Hi guys. Missed me? :D
Broadcast START Time - 16:30 GMT
Keep you posted :D
Here I am at the second stage of the championship.
Arrived tonight in Targu Mures and on Wednesday and Thursday we'll have the recon passes.
Friday morning the Shakedown and in the evening SS1.
Saturday the rest of the 7 SS.
Total rally 420km.
Total SS 105km.
8 SS in total on this rally stage, only 4 actually that and each raced twice.
Here are onboards of 2 of the stages from 2010.
First one is SS1 and 8 - in the city.
Second one is the longest 29 km (SS2-5).
I'll check in with you guys soon.
Sorry for not checking in until now.
Tomorrow is going to be the first rally day.
Until now I did 2 days of recon on the stages.
The stage are great and there's a long stage called Babarunca that has 28km :D
Last night I just found out that the rally federation has a problem with me running in a such a powerful car and decided to cut around 30 BHP from it. So instead of 180, I'll have around 150 in the small and crazy Citroen C2R2.
That shouldn't bother me at all as this year is going to be a learning year, but still my competitive nature doesn't agree with this decision.
I'll try to get my head down and finish all the stages, and I'll try not to care about times, position in the rally, etc.
I am there to learn.
BTW here are 2 videos form my training session a week before the rally. Download the 2 videos (hood and incar cameras)
I am in a good mental state and I hope it won't rain.
And if it does, let it pour. What I am afraid is running a wet stage on slicks. That would suck, but that's the beauty of a rally.
I'll have all of you in my head at the start ;)
Wish me luck and pedal to the metal!
P.S. I'll be back with more goodies these days so stay tuned.
My copilot and I + The Citroen
Battlecruiser operational :D
If you are not up to date with what's been happening to me from a real racing perspective,
you can read all about it here.
I'll begin training this week.
My co-pilot is a she :) 26 years old.
She seems nice but I will meet her in person only on Thursday.
I'll try to take some pictures and write you guys my first impressions with my first rally car.
With 3+ weeks remaining to the start of the season, I can't wait to see what I am made of.
This is going to be a totally different thing, compared to the competition that got me here.
I'll take it easy, learn a lot and hopefully put them in action well.
I hope I'll learn the car very quickly and get that feeling that you are in control and not vice versa.
I'll keep you guys up to date.
Romanian Rally Championship 2011
No. Date - Name of event (Location) - Surface
1. 8-9 APR - TESS Rally (Brasov) - Tarmac
2. 6-7 MAY - Raliul Muresului (Tg. Mures) - Tarmac
3. 28-29 MAY - Raliul Clujului (Cluj Napoca) - Tarmac
4. 17-18 JUN - Raliul Argesului (Pitesti) - Tarmac
5. 8-9 JUL - Raliul Sibiului (Sibiu) - Gravel
6. 5-6 AUG - Raliul Aradului (Arad) - Gravel
7. 2-3 SEP - Raliul Tara Barsei (Bucuresti - Brasov) - Gravel
8. 23-24 SEP - Raliul Iasului (Iasi) - Gravel
9. 14-15 OCT - Raliul Bacaului (Bacau) - Gravel
The Evolution of Drift Angle - 50 Years Sideways
90 minutes of rally history. A must watch for any motorsport enthusiast. Enjoy!
Just found Griots Garage and thought of sharing it with you.
Race Tracks of the World collection you can choose from a lot of tracks.
Check their website for a lot of other cool stuff.
This would be a really nice present for any motorsport enthusiast.
First of all a BIG thanks to all of you.
A lot has happened and I hope you don't hate me for keeping you waiting this long.
For the ones that are not up to date here is the blog entry where it all started.
Shortly a competition where the BIG prize is a fully payed season in the Romanian Rally Championship with a Citroen C2 R2 group A 180 bhp, FWD car.
I won this, if the title is not as explicit as it should have been :)
Let me explain a bit the mechanism of the competition:
3 stages, 30 people selected in each stage from hundreds of applicants. After day 1 only 10 remain that go to another day of training and after that only 3 advance to the Grand Final.
So 3 stages in 3 different cities, 3 advance in each stage, that makes 9 people + 1 wild card chosen from the remaining 81. These 10 competed in the Grand Final.
How it began for me.
A friend of mine and fellow R2Per Mihai Draghici told me about this and said he'll sing up for the 1st stage.
I was a bit lazy and didn't prepare the entry video that you had to make. Here came the 1st stage and Mihai managed to get 3rd place so he went to the Grand Final. He had previous experience with these type of events as he won a few years back the Dunlop Driver's Cup.
This pushed a bit my buttons so I made a video and entered stage 2.
It was a killer for me. They made a small track with cones and walked us through it. A pilot than gave each of us a tour in the car to see from the inside how everything is.
Next step they put us in the driver's seat and off you go :D
27 seconds later you finished. So it finished before you even realized you started :)
We did 2 passes on that track and they took the best time from the two we made.
I scored 10th :) so good enough to pass forward to day 2.
They also put us through 4 hours of psychological testing and an interview with the pilots and 3 psychologists.
At the end of the day the announced the 10 people that went forward. I was a bit skeptical as the numbers went down from 10 and I didn't hear my name until 5th :D I couldn't believe how good I scored at the other tests so the total grade (25 seconds lap + test + interview) got me to 5th.
At that moment that is the place I also rated myself but I knew I could improve. I must say that I was the only one there without any racing experience whatsoever except simracing, oh yeah and a few times karting for fun.
We practiced the oversteer by putting the back of the car on some wheels that moved independently and you could only use the front traction. Very hard to control the car.
It was a thing that I didn't excel at but was again somewhere around mid-pack. This happened around noon.
After that we went to a karting circuit where all changed for me. There were to pilots testing us in two cars. One of them was watching the correct hand travel on the steering wheel and the other one the masses transfer.
I got in the car with the second one. He showed me what I had to do, and did I tell you I learn really quick? :D So I got in the driver's seat, and went faster and faster, than at a double chicane he told me to go very fast there and than step hard on the brake while cornering.
I did that and to my surprise, instead of understeer as expected, I got oversteer and the car put the nose more in the corner. I coutersteered and saw at that point that I can control the car from a slide.
At that precise point I realized I'll beat all my opponents.
Until than, the car was doing what she wanted with me, not vice-versa. Yes, she :)
Day 3 - competition day.
Three rounds, the best 2 times from 3 were added and that made the classification. The times meant only 60% of the final grade as 40% was given by the drivers, interview and psycho test.
1st pass I was the fastest. I couldn't believe it. Problem was that I hit a cone, so that was +5 seconds to my time. But still I was the fastest :D
2nd pass only 3rd.
3rd pass again fastest but hit the cone again.
So no luck at all. But I was happy and achieved my main goal at that time, to prove myself that I can drive fast even in real life.
They told me that I should sign up for the 3rd round as well because I have what it takes. It took me a few days to realize that this was a great chance that I have and I shouldn't throw it away. Plus it seems I had the talent as well.
It went basically the same only in another city, but this time we had rain and it was more fun and the nerves where higher. All in all I managed to qualify 2nd for the Grand Final with big mistakes.
After this, the 10 people went to a 3 day rally school where we learned a lot of things, but most of them I already knew from simracing. In theory I probably knew the most from all 10 that remained. Funny thing was that I knew the terms in English and not in Romanian :)) Things like camber, caster, toe, bump, rebound or Scandinavian flick (damn GTR2 setups :)) ).
Also we did driving with a co-pilot. You would go on a rally stage and tell the co-pilot what to write down. I knew from Richard Burns Rally a bit of co-driving so I knew how the notation was. Still it was a bit hard. We did 3 passes on that stage. 2nd and 3rd you would drive and the co-pilot say what you told him to write down earlier.
I almost cannot follow the youtube onboards and pay attention to both what the co-pilot says and imagine in advance the turns. But in real life it's something else. I was afraid I couldn't follow the notes but it was surprisingly easy when you were hands on.
The most fun was when we got dirty on the gravel.
Now that is something else. It was incredible how the car reacted and I managed to do the Scandinavian flick very well a few times.
The car is an Audi A8 3.0 TDI :)) co-pilot's car.
Large beast I must say but tamed her well.
The girls from PR that kept everyone informed online.
The way that this was held was 2 cars on the track at the same time. So a slalom, but starting from opposite directions, and each round you would trade cars with your opponent so it will be equal.
All started very bad for me. I was slow and didn't know why. The
I was doing 1.41 and the best there did 1.37. Mindblowing.
I kept my cool and went for it. Managed a 1.39 that got me, 8th overall. It was enough not to be dropped in the first stage of the Final.
From 10, only 8 would remain. The time was 60% and the grade from the 3 days of training 40%.
The 8 people that qualified than had to do an elimination stage. 8th place with 1st, 7th with 2nd, etc. I was lucky enough to climb up from 8th to 6th after the grade, so instead of fighting with the best there I raced with the person in 4th. This was my luck, right here, as if I would have competed agains the guy in 1st, he would kick my ass than.
Well so here I was racing against no. 4, he did times a bit better than me, but I knew I'd improve. These were quarter final. I won 2 to 1. My time went down another 2 seconds :D From 1.39 to 1.37. Still a long way to go. Semifinals: another competitor that I knew he was fast, but I knew I'd beat. 2 to 1 again for me. Than I found out my time in the last pass. 1.35.7 :D I equaled the time the best did there. You can't imagine how I felt. And I knew I'd can't go anywhere, except lower from there. I knew I was faster as I did mistakes but I would each time learn from them.
No one believed their eyes when the clock stopped :D I must confess until that very moment, I was a bit in doubt that I could win. But right there, I knew I had a shot, a BIG one.
I put pressure on the fastest guy there. I could see it so clearly.
So the start came, and the Final was 3 out of 5. They would not tell us the times, nor if we won or lost until the end.
1st pass - he won (found out later)
2nd pass - I won
3rd pass - I won and I was getting faster still
So at this point 2-1 for me.
4th pass - Again I was ahead and 3 corners to go was a long straight. The clutch of the car I was in that time kinda let go and I had to try 3 times to slide it into 2nd gear. Lost 1 seconds at least here. So 2-2. it could have ended right there.
5th pass, nerves, pressure.
Started well, it was close this time but still I had the impression that I was a bit in front, I started from the far side.
At lap 2, I thought my finish was at the near side, and took a different line, as it should be done there, but I realized I wasn't suppose to finish there, didn't loose to much time and pushed. Jumped over an obstacle and slid a bit too much, while the car was sliding on all 4, remember FWD car, I hit 1st gear and floored it so it stopped the slide and the nose when to the inside. I knew I lost some time but hoped for the best. They didn't let us know who won :D
They announced it 5 minutes later on the stage. Seemed like an hour.
And they announced that I would be a pilot in 2011. GREAT! I couldn't believe it.
Had a few friends with me, they were jumping up and down in the crowd. You know them as you raced many times with them :D Alexandru Damian and Sliviu Conduruta.
Later I found out that my opponent jumped the start with 0.08 seconds. Nerves I believe. Still he managed a 1.34.9, best time there and he would have won, but still I think I wanted it more. I would have done 1.34's in 4th and 5th pass as I was visually ahead each time.
Thankfully rules are rules and this got me to the top step of the podium.
Probably I will take as a co-driver a fellow R2P member and finalist in the Grand Final, Mihai Draghici. I hope he'll accept it so from Rompetrol Racing Challenge program will go 2, not 1 person :) And 2, not 1 Race2Play members :D
At a Rally Show not long ago, a pilot showing me what the Citroen C2 R2 that I'll be racing in 2011 can do
And his bigger brother, a Group N Evo 9
A movie of what happened in motion.
I hope you enjoyed my story and please feel free to ask any questions you might have.
It was a great experience, actually the start for what I hope to be a nice drive through a windy road.
Cristi Rus, R2P proud member.
Workers climb on a radio tower 1768 feet high (539 meters).
At some points I think they didn't have anything holding them to the tower. They work in pairs so the man below is always secured. The one above sometimes need to unbuckle his cord and climb higher. They carry a 30 pounds tool bag with them also.
At some point I had to close the video as my brain was remembering some situation I was into when I was younger and I got the same feeling in my stomach :D Amazing how the brain works.
P.S. There's a great comment there:
"So the tool bag is about 30 pounds. That is nothing compared the weight? of his gigantic steel balls."
This clip makes me tick.
I watched it about 15 times already and can't get enough.
It is amazingly well cut. The way the videos blend with the photography and illustration is simply brilliant.
Facts and figures about my country.
I don't agree with everything there and I don't know if all the facts there are true. Still gives you an idea of good things that happen(ed) here.
Another nice video, but a bit arrogant imho.
"A world without Romania".