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Team News: Heat 1 done and dusted

The Repco Rally Team has successfully completed Heat 1 of the QUIT Forest Rally, after a few less than favourable experiences in the previous years the team was excited to be moving in to the Sunday of competition.

The team currently sits in 2nd overall in the 4WD Classification of the ARC, just 16sec behind 1st place Markovic or WA.

We asked Mick how his day went in particular how he managed to keep a clean line when many teams around him were dropping like flies.

After a full day of competitive driving in the car how does it feel to be sitting in 2nd overall in the 4WD classification?
Coming 2nd is awesome, some bad luck to others but our times were really good.

Quite a few of your competitors were experiencing difficulties today did you have any problems?
No problems today, race torque guys were awesome.

How does it feel in the new car after a full day in the forest?
Really good, having the 2WD experience behind me has really helped.

You are only 16sec behind Markovic in the 4Wd section will you be pushing for the win tomorrow?
Heat 2 started well tonight finishing in 2nd behind Justin Dowell, tomorrow’s plan is todo the same as today, keep it clean and stay out of trouble, if we do that we will be extremely happy.

Quite a few competitors mentioned that Sunday was the more difficult heat, having driven the stages previously do you agree and if so why?
All stages are similar I find, slippery and fun.

With just 8 stages remaining tomorrow will be an exciting day, stay tuned to our website and facebook page for updates during the rally.

Team News: The rally that was or was not, rally victoria

The road to Rally Victoria was quite bumpy and the bumps would continue during the event testing.

Before we get to that, lets go back two weeks.

The team decided to do some pre-event testing at a local rally, The Blue Range RallySprint, the goal was to test suspension changes and a few other new parts that had been added, and generally add more seat time for Mick, little did they know that this event would lead to a chain reaction of events that would see the end of the season for the Repco Rally Team.

The damage caused at the Blue Range RallySprint was repairable, however with just a week to go before the start of Rally Victoria it was going to be tight, so much so that the team was still putting the car together at the 11th hour the night before scheduled testing in Victoria.

The team rallied together and in a short few days managed to repair the damage, replace the damaged bits and got the car and truck to Victoria just in time for testing.

Testing is an important part in the teams preparations for an event, it not only gives the team a chance to drive similar road conditions to stages of the rally, but it also gives them the opportunity to test and put any new parts through their paces before the event begins, effectively pushing parts to their limits to make sure anything that can break will do so before the event.

Rally Victoria has been a successful event for the team in the past, in 2013 the team came 4th and with the recent Rally Australia result the team were optimistic of a good result coming in to the event, “I really enjoy the roads in Victoria and we wanted to better our place from last year’s event” said Mick.

Testing began at lunch time and after 3 or 4 passes it was time to push a little more, little did Mick and Bernie know what was just around the corner, literally.

At about the half way point of the test stage there was a rocky creek, large blue stone rocks needed to be pushed aside to make way for the compacted road underfoot, unfortunately one of these rocks got lodged in between the caliper and the rim of the rear left wheel, in doing so it bounced back and fourth which eventually resulted in the entire brake disc shattering, the result; no rear brakes, as Mick and Bernie made their way through the creek bed and up the hill Mick realised something was wrong when the brake pedal went flat to the floor, the Repco Rally Team Polo headed straight for a tree at 90kmph and that was it, rally over.

The damaged caused by both the impact and the rock was to much for the team to be able to successfully repair in time for the start of competition in 2 days time, and with no testing it could be a disastrous move without knowing full well what other damage may have resulted.

The team made the heartbreaking decision to call it a day and headed home, a fortnight the team would probably like to forget.

And that brought to a close the end of the 2014 season in the Australian Rally Championship, a roller coaster season for the Repco Rally Team, stay tuned for a review of the season in the coming weeks and what is in store for the team in 2015.

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Team News: The High’s and the Low’s of Rally Australia

As the dust settled from the most successful event for the team since joining the Australian Rally Championship and after an emotional event prior in South Australia the team celebrated as they came in 2nd place at the event that started it all.

A gruelling 3 days of competition with over 350km of competitive stages came to a close on Sunday afternoon in more ways than one, the result had just sunk in when the compulsory post event scrutineers came to the teams tent to do their mandatory checks, unbenounced to the team within minutes the celebrations would turn to heartache, the official ruling:

Car No./Driver: Car #84, Mick Paton
Session: Post-event scrutiny
Facts: Car #84 was checked by the scrutineers at post-event scrutiny and was found not to have an operational catalytic converter as required by Article 6.1(a) of the Group G2 Technical Regulations.
Offence: Breach of NCR 183(i) – participation in a competition of an automobile found to be ineligible therefore;
Decision: Car #84 is excluded from the Event.

Fortunately after an appeal process with the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS), the decision has been overturned, and the teams result stands and they have been reinstated with the second place result.

Mick had this to say: “It has been a very difficult process to go through, from the elation of finishing a very tough event in second outright, our best result in an ARC event; to the devastation of being excluded.”

“The appeal process was pretty stressful and it’s a huge relief that CAMS have made the decision to restore us in second place. There was no performance advantage gained from the converter failure, so common sense has prevailed.”

With the final Rally Australia result restored the Repco Rally Team has now moved from eighth to fifth in the Australian Rally Championship.

A positive from the event was the performance of the VW Polo. After a challenging 18 months of development, the car performed well with the service crew only required to fix a few minor issues over the gruelling three day event. “I’d like to thank the many people who helped us through the appeal process and everyone who sent us messages of support. It means a lot to have so much support,” said Patton.

Source: http://rally.com.au

Team News: Ready to rock Rally Australia

The team has just completed 225 kilometres of testing over the last two weeks, things are looking good as they head toward next week’s Rally Australia, round 5 of the 2014 East Coast Bullbars Australian Rally Championship.

We caught up with Mick after the testing, “Testing was great, did 140km of component testing ie dump pipe, throttle cable and gearbox mount. All 3 things were perfect. Found a few little issues with a power steering oil leak and some damaged bolts. The other 85km was testing with the car set up and tyres. Both went very well and gave us some real confidence in the car.” said Mick.

We also asked about his thoughts on competing at Rally Australia where all this began, “RA is just awesome, the best in the world on our door step. Cant wait”

Make sure you stay tuned to the website and facebook with daily updates from the team as they compete at Rally Australia with the worlds best.

ARC Round 4 – Wrap up

The team made the long drive across Victoria and NSW to the Barossa Valley and the Adelaide Hills for the ever exciting and very fast Scouts Rally SA which was round 4 of the ARC.

The team had made few changes since Queensland and during testing on Wednesday just a few days prior to the start of the rally disaster struck, after a difficult day the team made the hard decision to withdraw from the event. With a sticking throttle caused by a leaking dump pipe the team thought it was best to be safe, fix the problem under controlled conditions as opposed to risking it happening again during the event on a live stage. The team worked hard to repair the issue, however after a short drive the issue returned. The car returned to Canberra early and the crew have already started work on fixing the issue.

Mick said “It’s a big disappointment for us, as we haven’t missed an ARC event since we started 3 years ago. Thanks to all that helped and we will be back ready for Rally Australia.”

Update: After removing the exhaust the team found the turbo flange was warped, most likely from the dump pipe cracking at the previous round in Queensland. The new turbo, dump pipe and throttle cable have been re fitted and the team is off to Wakefield Park next week for a full day of testing. The car and team will be ready to go for Rally Australia in the coming weeks.

Mick said “We cannot wait till September 8th for a run on the roads around Coffs Harbour.”

Make sure you check back here for updated information on the team from the testing session at Wakefield as well as the lead up to Rally Australia.

Welcome to the RRT Website

With 2014 brings new ways for us to bring you closer to the team, we have an active Facebook page and now we venture in to the world wide web, you can also follow us on Instagram where we will be posting live from stages daily.

We also thought it would be a good time to announce the winner of the print competition for the 1st Round the @National Capital Rally.

And the winner is ….

Rhys Bourke.

Rhys all you have to do to claim your prize is email info@vettasmedia.com and the guys at Vettas Media will do the rest.

Thanks to all our supporters we hope you enjoy our new website.

Sit back and enjoy the 2014 ARC season.

RRT

Behind the team – Mick Patton

So who are the people behind the team, lets look at Driver and Team Principal Mick Patton.

We know that in Australia it is very tough to be a full-time rally driver, what do you do to put food on the table?
I am a Businessman, actually I would class myself as an Entrepreneur.

Is there a better half? with children, if so how many?
I have been married for 11 years to my wife Louise, and I even know the date, I have three beautiful kids, Sam who is 11, Ashley is 7 and little Kate 5.

Why did you start rallying?
In 2009 I won a drive contest with Repco at the WRC Rally Australia event and it has snow balled from there.

Do you admire anyone in life and motorsport?
Neal Bates in Motorsport, Neal has an amazing attitude towards everything. in life I admire anybody who gets up and has a go.

Do you have a favourtie rally?
That I have driven in, I would say QUIT FOrest Rally, Western Australia, that Kinky stage is awesome.
A Rally I havent been to, isnt it the same answer for everyone? WRC Finland, that Ouninpohja stage is just out of this world.

Is there a particular rally you would love to take home the cutlery?
Rally Queensland, because its so technical and difficult, its such a big rally and difficult on both car and crew.

What other sports are you interested in?
Aussie Rules and Baseball.

If you could drive any rally car from history, which would it be?
Petter Solberg 2006 WRC Subaru

What’s been your worst day at the office?
Whats a better questions Vettas!!

I have heard rumours that your Co-Driver and partner in crime Bernie Webb smells, can you finally put this rumour to rest?
Yes I can, I have had my smell sensors surgically removed so i can smell better, the dude stinks :).

Thats 10 questions with Mick Patton.