm restrictor, non-turbo, etc. exemptions.
  • Who will your co-driver be? The more experienced the better, particularly if it is someone who has worked with new drivers in the past.
  • Attitude. Maturity. Willingness to accept the need for these policies.

In other words, if you have no experience other than RallyCross and a powerful car with your best buddy who is a HUGE fan co-driving and a serious desire to prove something to the world at your first rally; you get a fast “NO”…

So, the Subaru Impreza 2.2 L is definitely slow enough to be considered for exemption on a case by case basis; it all boils down to your previous driving experience and attitude.

Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak

Since I’d been experiencing some moaning and groaning from the power steering pumps in both the Impreza and the Explorer, I topped off both reservoirs with Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak. After idleing for a few minutes, all strange noises went away. I’m highly impressed. The Explorer is now silky smooth and it’s like driving a whole new truck! Good stuff! I can’t wait to see how the steering on the Impreza feels at Team O’Neil Rally School this weekend.

On-Board Video

I finally installed an I/O Port Camera Mount on the crossbar just behind and between the seats of the Impreza. Its perspective is just above the shoulder which may be a little low, but the mount can easily be moved to one of the diagonal braces without blocking my rear view. I used electrical tape to protect the cage from scratching, but I may add a rubber or urethane donut around the bar to act as a secondary vibration dampener since the mount will accept up to a 2″ pipe.

Since I installed the mount, I decided to get my Canon ZR50 MC MiniDV camera ready for the season. It’s a good thing I checked after a few years of use it has finally succumed to the eating tapes problem that older Canons are famous for. It looks like the camera is now a record-only unit because high-speed fast fowarding and rewinding causes the problem. Good thing James picked up a couple of MiniDV cameras so we have backups to capture video.

Everyone Else Has Had More Sex Than Me (TISM)

Everyone Else Has Had More Sex Than Me


Everyone else has had more sex than me.
Everyone else has had more sex than me.

Everyone else has had more sex than me.
Does anyone else get that feeling?
Teenagers naked,
Couple in threes
Grandparents swing from the ceiling.

Everyone else has had more sex than me.
Everyone else has had more sex than me.

Corporate chambers and office amore.
Shenanigans outdoor and in.
Resist and then later your find out there’s more
Regret in not doing the sin.

Our lives have to die
Of that there’s no help
My favourite way to end them
Is the orb-weaver spider’s whose pedipalp
Enters the female pudendum.

Then dies on the spot
His corpse there still stuck,
Left for his rivals to curse at.
He would rather die than not get to f^ck
Personally I reckon it’s worth it.

Everyone else has had more sex than me.
Does anyone else get that feeling?

Everyone else has had more sex than me.
Does everybody else get that feeling?

Does everyone think…

Ice Racing Preparations Complete

This weekend James and I finished buttoning up the Impreza to get it ready for Ice Racing. The KYB GR-2s were installed with tall Impreza L springs and STi Group N strut mounts, then the car was sent off for alignment at Town Fair Tire.

A new gel cell battery was installed, power for the intercom was run, the center console was put back in, ricewrap was used to cover and protect all the miscellaneous wiring bundles, and everything was then routed and attached using a few pounds of zipties.

$29 later, the car was once again street legal after a Massachusetts inspection. I daily drove the car to and from work for a few days to make sure the new alignment and suspension was happy, and I’m now eagerly awaiting the start of the ice racing season!