Joey@WORKS On Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Newry Maine, July 19th 2010 - WORKS Motorsports traveled across the United States to compete in Round 6 of the Rally America National series. With two month between their last event in Mt hood Oregon Lars Wolfe, motorsports director and driver of the WORKS 2010 Mitsubishi RalliArt, made the decision to go for the last round of the 2010 calendar. “It’s a long drive for us and we do not have a chance for a championship or anything, but its important that we go.” Said Lars after arriving at Sunday River resort, the head quarters of the New England Forest Rally.

The team is coming off a disappointing 2009 season with 2 major crashes that set them back the entire season. But when Mitsubishi Motor America presented them with 2010 RalliArt there was only one direction to go. Along with BFGoodrich and GO PRO HD Camera’s a new team was built from the ground up. The first 2 rallies were shake downs for the car and the crew on figuring out what combinations would make the team faster. The team’s normal crew was not able to assist the team this year so a whole new team had to be put together. And with the help of WORKS employee Josh Hellem, friend Scot Langford, and Gary Grahn the team was complete for the trip to go cross country and compete.

Throughout the season there was the looming question of the new Mitsubishi SST duel clutch transmission. This transmission has never been driven under these conditions and was a big concern for the team. With help from South Side Performance the transmissions’ internals were enhanced to take the rigors of Rally. Next was the team in the car. With many ups and down pairing driver and co-driver this year, Lars’ biggest concern was getting the right Co-driver for this event. A chance introduction paired up Jake Blattner and Lars. Jake, a retired Pro Snowboarder turned rally Co-driver, has had success in many high level teams in past years and took it upon him self to help complete with this up and coming team. “I’ve seen Lars and his team for some time now at rally events; and after talking with him it just felt like the right thing to do, there’s an energy and excitement that I think is a perfect match for me and that I don’t see in many teams any more” Jake said before starting Recce on Thursday morning.

After a long 12 hours in the car together during Recce, or stage reconnaissance, Jake and Lars perfected the notes and communication that would make them fast during the event. This is by far the most important time for a new pairing. It’s when the driver and co-driver to learn what motivates each other at a comfortable pace and allows them to perfect certain corners, creating a language that will in the end enhance trust. And after two months of tireless car prep the team was ready for the 2010 New England Forrest Rally.

With the starting of 64 cars in the field, the largest turnout in years, the team found themselves starting 26th on the road. The first day went surprisingly smooth. At the first reseed, or reposition of start order, the team moved up to 23rd. A thunderstorm moved in late in the day keeping everyone on their toes and adjusted pace to meet the changing conditions. “That’s the most difficult thing about rally,” Jake said after stage, “you can start a stage in perfect dry conditions and half way threw it can start poring and we have to totally change our driving style to match the new conditions.” The heat and humidity was a huge surprise at over 100 degrees F and with 95% humidity. “Rally is a constant test, not only driving but weather and road changes, and focus has to be on at all times. That’s what keeps me coming back to this sport.” Lars said at the end of the first day of competition.

Saturday was the final day of competition for the rally. Jake and Lars’ communication rose to the next level and speed increased as they found themselves climbing up the leader board. Every stage was a challenge to the car and the team. The roads were rough and the choice had to be made on the fly to pick a path through the rough stages or power through risking a broken car and not finish. With over 100 miles of competitive road passed, Jake and Lars made their way back to the finish and after two days of grueling heat and humidity sporadic thunderstorms that changed stages from dust to mud, move from 26th to 11th overall and 5th in class. “This has been a huge learning experience this year. It has been a year of finding the right people and putting them in the right spot. I think we have that now and all we are going to do is get better.” Lars said at the finish of the 2010 New England Forrest Rally.

WORKS Motorsport would like to extend the greatest thanks to BFGoodrich this year for supplying the best bolt on performance and give them the biggest advantage possible. Go PRO cameras for giving us the ability to show the world what type of sport Rally is. This event would not have been possible without their help. We also thank Mitsubishi Motors for the car to show the world what it’s capable of competition. SSP Performance for giving us the best possible parts for an untested transmission, Hot bits suspensions, Lab 17 vinyl graphics, Whiteline suspension components, All points Petroleum, Anzo Lighting, As well as to all the family members, friends and co-workers without them this season would not have been possible.

Thank you and see you all next season.
WORKS Motorsports Team