On an early stage on Day Three, Mark Kostick, driving the pretty red Kia Forte Koup in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation, caught second gear when he probably wanted fourth (who amongst us?...).
The engine tried bravely to rev to a bajillion r.p.m., but that lasted for a rev or two before it grenaded itself.
Engine bits, oil and coolant everywhere.
The Solider On team of Master Corporal Jody Mitic and Corporal Andrew Knisley in the Acura TL were following the Kia, and saw a huge ball of smoke up ahead. It was clearly a ‘mechanical’ issue and the Kia guys were all right, so the soldiers, um, soldiered on.
They did notice their Acura was starting to handle a bit oddly, but managed to make it to the finish, only to find out one of their tires had a slow leak in it.
The Michelin tire rep who is shepherding the soldiers’ rubber said that in his forty years in the tire business, he had never seen a tire holed by a piston!
But wait; there’s more to this tale. Mark is Canada’s largest Kia dealer (in Edmonton). He pounded on the metaphorical jungle drums and found out that the ONLY Kia Forte with a 2.4 litre engine in all of eastern Canada just happened to be in near-by Gander! So the rally car was towed there, both cars’ engines were hauled out, the busted swapped for the new, and the entire transplant took only four hours.
That’s got to be some sort of record, and don’t expect to see it in any mechanic’s flat-rate book.
Mark and co-driver Adam Hill re-joined the event in Clarenville, and have successfully completed Day Four as well.