Updated 2019 Great Race Route Information

The 2019 Great Race is now completely sold out, but they have established a waiting list for the 2020 running of this event.  For the 2019 event more details of the route, showing more information on the overnight locations and the lunch halts has been made available.  All of these locations will be good places to check out the approximately 120 cars that will be entered in this event.  See the poster below for the additional information about the route.

2019 Great Race Route, Lunch, And Overnight Locations

Harald von Langsdorff and myself had entered the 2019 Great Race, but conflicts and other challenges resulted in us withdrawing from the 2019 event, but we are now on the list for the 2020 Great Race.

Our “Hero Card” From The 2018 Great Race

For further information about the Great Race you can go to their website by clicking on the following link:


If you have any questions or comments about the Great Race, then add a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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First Two Canadians In The Monte Carlo Rally

I was looking through past issues of Canada Track & Traffic when I noticed the brief story shown below in a 1964 issue.  Apparently, the first two Canadians to enter the Monte Carlo Rally was the team of Sam Nordell and Grant McLean.  They competed in 1963 in a Renault R-8.  They started the 1963 Monte Carlo Rally from Stockholm.  Grant McLean was nominated as the main driver.  They had a respectable result as they finished 48th Overall and 9th in Class.  Not too shabby in a starting field approaching 300 cars.   Regardless, the story has a sad ending. 

Sam Nordell later died while practicing for the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally.  As I get ready to compete in the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, this story is an important reminder about how dangerous mountain winter roads can be.

I want to thank Fred Gallagher for providing the information on the Canadian team’s results in the 1963 Monte Carlo Rally.  If anyone has additional information about Sam Nordell, then I would appreciate hearing from you.

If you have any comments, questions, or information about this post, or Sam Nordell, then leave a comment below or send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Changes Coming To “Hemmings Classic Car” Magazine

Almost 2 years ago I posted on this website that Hemmings was going to cease publishing Hemmings Sport & Exotic Car magazine.  Several months later they did.  Those of us who had subscribed to  Hemmings Sport & Exotic Car were automatically converted over to Hemmings Classic Car magazine subscribers to finish out our old subscription period.

While I preferred Hemmings Sport & Exotic Car, I found Hemmings Classic Car to be an interesting and informative magazine and I have renewed my subscription to this magazine on two occasions and continue to be a subscriber.

In the recently issued February 2019 issue of Hemmings Classic Car, Hemmings have announced that Hemmings Classic Car will have a slight change in its vehicle coverage by expanding the magazine content to cover the type of cars that formerly were the topic of Hemmings Sport & Exotic Car magazine.  Richard Lentinello explained this change in the editorial presented below.

This is great news!  So all of you who bemoaned the loss of Hemmings Sport & Exotic Car magazine can now get their fix of sport and exotic car stories from Hemmings Classic Car!  I look forward to this expanded coverage.

Hemmings is a big supporter of the car community through their support of the Great Race and the Great American Mountain Rally Revival.

If you have any questions or comments about this post, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Finally Road Testing The Blunik II Rally Computer

Today I got out on the road with the Blunik II rally computer.  I need to become familiar with this rally computer as I will be using it for the first time in the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.  Recently I have been building a new 2-wire external wheel sensor for use with the Blunik II.  The picture below shows that new wheel sensor mounted on my Subaru Outback.

External Wheel Sensor On My Subaru Outback

The shot below shows a closer view of the sensor showing the extended lug nuts, the rotating drive plate and the wheel sensor mounted to the rotating drive plate.  The sensor wire is routed to the inside of the car via the rear seat door on the driver’s side.

Closer View Of The Wheel Sensor Mount

As my wife is the prime user of the Subaru Outback, I have to keep everything that I put in the car very portable and very removable.  To accomplish this I have mounted the Blunik II on one of my rally boards.  This works out well as I can have the rally computer instructions attached to the same rally board for easy reference.  The rally board sits on the passenger seat.

Temporary Blunik II Set Up On A Rally Board Inside The Car

While I have been doing a significant amount of bench testing and familiarization with the Blunik II in my basement, it is great to get some on-the-road time with the Blunik II.  Watch out for me on the roads around Franklin!  I’ll be the guy pulling over to the side of the road at frequent intervals so I can read instructions and push buttons on the Blunik II.  I need to be very comfortable with this unit before I leave for Monaco and the 2019 Rallye Monte Carlo Historique.

If you have any comments or questions about the wheel sensor, the Blunik II or the Rallye Monte Carlo Historique, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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Canadian Shell 4000 Winner Reg Hillary Passes

I was informed today that long time Canadian rally driver Reg Hillary passed away on Tuesday, December 4th in his 98th year after a life well lived.

The following post is based on a story by John R. Wright on December 7, 2018 in the current issue “Racecar”.  I also used some information provide by the Corbett Funeral Home in Cambridge, Ontario.

Reg Hillary & Jack Young Win The 1961 Shell 4000 Rally

Born in England, Reg started his motorsports career on a Speedway bike, sans brakes on dirt tracks around London, England. He came to Canada in 1957 and immediately became involved in racing and rallying. Initially, he was a Renault driver and entered his Dauphine in five consecutive Canadian Winter Rallies, finishing every time. He also found time to compete at Harewood Acres and Mosport in Sprites and Daimler Darts.

Reg Hillary and His Co-driver Jack Young Celebrate Their Victory In The 1961 Shell 4000 Rally.

However, it was in a 1961 Studebaker Lark that he scored his major rallying victory, winning the first Shell 4000 Rally against such seasoned competitors as Denise McCluggage and the GM factory team of Corvairs and Pat Moss, sister of Stirling.

Reg also took regional championships and class championships in the various sports cars he drove, such as the Healey Sprite and the Dart. He accomplished this feat against a veritable horde of other club racers.

Reg Hillary

Reg is survived by his son Clive in England. To Reg’s son, relatives and friends, I extend my sympathy.

Apparently Reg died by mistake on December 4th, 2018 at the age of 98.  He was supposed to be 120 when he died.

He is survived by one son, Clive and his wife Anne. He has 2 granddaughters, Lisa and Lucy who each have 2 children. His surviving family lives in the U.K. Three wives Mary, Muriel and Shirley predeceased Reg.

Reg was a former:

– Lover of Life
– Aeronautical Engineer
– Electronic Engineer
– President of the Canadian Fence Industry Association
– Governor of the International Fence Industry Association
– President of R. F. Hillary & Co. Ltd. England and Canada
– Canadian Race Car Champion C.12
– International Rally Driver, winner of Shell 4000
– Speedway Rider, England
– Master Mason – Mason for 60 years
– Bronze Medalist, International Ballroom Dancing
– Achieved Yellow Belt in Judo
– At one time, considered to be one of Canada’s top Toastmasters
– Toastmaster for over 30 years – speaker, mentor

Heaven will never be the same!

Corbett Funeral Home, 95 Dundas St. N., Cambridge, Ontario
Wednesday, December 12th
Gathering after 12 noon – speaking begins at 1:00pm.


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Building An External 2-Wire Wheel Sensor

As a result of a new rally computer that I have, I needed to have a wheel sensor fitted with a 2-wire sensor.  In addition, because I am an itinerant rally navigator, I need to be able to install the equipment in various cars depending upon whom I am navigating for.  Therefore I needed an easily and quickly installed external style wheel sensor.  I could not find what I needed commercially, therefore I decided to build one myself.  The result is shown below.

My 2-Wire External Wheel Sensor

I started off with an enclosed 2-inch square aluminum box.  I had to drill several holes in the box to build the wheel sensor.  The small box size has its advantages once the unit is finished, but the tight size made the building of the unit difficult at times.

I Started Out With A 2-Inch Aluminum Box

A main component of the unit is the small flanged wall bearing with a 3/8-inch center hole.  I installed a 3/8-inch threaded bolt through the bearing which will be used to affix the wheel sensor to my custom wheel mounting plate.

3/8-inch Flanged Wall Bearing Was A Tight Fit

The other major component is the sensing device.  This sensing device had its mounting complications because the thread size was 12 x 1.0mm.  In the USA finding large diameter nuts with a fine 1.0mm thread was not easy.  It turned out that I had to modify the nuts that I did find in order to fit the “jam” style nut that I needed for the unit.

Test Fitting The Sensor In The Sensor Box

The 12 x 1.0 nuts that I found were 10mm long.  That was too long for this installation therefore I had to cut the nut into a much shorter length.  This cutting process is shown below.

Cutting A Nut In Half

Once the nut was cut in half I was able to complete the building of the unit.  I installed two small rare earth magnets on the rotating bearing.  Using the 12 x 1.0 nuts I was able to mount the sensing unit with the desired proximity distance from the rare earth magnets.  I installed two rare earth magnets which will result in two pulses of the wheel sensor for each rotation of the wheel.

Installed Interior Of The External Wheel Sensor

The image below, while it shows my 3-wire EZ Pulse wheel sensor, illustrates how the new external 2-wire wheel sensor will be mounted on a wheel.

Typical External Mounted Wheel Sensor

If you have any comments or questions about this post or the wheel sensor, then you can leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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I Add A Brantz Laser 3 Rally Computer To My Navigation Toolbox

Recently I added another rally computer, the Brantz Laser 3, to my toolbox of navigation equipment.  This rally computer has been around for a long time.  The first time that I used this rally computer was in the early 2000s when I was the co-driver for Chris Sanborn in his Cosworth Ford in the Maine Forest Winter Rally.  Chris’s previous co-driver, Hathaway, was not available for that rally.

Co-Driving For Chris Sanborn In The Maine Forest Winter Rally

Recently, when I was working with the Endurance Rally Association on the 2018 Trans America Challenge, the car that I shared with Mark Appleton was fitted with a Brantz Laser 3.  It proved to be a useful, versatile rally computer.  The one that we used had been fitted with a GPS driven sensor.

The Brantz Laser 3 In Chris Sanborn’s Cosworth

After the Trans America Challenge I had the opportunity to buy a Brantz Laser 3 at a very attractive price and now it’s mine.  The Brantz Laser 3 that I bought is shown below.

Brantz Laser 3 Rally Computer

The Brantz Laser 3 is initially somewhat daunting as each button has at least two functions – the orange button function and the green button function.

The Brantz Laser 3 Has Three Displays

The Brantz Laser 3 has three displays.  The top display is the time of day display.  The time display is typically in Hours:Minutes:Seconds.  To the right of the seconds display the two dashes will turn into 1/100 second when the time of day is frozen.   This is shown below where the time display shows 12 hours 37 minutes 17.89 seconds.

The Top Time-Of-Day On Hold

The black and white switches at the front bottom is the four digit calibration number for the Brantz Laser 3.  This better than the typical Brantz odometer products which use a three-digit calibration number.  The extra digit allows for greater precision of the calibration number.  The low calibration value shown in the image above was used by me for some bench testing of the unit.

The two displays on the left side of the Brantz Laser 3 can show a variety of information depending upon how the users choose to set up the unit.  One feature that I like is the ability to increase the number of decimal places that the distance can be displayed.  The image below shows the distance presented to three places of decimal i.e. 0.483 miles.

Lower Display Adjusted To Show Distance To Three Places Of Decimal

The small letters below each display show the type of information that can be shown in the display above.  I could go on to show the all of the features of this unit, but in lieu of that I have included a copy of the instructions for the Brantz Laser 3.  To see these instructions click on the pdf file presented below.

Brantz Laser 3 Instructions

One thing that I don’t like about the Brantz Laser 3, or at least the one that I have is the wire connection access at the back of the unit.  I think that there might be a more custom way to connect the power and sensor wires, but as I bought my unit used from a seller in Israel at a very attractive price, I just got what I got. To access the wiring connections it is necessary remove  plastic cover on the rear of the unit and leave it open.  This shown below.

Access To The Wiring Connections

The wires are easily inserted into the back of the unit.  The lower two connections are for the power supply, the middle three are for the wheel sensor, and the upper two are for fuel and a hard-wired remote.

This open connection at the back of the unit might cause some mounting issues, but as I have no current plans to use this unit, I will solve that problem when I have to.

If you have any comments or questions about this post or the Brantz Laser 3, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email address at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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