The band is back together

Brinkman and Smith win Coffs Rallysprint

BrinkmanGlenn Brinkman hasn’t rallied regularly for a while, nor has Harvey Smith.  Their foray into the forests on Sunday 4th March at Coffs Harbour & Districts Sporting Car Club Rallysprint was the ideal opportunity for Queensland based Brinkman and Wauchope based Smith to come together for testing.  The rallysprint was held south of Urunga, on roads that have previously formed part of the World Rally Championship event.

Glenn first drove a Mitsubishi Evo IX in the 2007 NSW State Championship, that car was built and prepared by Harvey Smith.  Glenn had won the QLD Rally Championship in 2006, with Steven Richardson in the navigator seat.  Harvey went on to service for the pair and when the opportunity arose to co-drive for the World Rally Championship event in 2009, he didn’t have to asked twice.  Since then the two have both had busy lives with businesses, partners and children and changing priorities meaning that rallying has been limited.

Jake and Elwood Rally Team“It’s time to get the band back together…”

At the beginning of the year, the phone calls started…  it was time to do it all again and bring back the fun times from the past.  It was always a close band of mates, and there had been some tough times and challenges for some of these mates in the ten or so years since they were together as a team, but they’ve always (pardon the pun) rallied together.  Everyone who was asked, jumped at the opportunity to spend some more time with these great mates.

The team met in Bellingen on Saturday afternoon for a ‘once over’ of the car, some final checks and a few quiet ales.  The Mitsubishi Evo IX had been purchased from Ryan Smart, and was the complete package straight out of the box.  Minor seating adjustments and maintenance were all that was required to get the car ready for the rallysprint.

We’ve got a full tank of gas…  “

On Sunday morning bright and early the crew headed down to Urunga.  In Heat 1 the two were building up their confidence in the car, which ran without any dramas.  The service crew (including team veterans Garry Yeomans, Doc O’Connell, Steven Richardson, Jason Richards and second-generation team member, Dylan Richardson) were pleased with the fact that the car returned without any dramas and were extra pleased that the nav’s breakfast ended up on the grass outside the car, rather than inside.

Meanwhile the rest of the crew (Sue Richardson, Heather Smith and Leisa Yeomans) introduced Glenn’s partner, Burdette and 3-year-old daughter, Madeleine, to the joys of rally spectating.  They took to some back roads, 4WDing through to get to the best vantage points so they could see Glenn and Harvey in action.  Sophie, Zara and Curtis Smith (more experienced in the junior division of rally spectating) took to it like dust to water, revelling in the opportunity to take a rally newbie under their wing!

“Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don’t fail me now. “

Stages were reversed for the second heat, and the car (and team) ran without fault again, though conditions were dusty with little breeze to speak of throughout the day.  After catching a competitor who had experienced issues, Glenn had plenty of motivation to set the team’s fastest stage time.  He took 10 seconds off his previous fastest time in spite of the hold up.

When the results were tallied, Glenn and Harvey won by 11 seconds from experienced campaigners Wayne Hoy and Pip Bennett who took out second place in a Subaru WRX.  Wayne’s son, Clayton Hoy and co-driver Alan Stean took out third place – keeping the family (and manufacturer) rivalry strong in another Mitsubishi Evo.

Thank you to the incredible volunteers of the Coffs Harbour and District Sporting Car Club who have spent many months of their lives preparing for this event, and to all those standing out in the dust on Sunday to make it all possible for us to go and do some skids in the dirt.  We appreciate all you do for the sport, it wouldn’t be possible without you.

“You see, we’re on a mission…”

Overall a great result for the team for the weekend.  Friendships refreshed, beverages consumed, yummy food eaten, skids done, adrenaline pumped, photos taken, childhood memories made, and a lot of fun had – that’s what it’s all about.

Glenn Brinkman / Harvey Smith

The Jake and Elwood Rally Team