Thursday, December 1, 2011

Event Report - Alpine Rally: 14th Outright

I’ve never done a multi-day event so was very excited at the prospect of 3 days rallying. Jon was no doubt excited as well but it was somewhat tempered by the effort required to remove his turbo engine and replace it with a naturally aspirated one. First attempt was a powerful peripheral port but after testing that out a couple of weeks prior it was clearly way too peaky and wasn’t going to do the job we needed for such an event. Bruce Power was kind enough to lend us his class winning Bridgeport engine which was extraordinarily generous but also invited much effort to get it fitted.

We arrived the day before the media day so things were all very civilised with time to settle into the accommodation and get the final car preparations done. Our run at the media day gave us a chance to run the engine on dirt for the first time since being put into the car. Our run was uneventful and all was looking up!

Day 1 – Strong start on stage 1 with JW under strict instruction that he didn’t have too much time to settle in and he had to go hard. Well that all came to pieces when the engine completely lost power mid-stage on Stage 1. It struggled through Stages 2 and 3 before being driven home for some serious investigation. A blockage in the carburettor was found so with the adoption of some advanced filtering technology (aka pantyhose) we were ready to have another crack on Day 2.

Day 2 – Some really tough stages in the morning but with the engine going strong we were feeling pretty positive again. On Stage 12 things got very hairy when we were caught in a huge random storm involving massive rain and even hail tinkling in through the roof vent! After that the sun came out and the afternoon progressed well.

Day 3 – Hearing the wind and rain pelting down on Sunday morning I fully expected that the day would be completely cancelled. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that only 2 stages were cancelled and we were on for another day. We had a few issues with timing and started a little down the order. Another great day, though not without its moments. We had our first full spin of the event, almost got bogged, had a near miss with a tree and then it was off to the service break to collect ourselves before the final 3 stages of the day. During the last stage all the warning lights on the dash flashed on and off continually.....I thought it best to keep quiet and JW did the same. At the end he told me he was nursing it to the end, to DNF on the last stage would have been devastating! Such relief and celebration to get to the end, a great achievement!

So onto the many thanks from Car 20:

Thanks to the event sponsors for making this great event happen.

Thanks to the organisers for doing an absolutely outstanding job, for being responsive to the changes and cancellations and putting on an event that was tough but great fun!

Thanks to the volunteers and officials who braved awful conditions and still managed to have smiles on their faces.

Thanks to the scorer and the CRO’s, especially for promising not to put us on the "difficult list". Seriously, thanks for your assistance in sorting timing etc.

Thanks to our fantastic service crew – Brady, Michael, Andrew, and Sonja.

Thanks to our sponsors including Revell Steering, Murray Coote and Gary's Motorsport Tyres.

Thanks to Bruce Power for lending us your precious, prize winning engine. I don’t know where we would have been without it!

Thanks to our official – Christine Bethwaite for making the trip down and officialling for us.

Thanks to JW for outstanding car preparation and amazing driving and for giving me the chance to do my very best Blonde ballast impersonation. J

Last but certainly not least, thanks to my husband for staying home with the kids. Who would have thought they could all manage for 5 days without me?!?!?


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reliance closed until the 29th of November

Reliance will be closed from today until Tuesday the 29th of November as the Reliance Team is off to compete in the Alpine Rally.

Good luck to all competitors!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chainsaw on display in Civic

The Chainsaw on display in town outside Garema Court today for a couple of hours over lunchtime as part of the lead up to the Trussme National Capital Rally.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Next event - National Capital Rally

A little over a week before the cobwebs will be brushed off the cars! The Trussme National Capital Rally is set for 29th October, this will be our first event since the disappointing walk out of the forest at Batemans Bay with a broken axle.

We will be performing the role of the zero car. This gives us a great opportunity to contribute to volunteering within the rally community while still getting out for a good day in the forest!

We are undecided which car will get a run, it may be the WRX or perhaps the Chainsaw with the newly built 13B PP Alpine Rally engine which may be ready! 1 week to finalise the build and I sound like a project manager!

If anyone can make it out for a look, there are spectator instructions out on the BMSC site. Hope to see some supporters out there!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Event Report - Rally of the Bay

My first time walking out of the forest! And though we were hugely disappointed that we didn't get to enjoy stages 8 and 9, there were still huge smiles! We had an absolute blast!

Prior to Stage 1, the service crew gave JW some motivational talks....basically tell him if he didn't pull out a blinder on Stage 1 it was all over. So he did just that! We had an amazing run and were just getting our teeth into stage 2 when we lost the brakes. We hobbled to the end of stage 2 losing quite a bit of time but were still confident about getting back amongst it. Stages 3 and 4 were a little tentative before some rhythm was found again on stage 5.

Night stages add a whole other fear factor for me sitting in the passsenger seat, and on completion of Stage 6 I said "Wow! That scared the **** out of me!! But in a good way!". So heading into Stage 7 I had the biggest smile on my face. After getting through that creek crossing I thought the worst of the stage was over, but just after the wooden bridge Jon told me we had 5 gears - all neutral - and our rally was over. Oh well, not for lack of trying! Congratulations to all of those who finished!

Thanks to our proficient service crew - Michael, Brady and Andrew with a bit of Ian Griffiths thrown in too. As well as your usual list of things to do you were tasked with fixing the brake line in the first service and then towing us out of stage 7. You guys are great.

A huge thanks for the organising team!! The rally was so relaxed, so organised and so much fun! Scott - the service park was a dream! Kate - the communication was excellent! All of the volunteers and controllies were fantastic, a huge thanks to them for being out in the dark. To the sponsors, thanks so much for your huge contribution. We hope it was worth your while and that you will be back again next year. We sure will!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reliance team at the Bay

Don't bother going into Reliance tomorrow - the team will be heading off to Batemans Bay tomorrow morning for the Kumho Extreme Driving Rally of the Bay (details). The Chainsaw will be getting a run and there should be a good few spectator points to watch a lot of sideways action. The junior Reliance cheer squad will be in attendance as always.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reliance Rally Team at Sportsclassic Rallysprint

The Reliance Rotary Rally Team will be competing this weekend (Sun 17th July) at the Sportsclassic Rallysprint run by the NDDC at Termeil. Details here. Jon & Carolyn will be running the WRX - they enjoyed the event thoroughly last year. Their usual cheer squad should be in the service park.

Sneak Peek Pt 2

Another sneak peek at a rather special project - and yes same project as the first sneak peek.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

British Car Specialists?

Forgot to post this photo when I took it a couple of weeks ago. Mini was in for log booking - it was a nice bit of kit. There was some joking about having to change signage as what you can't see parked near the Mini is an MG Midget - about the 3rd that's been in the shop recently.

Sneak Peak

This is going to be awesome - the writing on the rotor gives the game away - can't wait to hear this screaming through the forests down the coast!

More to come - watch this space.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Event Report - Bega Valley Rally

Our last event was 8 months ago when we were competing in the RX7 so jumping into the WRX on Sunday morning I admit to feeling more nervous than usual! Possibly the DNF at last years Bega rally also contributed to that and I admit to having my fingers crossed every time Jon turned the key to start the engine!

After a rusty start we started to get back in the groove. Conditions throughout the day were wet and challenging but absolutely great fun. There were a few times when I felt out of control which is a little unusual. Typically the experienced hands of JW leave my control-freak nature completely in tact!

Thanks to Jon for the great car preparation, the service crew for keeping us going and Murray Coote - I've never met you but every bump I thank you! - for the smoooth suspension. Congrats to the winners, your times were amazing in such challenging conditions.

Thanks also to Tom, Steuart and all of the other organisers, officials and volunteers who made the day run so smoothly. There were plenty of volunteers who we saw on multiple stages or in the service park on the entry/exit for 3 services. The whole day was well organised and ran perfectly to schedule. Special thanks to the little guy with the lollies on stage 1. You gave up your warm egg and bacon roll to be offering lollies to navs and drivers - you have a long future in rallying!

The only thing that didn't feel right about the day.....was that the combination of a roof vent that closed and a heater that worked meant I didn't freeze in the car. I could get used to Luxury Rallying!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Shop Visit 28th May 2011

Work continues on the two RX7 Tarmac Rally cars. New engine looms and wiring for ancillaries are going in - while the rest of the factory loom is being left intact so that factory wiring diagrams can be used if the cars experience any electrical issues during events.

Basic carpeting and tidying up of the interiors has started on one of the cars using light weight materials and also providing some clever storage areas. The very slight weight gain does make the working environment a little more pleasant - nothing a week worth of light eating won't fix.

And it isn't all race cars and rotaries - for something a little different a rubber bumper Midget was in for some R&R.

To see some further images (including a hint as to what suspension the Tarmac cars are running) check the images in the gallery.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Going Fishing

Just a quick note to all valued Reliance customers - Reliance will be closed over the Easter break and the following week and will reopen for business on the 2nd of May. Hope everyone enjoys their break.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Targa Wrap Up

Well Targa is run and won and all of the Reliance Team have made it through with only a few dramas - but sounds like Jon had a busy time down there with the Power's snapped axle, a gearbox replacement for Greg Sutton, a swaybar swap for the Crowe's and alternator repairs for Faux & O'Halloran. The team of Greg Sutton and Paul Kelly had a great result with 5th in Late Classic Handicap. Congratulations to all of the Reliance Team for completing what is a demanding event.

The Mazda Motorsport Team had a fantastic result with Reeves & Smyth first in Showroom and the Vandenberg's 5th in Modern. Disappointing that Glenney crashed out considering his good form but Mazda would have to be very happy with the final results.

Placings at the end of the event for the Reliance team:
Car #607 Faux & Mihajlovic - 11th in Late Classic Handicap (9th Classic Outright)
Car #620 Sutton & Kelly - 5th in Late Classic Handicap (12th Classic Outright)
Car #625 Power & Power (VIC) - 50th in Late Classic Handicap (55th Classic Outright)
Car #634 O'Halloran & Burton - 45th in Late Classic Handicap (44th Classic Outright)
Car #650 Crowe & Crowe - 34th in Late Classic Handicap (38th Classic Outright)
Car #730 Ridge & Ridge (VIC) - 11th Early Modern

Congratulations again to the Team.

And apologies for the lack of a day 4 update - attending to a sick daughter.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Targa Day 3

A mostly good day for Team Reliance with Barry still 2nd in Late Classic Handicap and most of the other teams moving up the rankings. Not such a good day for Bruce Power as mentioned in the last post, but hopefully he'll be back racing tomorrow.

Jon has been kept busy since arriving in Tasmania - guessing the sight seeing will have to wait. Hopefully a quieter day tomorrow, but it is a big one. Almost as many kms in one day as have been done over the last 3, and long transports.

Shame to see Glenney out when he was starting to claw back, great to see Reeves still way out in front of Showroom and Vandenberg almost in to Top Ten contention.

Placings at the end of day 3 for the Reliance team:
Car #607 Faux & Mihajlovic - 2nd in Late Classic Handicap (7th Classic Outright)
Car #620 Sutton & Kelly - 8th in Late Classic Handicap (16th Classic Outright)
Car #625 Power & Power (VIC) - unknown at this time
Car #634 O'Halloran & Burton - 48th in Late Classic Handicap (51st Classic Outright)
Car #650 Crowe & Crowe - 64th in Late Classic Handicap (74th Classic Outright)
Car #730 Ridge & Ridge (VIC) - 21st Early Modern

Good luck to all the crews for the big push tomorrow.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bruce Power temporarily halted

Bruce Power snapped an axle earlier today calling a halt to his day. Jon got down to Tasmania today and is currently helping Bruce swap in a new axle - he sent me the following pic:

And no, the car isn't wavy, think Jon's phone has just been dropped too many times.

Anyway, Bruce should be ready to go for tomorrows racing.

And in other news I just read on the Mazda Aus Twitter Feed () that Glenney has crashed out. Crew OK but that is a big shame.

Targa Day 2

Day 2 was a good day for Team Reliance. Barry Faux moved into 2nd Late Classic Handicap with Greg Sutton not far behind - and Bruce Power not that much further back. The Crowe brothers managed to keep the thirsty car fed (mostly) so their placings improved - as did their stage times. Damian O'Halloran continued to improve his placing and Glenn Ridge maintained his 29th in Early Modern.

A day of mixed results for Mazda Motorsport - Reeves continues to blitz Showroom and Vandenberg has been getting the hang of the RX8 and is moving up through the pack. From the Mazda website it appears that Glenney was having electrical dramas so hopefully that is all remedied and they can make up for lost time today.

Placings at the end of day 2 for the Reliance team:
Car #607 Faux & Mihajlovic - 2nd in Late Classic Handicap (9th Classic Outright)
Car #620 Sutton & Kelly - 7th in Late Classic Handicap (15th Classic Outright)
Car #625 Power & Power (VIC) - 14th in Late Classic Handicap (19th Classic Outright)
Car #634 O'Halloran & Burton - 53rd in Late Classic Handicap (50th Classic Outright)
Car #650 Crowe & Crowe - 68th in Late Classic Handicap (81st Classic Outright)
Car #730 Ridge & Ridge (VIC) - 29th Early Modern

More good luck to all the teams on day 3.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Targa Day 1

Well all the Reliance cars have made it through the first day of Targa with Barry Faux 3rd in Late Classic Handicap (11th Classic Outright) and Greg Sutton not far behind (=9th in Late Classic Handicap and 20th Classic Outright). Mazda Australia are well placed with Glenney in the RX8 in 3rd Modern and and Reeves in the 3 MPS leading Showroom. The Crowe brothers were doing very well but unfortunately had a (non-mechanical) problem that saw them stuck on Stage 6 for a while and missed the finish control getting them a 20 minute time penalty. Luckily they were able to continue and with plenty more racing to go who knows where they will end up.

Placings at the end of day 1 for the Reliance team:
Car #607 Faux & Mihajlovic - 3rd in Late Classic Handicap (11th Classic Outright)
Car #620 Sutton & Kelly - =9th in Late Classic Handicap (20th Classic Outright)
Car #625 Power & Power (VIC) - =21st in Late Classic Handicap (28th Classic Outright)
Car #634 O'Halloran & Burton - 59th in Late Classic Handicap (63rd Classic Outright)
Car #650 Crowe & Crowe - 72nd in Late Classic Handicap (96th Classic Outright)
Car #730 Ridge & Ridge (VIC) - 29th Early Modern

Good luck to all the teams on day 2.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Targa Tasmania underway

It’s a little quieter in the shop now that all the Targa cars are prepped and now down in Tasmania competing. All the Reliance prepared cars have made it through yesterdays prologue (though Barry Faux did damage a wheel) and are ready to go out and have a ball today. Jon will be heading down on Friday to lend a hand and to possibly spectate. We wish all the competitors good luck – especially the following with Reliance prepared cars:
Car #607 Faux (ACT) ‐ Mihajlovic (ACT), 1979 Mazda RX7, Classic
Car #620 Sutton (ACT) ‐ Kelly (NSW), 1979 Mazda RX7, Classic
Car #625 Power (ACT) ‐ Power (VIC), 1979 Mazda RX7, Classic
Car #634 O'Halloran (ACT) ‐ Burton (ACT), 1984 Mazda RX7, Classic
Car #650 Crowe (ACT) ‐ Crowe (ACT), 1984 Mazda RX7, Classic
Car #730 Ridge (VIC) ‐ Ridge (VIC), 1995 Mazda RX7 SP, Modern

You can follow the results here -

You can also get updates on the Mazda Motorsport Team’s (yes, there is Reliance input) progress here -

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Targa Prep

Visiting the shop this morning (dropping my RX7 off for some work prior to this Sunday’s hillclimb) I spied Glenn Ridge’s RX7 SP in for some work in preparation for Targa Tasmania. Couldn’t resist taking a snap – unfortunately just with my mobile so quality isn’t the best. The 3rd Generation RX7s really are a great looking car.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Event report - New engine and new PB at hillclimb

A little late on the update, but at the last SDMA Hillclimb on the 20th of Feb my S1 RX7 debuted its new 13B Bridgeport built by Reliance. It was a last minute thrash but the car was ready (and quietened down with a revised exhaust) to race on the day (actually it was ready days before the race). My previous pb was a 50.76 set earlier last year. On my second run of the day I lowered my PB to a 50.52 so I was pretty happy. On the third run of the day it felt pretty good. I knew when long time rival Teppo walked over and shook my hand something special had happened - and when I found out I had finally cracked a 49 I was stoked, especially when I found out I had dropped my pb to a 49.75. All down to the engine.

Thanks to Mark Neal for the photo.

So a great result for Team Aardvark - never a bad thing when you beat a Porsche and a Lotus. Jon definitely builds a great engine - and the sound of a bridgeport never gets old.

Shop Visit 3rd March 2011

Over the last month 3 second generation RX7s have begun the transformation into rally cars. Two of them are being prepared for customers to run in tarmac events such as Targa Tasmania (one is going to be something a little different but more on that another time) and the last is a replacement for Jon’s RX7 known as the Chainsaw (maybe we need to run a naming competition for the new car). All have been stripped of sound deadener (good old dry ice and a good wipe down with petrol) and caged – this process being made much easier on two of the cars as the roof panels were removed to replace the sunroof equipped cars with factory non-sunroof panels. The cages all sit as close as possible to the pillars and roof as you can see in the photo gallery. There is still much to do but I’ll try to follow their progress as preparation continues. And if you want to know which car will be the Chainsaw replacement – look for the white Compototives that Jon put on there especially for the photos.

If you look through the photos you might notice some other Targa Tasmania regulars in for some maintenance and modifications – which you might recognise if you’ve looked at Mazda Motorsports privateers page.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snowy Hydro SouthCare Ride Day

There is nothing quite like the smiles on people’s faces when they emerge from a rally car for the first time!

We had a great day on the 12th Feb with the rally community delivering about 200 rides to raise over $9000 for the Snowy Hydro Helicopter Service.

With heavy rains on the Friday night we weren’t too sure what was in store for Saturday morning. We did one reccie run nice and slow to check out the road conditions and the muddy puddles. Second run was helmets on and the pace turned up.

At this point, the day was nearly over before the fun had begun! An enormous kangaroo decided to stand still as a statue in the middle of the road. It was looking right so Jon took the road on the left....of course it turned it’s head and jumped to the left directly in our path. Fortunately we got away with a small clip to the front right hand guard and that was it. Phew!!!

Thanks to Julie Boorman for the photo.

Jon was busy for the next few hours giving rides to some brave people out there while I did some work adjusting seatbelts. The highlight of my day was strapping one guy in who was clearly completely petrified. He was clinging with both hands to the roll cage just driving out of the car park! To his credit, he made it through the course and came back with a huge smile. In fact, I saw him lined up for a second go!

At the end of the day I was treated to a ride with the highly talented Peter Taylor in his zippy Corolla. Thanks PT! If ever Jon kicks me out, I will be talking to you!

In case you missed the WIN News footage you can see it here.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Upcoming Event - Snowy Hydro SouthCare Ride Day - 12th February 2011

Always wanted to see what it was like to go for a ride in a rally car? Now is your chance! To help raise money for the Snowy Hydro Southcare Rescue Helicopter Service local rally clubs are running a fund raiser on Saturday the 12th of February at 9:30 at Stromlo Park were you get to go for a ride in a rally car for a fee. Look here for details on BMSC.

The Reliance team will be there with the Chainsaw (the RX7 for those that don't know) so that JW can show people how much fun you can have in a rotary in the forest.

If you've never been for a ride in a rally car make sure you come along - the ride will be quick but the grin will last months!

Reliance Rotary Rally Team – 2010 Wrapup

The ACT series presentation night was held on Jan 15 and the team came away with plenty of silverware resulting from a great year in 2010!

Caltex Airport Starmart Silver Cup
1st Placed Co-Driver Carolyn Wilson
1st Placed Driver Jon Waterhouse

Autotech Services Gold Cup Awards
2nd Placed Co-Driver Carolyn Wilson
2nd Placed Driver Jon Waterhouse

Century Shield
Jon Waterhouse/Carolyn Wilson

BMSC Co-Driver of the Year
Carolyn Wilson

A huge thanks to our super service team who continue to keep us on the road and feeling safe knowing we are in their capable hands. And an enormous thanks to the outstanding sponsorship received from Ian Moone (Revell Steering) and Murray Coote (Murray Coote Automotive). Without them the results achieved would not have been possible!

As well as competing in the RX7 for the ACT Series we brushed the dust off the WRX for a few events. I didn’t enjoy my first "OK Girl" experience at the Bega Valley rally where we DNFed due to electrical problems. The next event in the WRX was the Termeil Rally Sprint which gave a few issues on start up but then ran like a dream. And finally we zeroed in the WRX for Natcap and no problems there either.

So what’s in store for 2011? Who knows, but 2010 will be hard to top! My hope is that there is a mix once again of 2WD and 4WD activity!

Over and out – Carolyn Wilson

Welcome to the revamped Reliance website

We have just relaunched the Reliance Automotive website ( with a view to keeping customers up to date with what is happening in the shop and with Reliance prepared cars in all the forms of motorsport in which they compete.

The site will evolve and more content will be added as time allows (read that as when I can get Jon's head out from under a bonnet long enough to help with content) so watch this space.