Posted Friday, February 24, 2012 at 2:19am
Before the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood got underway we had a chance to talk with co-driver Scott Putnam of Minnetonka, MN. He’s co-driving for Lauchlin O’Sullivan in the Super Production category of Rally America. They’re second in the SP points going into the second event of the season.
Many don’t know what a co-driver does. Others assume his only role in the car is to tell the driver where to go and how to get there. But his role is far larger than that. Putnam describes it here just minutes before the start of the event.
We did the shakedown stage this morning. Everything seems to be fine. The car’s not optimal but it’s good. We’re changing over from an ice setup for Sno*Drift – the only snow rally in the championship – to a gravel setup for this event. They dropped the car down a little bit. They lowered the body on the suspension to make it handle better on the faster roads here in Missouri. And we ran a few times this morning. It’s getting better but its not optimal yet.
It’s getting chilling today but the roads are dry. They’re going to be fast and recce went really well.
There are a couple gotchas on the first loop of stages. There’s a left one – a hairpin left – with a couple holes on either side. There’s a tricky section with ones and twos. A one is a hairpin. A two is a square 90 degree turn left or right.
The car is getting better. But it’s not optimal yet for Lauchlin. We’ll keep working on it and it’ll get better during the event.
Before the event I’m trying to figure out what’s what in the service area. We need to know how to get in and out of the area. This is an area where they had a factory that was knocked down. They have us going in and out in different spots. I just need to know where things are so they go smoothly later today. I double checked notes last night so I know the route fairly well.
The co-driver’s job is more than making sure about the route. I have to know everything about the rally. Theoretically I have to manage the race. When it comes to many things on the car, Lauchlin will manage those duties. But when it comes to logistics, making sure we’re going from point A to point B, those things are my duties.