Scott Crouch and the rest of the Flatirons Rally Team (Tanner Foust, Jon Brulet and Dominic Medina) hit the road yesterday for the Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta, Michigan. The conditions will be treacherous; snowy, icy, and frozen gravel. As if that was not challenging enough, they will not be able to use studded tires!
I had the chance to chat with Scott while he was driving and ask him a few questions about this upcoming year. He is currently at the 800-mile marker out of about 1200.
What are your goals for this year?
SC: "Well, last year our goal was to win the National Championship and we accomplished that. So this year our goal is to defend our title and win again. I would also like to improve our communication skills in the car. I want to boost Tanner’s confidence in my instructions; I think it will make us that much faster."
Have you done anything special to the rally car for this race?
SC: "Not really. We were lucky, after our last event nothing was really broken. We did lower it a little because it’s a snow and ice rally. Hopefully that will give us better traction. We are going to be using a new Bridgestone ice tire. It’s supposed to be state of the art so we’re excited to see how it performs."
Who do you think your main competition will be this year?
SC: "Well, the team that finished second in the national championships last year (Matthew Johnson and Wendy Nakamoto-Robinson) will probably be our main competition. They said they were going to be at the Sno*Drift Rally, but now it’s looking like they’re not going to be here. Also, Eric Langbein and Jeremy Wimpey will give us some good competition this year. A lot of Canadians are coming down for this event. they love the snow and ice races. We haven’t competed against most of them, so it will be interesting to see who we’re up against and how we do."
Did you learn any lessons from last year’s Sno*Drift rally that you might change for this year?
SC: "Haha… The biggest lesson was to DRESS WARM! It’s freakin’ cold up there! Other than that, not really. Tanner is very comfortable in these conditions; he used to teach at an ice driving school. Last year we had our fair share of spins, I guess I’d like to be a little more cautious about the technical stuff this time. It’s hard though, conditions can change at a moments notice. Things we learned last year may not even come into play this year."
Who’s on the Rally Team? What crew changes have you made for this year?
SC: "Jamie Miller, our head mechanic from last year, (who, by the way, did a great job) needed more time with his wife and the rally team was just taking up too much of his time. So he’s not on the team this year. I just got this news about two weeks ago and have not had a chance to finalize a real crew yet."
Are you going to get any video footage of this race?
SC: "Yes. Actually, I just went to Car Toys yesterday and had them install two lipstick cameras. One shows what’s going on with the drivers, and the other is mounted on the front window to show what the road looks like."
Do you film these races so that you can learn from them?
SC: "That’s a good question. Tanner may use the footage more than I. For me, it’s not too helpful because when we make mistakes, it’s pretty blatant. I usually know what we did wrong right then. Every stage is different so you really can’t go back and correct your mistake. We use the cameras mainly for fun and showing people what it’s like in the race car."
For More information on this race, visit the Sno*Drift Website.
For more information about Rally America, please click here.