Typically a "home" rally for Nowicki, who was born and raised in Wisconsin, south of the line bordering the two states, this will be the first time since 2000 that he has returned to run the event formerly known as POR, Press On Regardless. Last time, Nowicki and David Stone finished 8th overall and First 2 wheel drive in his Mazda RX-7 while winning the Group 5 class in the event. This year, 13 years later, Nowicki and Brandt will be contesting the regional portion of the rally in Group 2, the biggest group or class of cars in the whole rally with 23 entries as of this date. Needless to say it should be a hoot in Houghton.
The car is prepared and now ready to go. After the last event, Magnum Opus, some serious performance issues were discovered which were thought to be the engine going south. After the summer break of outdoor activities, cooler heads and cooler weather prevailed, and the exhaust system was inspected, thankfully to find a clogged flex tube and catalytic converter! $50 bucks later and the car now runs a whole lot more respectable, and it appears that the engine is actually going north now. An engine oil change, other minor repairs, a new exhaust tip, and some new stickers to add coolness and viola, rally time is near.
We are heading out early Wednesday morning to hit the UP in anger, hopefully to get a mountain bike ride in before the event if the weather cooperates. That should be good preparation for coordination and endurance, which will be needed as the rally (or rallies actually in the regional portion - one Friday and one Saturday) won't end until Midnight or so Friday, and 7 pm on Saturday. See rally-america.com for more details on the event. There are over 50 cars entered for the Lake Superior Performance Rally or LSPR, and the weather should be great with cool temps and hopefully some rain.