A Rally Story From Vittorio Bares

I’ve known Vittorio Bares for over 10 years.  We have been in several rallies together and I know him to be able to get all there is out of a car – especially the older Audis.  Last week I posted a report about the Rallye de Charlevoix in which Vittorio competed.  Vittorio sent me a story and some photos behind his fine performance at that rally.  What follows is Vittorio’s story:

“We’re running 6th overall in a field of 41; it’s night time; it’s raining, and we have 2 stages left. If we finish 4th or better we come in 3rd in the championship. At the start of the stage, my co-driver Pat Levesque’s girlfriend, Danielle, shows up and hands us a couple of wearable headlights – Pat was worried our reading light might fail. We start out in the stage with the goal of just keeping our current pace – mid way through the stage, we take a jump with a rather harsh landing – at this point, the damage you see takes place – broken axle = rear wheel drive only, broken brake line = yes, and you guessed it, no front brakes. On the next call, I go to hit brakes and the pedal goes all the way to the floor (at night, in the rain/mud on a 1 1/2 lane road, in the woods, going about 70mph) – I tell Pat, we’ve got no brakes! As I press down on the pedal I realize we have a little bit of rear brake – we finish the stage that way.

 Vittorio Bares’ Audi On A Stage

One more stage to go, Pat asks if we should continue – “of course!! Press on regardless”. So we venture into the last stage as fast as we can – all of a sudden – the center diff lock lets go and we have no drive – we’re coasting and the 1st finish sign appear, we coast through that, the final finish sign and right through control. We’ve finished the stages, but not the rally as we’ve got another 30 clicks to go to the final timing control at service. Grab the jack and a screw driver – now those headlamps come into use, the safety wire I had used to lock the center diff has gotten stretched, but is still there…I try to twist the wire to tighten it w/the screw driver and jam it in between the exhaust and the tranny. We get about 100 meters before it lets go again, again no drive! Pat offers a pair of needle nose vise grips – we continue 3 times trying to fix the problem until I figure out the fix w/the zip ties and the pliers you see here. Now it’s a true fight for time – we only have a few minutes to get to town and to the final control – as we’re driving the center diff continues to come unlocked and the zip ties then pull it back to lock – so every 15 sec or so it feels like we have no drive and our rally is over – we finally get to the final control with 6 minutes to spare before max late penalty would have resulted in a DNF! Even with a 4:20 penalty, we finish in the top 10, 4th in our class – which unofficially should be good enough for a 3rd place overall in the championship. Truly a miracle ending to the rally – and one that I would like to dedicate to my dad! This is rally baby!!!

 Vittorio Bares And Pat Levesque Looking For Instructions On The Champagne Bottle

And today we officially saw the results, which indeed led to a 3rd place in 4WD open for the Coupe De Quebec in a 25 yr old car against the newest weaponry Subaru could muster 😉

The Post Rally Celebration With The Crew Was On!

Vittorio -“

I find this story to be typical of the many battles that go on in many rallies just to get a finish, never mind a good finish.  Thanks for sharing your story V!

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