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Rally Schedule

High Desert Trails
May 3, 2014
Coefficient 3,2
 
Idaho
June 21-22, 2014
Coefficient 3,2
 
Mendocino
Jul 26-27, 2014
Coefficient 3,2
 
Gorman
Aug 23, 2014
Coefficient 3
 
Prescott
Oct 3-4 2014
Coefficient 2,3
Rallycross Schedule

Thrilling Prescott Rally Closes Out 2014 California Rally Series

  Los Angeles – The 2014 California Rally Series (CRS) Championship came to an exciting finish...

Confused about the CRS Classes?

CRS press liason and CRS2 competitor Erik Christiansen has put together an article explaining the CR...

Getting Started in Rally

Welcome To Performance Rallying! To a rally driver it's an all out, day or night race on an unknown...

PostHeaderIcon Thrilling Prescott Rally Closes Out 2014 California Rally Series

 

Los Angeles – The 2014 California Rally Series (CRS) Championship came to an exciting finish at the Prescott Rally on October 3-4.  Based in Prescott, AZ the fast, flowing stages set amongst the red rock canyons of central Arizona create a perfect backdrop for what has become a traditional end to the CRS season.  This year twenty teams competed over 110 stage miles for their last chance to earn valuable championship points.

Coming into the event, the teams of John Trucks / Christopher Fine and Todd McAllister / Trent Bateman were in a near dead heat for the Open Class driver / co-driver championships.  Both teams were competing in turbocharged four-wheel drive Subarus and it was a toss-up on which one of them would win the event overall.  By the end of Friday’s event, it was McAllister / Bateman who secured the victory over Trucks / Fine by just one minute.  The two teams continued to trade stage time Saturday morning, and were only seconds apart when bad luck dashed McAllister / Bateman’s championship hopes.  Coming out of a dip their left front wheel inexplicably detached itself from the car, leaving them stranded on stage and unable to continue.  Trucks / Fine were able to drive to a clean finish, earning second place in class points and the 2014 Open Class championship.

pr2014 2The surprises of the weekend in Open Class, however, were newcomers Duncan Smith and co-driver Katherine Lindroth-Gendron.  The team was completely new to rally, but by the end of the day Saturday you would thought they were seasoned veterans as they won a number of stages in their Subaru WRX STi.  In fact, they finished Saturday’s event first in Open Class and overall!  Hopefully we will see more of them fighting at the front of the pack in 2015.

Chuck Wilson and co-driver Brent Ellzey were able to drive a clean rally in their Subaru WRX STi, finishing in a respectable 4th place on Friday and 3rd place on Saturday in Open Class.  The solid finish locked in 3rd place in the championship for both driver and co-driver.

Meanwhile, in the small-displacement two-wheel drive CRS-2 class competition was equally as exciting.  Local driver Brian Scott and veteran co-driver John Dillon put the hammer down hard from the very beginning, setting the fastest time in CRS-2 on stage one (and beating all but one Open class car) in their classic Datsun 240Z.  However, their momentum was short lived, as the alternator in the vintage Datsun failed and left them stranded on stage 2.  They were able to rejoin the rally on Saturday, and despite winning some stages could only manage a fifth place in class finish due to continued mechanical difficulties.

By stage 2 Friday night, husband and wife team Markus and Alicia Saarinen had peddled their Mini Cooper to a slim lead over another husband and wife team Kris and Christine Marciniak.  The Marciniaks had been absent all year while building a fresh motor for their Dodge Neon, but they didn’t show any signs of rust as they consistently put down top pace stage times.  Just seconds behind the Marciniaks were son and father team Bret and Doug Robinson in their VW Golf.  Plagued by fuel issues all season, the Robinsons were happy to have the problem solved and their car running smoothly.  The Saarinens ended up with the class win in Friday’s event, followed closely by the Marciniaks and then the Robinsons, with just over a minute separating first from third.

pr2014 1Saturday started a new event, but once again these same three CRS-2 teams were dominating the leader board.  The Saarinens were quick out of the gate and didn’t slow down, winning some stages overall, including the very last stage!  The Robinsons had a quick start to the day and were in front of the Marciniaks after the first two stages.  However, the Marciniaks did not back down and clawed their way back to second with impressive determination.  Once again the finishing order was Saarinens, Marciniaks, Robinsons in CRS-2.  With the double victory the Saarinens secured the driver and co-driver CRS-2 championships.  Bret Robinson took second place in the driver’s championship, while in the co-driver championship Christine Marciniak edged out Doug Robinson for second place thanks to some points she earned while sitting with another driver earlier this season.

 

 The production based two-wheel drive Performance Stock (P-Stock) class is a CRS institution.  This rally the class saw only two entrants, both of whom were married couples.  Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas had already secured the P-Stock driver and co-driver championships at the last event, but they showed up to Prescott ready to lay down some hot stage times without worrying about championship points.  Their class competitors were newlyweds Chrissie Beavis and Matt Johnson, yet another married couple, although this time the wife was in the driver’s seat.  While a very experienced co-driver, Beavis hadn’t been behind the wheel of a rally car in years, so it unclear if she would be out of practice.  It turns out the driver was still fast, but it was their aging VW Jetta that couldn’t keep up! They suffered a flat on the very first stage, and then lost several minutes stopping to change it, only to discover their spare was low on air.  Once they got their tires sorted out at service after stage two they went back on the stages determined to recoup as much time as possible.  After the sun set behind the mountains, Beavis / Johnson were blazing through the night, setting the fastest two-wheel drive times on the last two stages!  It was not enough to catch Chavez / Salas, though, as the class champs racked up yet another event win.

pr2014 4

Saturday marked a new event and consequently wiped the slate clean for Beavis / Johnson.  While Chavez / Salas drove a clean rally and set some respectable times, Beavis / Johnson took the P-Stock win and finished an impressive fourth overall.  The drive allowed Beavis and Johnson to claim second place in the P-Stock driver and co-driver championship, respectively.

The normally aspirated four-wheel drive “Open Lite” class had just one entry this event: Kurt Smith and co-driver Steven Snyder.  The team proved they could be just as fast as the turbo cars though, and finished Friday’s event fourth overall ahead of many more powerful cars.  However, they ran into some bad luck on Saturday when their engine died halfway through the event, causing them to be classified as a DNF (Did Not Finish).

The 27th Annual Prescott Rally took place on smooth dirt roads outside of Prescott, AZ on October 3-4, 2014.  The rally is a favorite among CRS competitors for its flowing stages and breathtaking views.  For more information on the Prescott Rally, visit http://www.prescottrally.com/.

The California Rally Series is the premier performance rally championship in the southwestern United States.  The Series incorporates events from various sanctioning bodies in order to create a meaningful regional championship for its members.  The Series celebrates more than 35 continuous years of performance rally, making it the longest running rally series in the United States.  To learn more about the California Rally Series visit www.californiarallyseries.com and follow @crspress on twitter.

Photo credit: Sebastian Krywult at turndriver.com

 

PostHeaderIcon California Rally Series Set for Exciting Championship Finish at Prescott Rally

 

Los Angeles – The 2014 California Rally Series Championship is set for an exciting conclusion at the Prescott Rally October 3-4 in Prescott, AZ.  With over 110 miles of fast, flowing gravel stages, the Prescott Rally always delivers excitement.  With many class championships to be decided, this year’s event promises to be a nail-biter right to the very end.

hdt psFive of the top six placed drivers in the predominately turbocharged four-wheel drive Open class are making the trip to Prescott with hopes of securing the year end trophy.  Fresh off a win at the Gorman Rally last month, John Trucks and co-driver Christopher Fine have a narrow lead of just nine points over Todd McAllister and co-driver Trent Bateman.  With a total of 500 points up for grabs over the weekend, fourth place driver Chuck Wilson can’t be ruled out.  He’s competed in Prescott many times in both two and four wheel drive, so look to him to have the experience advantage.  Meanwhile, David Easter and David Ault, sitting in fifth and sixth place, respectively, will be fighting hard to move upwards in the standings.

 prescott 2014 4To call the competition tight in the small-displacement, two-wheel drive CRS-2 class would be an understatement. Prescott always brings out great competition, and this year five of the top seven drivers in CRS-2 will be there to do battle.  Coming in with the points lead are Markus and Alicia Saarinen who lead the driver and co-driver categories, respectively in their Mini Cooper.  However, their lead is vulnerable after an off road excursion took them out at the Gorman Rally.  Looking to knock the Saarinens off the top spot are son and father team Bret and Doug Robinson, who are in third place.  Their VW Golf was plagued by mechanical issues in the beginning of the season, but has proven to be very fast when working properly.  Just a few points behind the Robinsons are husband and wife team Erik Christiansen and Amy Floyd, also in a VW Golf.  They hope to capitalize on several years of experience at Prescott and gain as many championship points as possible.  Last year’s CRS-2 champs, Kris and Christine Marciniak have been sitting out most of this season, but will return at Prescott with a freshly built motor in their Dodge Neon.  Look to them to play spoiler in the CRS-2 points chase.  Also in the wildcard slot is Jason Lightner who can be very fast in his Porsche 911 as long as he isn’t having mechanical issues.

chavez hdt 2014Husband and wife team Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas have already wrapped up the production-based two-wheel drive Performance Stock (P-Stock) class championship in their VW Golf.  Without a points-race to worry about, they plan to fight for the overall two-wheel drive win at Prescott.  Chavez is a CRS veteran with decades of experience behind the wheel, so expect them to be pushing hard.  Rumor has it they will be switching to a freshly built CRS-2 car for 2015.

The Prescott Rally takes place on smooth dirt roads outside of Prescott, AZ on October 3-4, 2014.  The rally is a favorite among CRS competitors for its flowing stages and breathtaking views.  For more information on the Prescott Rally, visit http://www.prescottrally.com/.

The California Rally Series is the premier performance rally championship in the southwestern United States.  The Series incorporates events from various sanctioning bodies in order to create a meaningful regional championship for its members.  The Series celebrates more than 35 continuous years of performance rally, making it the longest running rally series in the United States.  To learn more about the California Rally Series visit www.californiarallyseries.com and follow @crspress on twitter.

 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon CRS Rally Standings Have Been Updated!!!

Click the Rally Standings link in the top menu to get the latest CRS standing after Gorman! Only one round left!!! The CRS is off to Prescott for the final round of the 2014 Championship!!!

Last Updated ( Monday, 29 September 2014 21:36 )

 

PostHeaderIcon Hot Action At A Rejuvenated Mendocino Rally

Mendocino - The Mendocino Rally was back and better than ever for 2014. Touting a “best of the best” approach, the organizers combined the most well received aspects of the last few years into a real winner of an event, which features ideal rally roads and a central location to north and south competitors. Several new people stepped in to help organize as well.

The result was a rally that ran on time, outstanding communications, control, sweep, and medical volunteers, and unique and classy venues for start and finish. Did we mention it was hot? Well, granted, a cooler month would have solved that.

The 15 teams that entered showed true rally spirit, pressing on regardless of the high 90s temperatures. Saturday's Bear Valley Stages ran on Walker Ridge, a 16.3 mile ridgetop road with a lot of variety - wide/narrow, smooth/rough, tricky/fun. Sunday's Cow Mountain Stages ran in a giant OHV area closed just for the rally, on one of the most enjoyable, twisty, smooth rally roads in the California Rally Series.

Saturday's first run on Walker Ridge provided some immediate action as David Easter and Jeff Andrew's Open Class WRX got stuck in a ditch for a while, then reported Jeff was suffering a lot from the heat. Chuck Wilson/Brent Ellzey reported their STI's brakes "were toast". And David Ault, with co-driver Vahan "Joey" Yessayan, ran into his first troubles of the day getting stuck on a berm for a while, then having to deal with a dying master cylinder that required him to pull the clutch pedal up with his foot every time he wanted to shift (a problem that never went away all weekend). Although David has co-driven for Kris Psara, this was his first event as a driver. He was seeded second to last on the first stage - but that position was destined to change as both days' rallies reseeded after every stage. Another first-time driver in Open Class, Jason Copt with Cameron Meng co-driving, impressed everyone with a second-fastest time, just 14 seconds behind rally leader Kris Psara/Michael Milos.

The second stage, also run northbound, provided even more action. Alas, Jason Copt's promising start was ended with a rollover - and he was out for the weekend (although he plans to repair the car). Evan Davis and Nick Roder, whose successful first two rallies at Idaho in June put them in second place in the CRS-Open Lite Championship and who had finished fifth overall on Stage 1 to lead their class, suffered fuel pump issues they could not overcome and they had to withdraw. And Jason Lightner and Tim Brown's Porsche 912 was having engine electrical problems that forced them to pull over twice. But on this stage - and the next one as well - David Ault got things together and finished a very close second-fastest overall behind Kris Psara/Michael Milos's Subaru STI.

The 11 remaining teams then transited around to the north end of Walker Ridge to run the stage twice going southbound. Unfortunately, David Easter and Jeff Andrews rolled their WRX on a tricky corner and were out for the weekend. One of the most impressive performances of the rally was turning out to be Markus and Alicia Saarinen in their CRS-2 Mini Cooper. By Stage 2 they were lying in second overall, four seconds ahead of John Trucks and Chris Fine in their Open Class Subaru. They just kept consolidating their position for the last two stages, in spite of the (very typical) clean run of their closest competition in 2WD, Andrew and Robin Lockhart in a CRS-2 VW Golf. The Saarinens did have a scare after Stage 3 when they discovered a torn CV boot - but they were able to overcome the problem without having to change an axle. Probably the most remarkable part of their story was the fact that Markus had run the New England Forest Rally - yes, on the other side of the country! - just the weekend before, and then towed the Mini all the way back to California in time for the Mendocino Rally!

The final stage proved a tough one for rookie David Ault, who suffered a left rear flat, went off the road, broke an axle, and damaged his brakes! He managed to struggle to the finish, at least.

Overall and Open Class winners for the first day were Kris Psara and Michael Milos, with a comfortable 2:40 minute lead over the Saarinen's CRS-2 Mini. John Trucks and Chris Fine were second in CRS Open, with Chuck Wilson/Brent Ellzey third in Open. The Lockharts were second fastest 2WD car and in CRS-2. Open Lite was won by Jeffrey and Mike Kulawiak.

Sunday's Cow Mountain stage road was eagerly anticipated by all. This year the road was very smooth although the loose layer of silt in many spots could prove slippery. The cars started from event sponsor Ken Fowler Subaru in Ukiah and headed up the hill to the OHV park. On the first stage, Kris Psara and Michael MIlos served notice that they intended to continue to dominate the rally, winning the stage by nearly a minute. However, the 2WD contingent again impressed, this time with Andrew and Robin Lockhart posting second fastest time, although the next three cars were all within 16 seconds. It was going to be a good race!

Evan Davis and Nick Roder had managed to buy a fuel pump at the car parts store when it opened in the morning and made it through Stage 1 with a good stage time placing him in fifth overall. They then towed the Porsche of Jason Lightner and Tim Brown into service - that team had decided to withdraw due to continuing electrical issues. However after service, Evan's Legacy didn't want to restart, an ominous sign.

Ten cars left the service at the Lakeport Family Fun Center and began stage 2, a longer version of the same stage, but run westbound to a turnaround at Oakwood Springs picnic area. Once again Kris Psara led, but the tight battle between David Ault and John Trucks grew more interesting as they tied in stage times. As the cars came in to the turnaround, reports varied: John Trucks's car was running a bit hot, Evan Davis decided to leave his car running in case it wouldn't start, and the Lockharts had a soft left rear tire which required them to use their only spare. The rally was running so smoothly that the organizing team decided to restart cars on Stage 3 (eastbound) 45 minutes early, which was much appreciated by the teams waiting in the heat, even though there was plenty of shade.

On Stage 3 reports soon came in that Evan Davis and Nick Roder's Legacy had pulled over - a different gremlin had gotten them and they were out for good this time. In the meantime, the battle between David Ault and John Trucks continued, and in 2WD, the Saarinens beat the Lockharts (but just barely) in an attempt to regain the 35 seconds they had lost to the Golf on the first stage.

After the final service, the teams ran a final, shorter version of the stage road westbound and headed into Ukiah. David Ault's final stage was just seven seconds slower than Open Class and Overall winner Kris Psara's time - but keep in mind that Kris, who has had rally-ending crashes early in his career, has developed into a mature driver that knows how to pace himself when he's ahead! David finished the event ahead of John Trucks, but by just 10 seconds, claiming second overall and second in Open class, just behind his former driver. In 2WD, the Lockharts maintained their lead to win CRS-2, while the Saarinens earned second in class. The Kulawiaks again claimed the Open Lite victory in their Impreza.

With the pair of events comprising the Mendocino Rally, Kris Psara, John Trucks, and Chuck Wilson move into second, third and fourth in the CRS Open Class Championship, respectively, behind Todd McAllister. In the Co-Driver Championship, Chris Fine and Brent Ellzey are second and third behind Trent Bateman. Evan Davis and Nick Roder's starting points move them into the lead in Open Lite, and in CRS-2, both Markus and Alicia Saarinen now lead, with both Andrew and Robin Lockhart second in the Championship.

A nice champagne splash finish in front of Crush, the hosting "Italian Steakhouse" in Ukiah, was a fun touch. All the teams that made it to the finish are to be congratulated! And so is the rally committee, who definitely reached their goal of making Mendocino well-organized, safe, and fun.

The California Rally Series is the premier performance rally championship in the southwestern United States. The Series incorporates events from various sanctioning bodies in order to create a meaningful regional championship for its members. The 2014 season marks the 40th anniversary of the California Rally Series, making it the longest running rally series in the United States. To learn more about the California Rally Series visit www.californiarallyseries.com and follow @crspress on twitter. 

 

 

PostHeaderIcon California Rally Series Championship Heats up at the Gorman Ridge Rally

Los Angeles – The Gorman Ridge Rally celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary August 23 as the penultimate round of the California Rally Series (CRS) Championship. The event is the closest rally to the Los Angeles metropolitan area, located in the Hungry Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Park, which makes it convenient for both competitors and spectators alike. This year features over forty-four miles of twisty, challenging stages that will keep teams competing from the morning to well after sunset.

Twenty-two teams are scheduled to take the start. Open class is dominated by Subarus as usual, with five of them expected to be duking it out for the overall win. Todd McAllister, the current points leader in Open class, will be hoping to extend his lead over Kris Psara, who is fresh off a double win at the Mendocino Rally last month. Expected to be trading stage times with the points leaders are the consistent John Trucks, who is a close third in the standings, veteran Doug Chernis, who took the Open class victory here in 2011, and newcomer David Ault, who showed impressive speed at Mendocino, his first event as a driver. With this tight competition, Open class promises to provide lots of excitement on Saturday.

In the small displacement, two-wheel drive CRS-2 class, Markus and Alicia Saarinen will be the ones to watch in their Mini Cooper. The team swept class wins during both days of the Idaho Rally, and pulled off a first place on Saturday and a second place on Sunday at Mendocino. This momentum could help them extend their lead in the CRS-2 class. They face competition from the father/son team of Bret and Doug Robinson, competing in a VW Golf. The Robinsons are traditionally very fast, but some mechanical issues plagued their car at the Idaho Rally. Hopefully the gremlins have been sorted and they have a clean run at Gorman.

Husband and wife team Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas have been dominating the two-wheel drive production based Performance Stock (P-Stock) class all season in their VW Golf. They hope to extend their winning streak at Gorman this weekend. Rumor has it the team is building a new car in order to step up to CRS-2 next season, so they have eyes on clinching this class championship before moving on.

In its 25th year, the Gorman Ridge Rally is based in Lebec, CA, located just one hour north of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The rally features 44 miles of hard-packed dirt stages located within the Hungry Valley Off-Road Vehicle park. For more information on the Gorman Ridge Rally visit http://gormanridgerally.com/.

The California Rally Series is the premier performance rally championship in the southwestern United States. The Series incorporates events from various sanctioning bodies in order to create a meaningful regional championship for its members. The Series celebrates more than 35 continuous years of performance rally, making it the longest running rally series in the United States. To learn more about the California Rally Series visit www.californiarallyseries.com and follow @crspress on twitter. 

 

PostHeaderIcon The CRS Idaho Recap

Boise – Celebrating the Summer Solstice, the California Rally Series (CRS) headed to Boise, ID on June 21st and 22nd to compete in the Idaho Rally. This marks the seventh year of the event, and once again it returns to the mountains northeast of Boise to run on some of the most beautiful roads in the US. Sponsored by Larry H. Miller Subaru, the event is known for its twisty roads that sweep through trees and alongside burbling creeks.

Chris O’Driscoll has placed in the top five at Idaho every year since 2010, and this year was no exception. Chris and codriver Rebecca Greek lead the CRS from the start and held onto it to clinch the top spot in CRS Open in their Subaru STI. Turning in a solid run for second, also in a Subaru STI, were Todd McAllister and Trent Bateman. After rolling here last year, Kris Psara returned in his STI, determined to charge to the finish. Alas, the fates were not with him – on the very first stage, both his rear brake calipers failed. He was able to limp to the finish, borrow calipers from another team, replace them at service, and continue, but lost time. Undaunted, he worked his way back up in the standings and clinched third place. Battling it out for fourth, fifth, and sixth places were Dave Easter/Jeff Andrews in a WRX, Chuck Wilson/Brent Ellzey in an STI, and Roger Matthews/Alix Hakala in a VR6-powered 2WD Jetta. Although all three were swapping stage times, Dave Easter prevailed to take fourth, with Chuck Wilson right behind in fifth. Roger Matthew’s lighter Jetta carried the team to a sixth-place finish on Saturday, but on Sunday they broke a halfshaft on Stage 5 and had to retire.

By far the most popular class, the small-displacement two-wheel driver CRS-2 class had nine competitors. Taking top honors both days were the husband-and-wife team of Markus and Alicia Saarinen in their beautifully prepared MINI. On Saturday, veteran Garth Ankeny took second place in his classic Saab 96. A scant 20 seconds back were the brother-and-sister team of Andrew and Robin Lockhart, driving a Mk2 Golf. Sunday, the situation was reversed, with the Lockharts taking second and Ankeny 21 seconds back in third. This marked the Lockharts’ return to rallying after a two-year hiatus but the road was not entirely smooth. They almost didn’t make it to the event when they discovered shortly before that their gearbox wouldn’t stay in gear. With no time to overhaul it, they ended up borrowing the transmission from Michel Hoche-Mong’s P-Stock car. Some late night wrenching on the Monday before the event got the transmissions swapped and off they went.

On Saturday Fast Eddie Fiorelli and codriver Christine Marciniak put in some fast times to take fourth. Unfortunately, they developed transmission problems on Sunday and had to withdraw. Regulars Erik Christiansen and Amy Floyd returned to Idaho for the first time since 2009; they put in a consistent drive to finish fifth on Saturday but dropped to seventh on Sunday. Jason Lightner’s Porsche 912 was quick enough to capture sixth on Saturday, but developed electrical problems and wouldn’t start for Stage 6 on Sunday so they had to drop out. Rookies Chris Franklin-Conrad and codriver Charles Thompson put in a fine drive in their classic Volvo 122 Amazon to capture seventh on Saturday and sixth on Sunday. Brooks Freehill, who’s used to driving a front-wheel drive Jetta, ran the event in a rear-wheel drive BMW 325i. He captured eigth on Saturday and moved up to fifth on Sunday. The son/father team of Bret and Doug Robinson had problems with the VW Golf on Saturday, finishing ninth, but managed to solve things overnight and moved all the way up to fourth on Sunday.

In Open Lite, Joseph Chiarelli’s Subaru Impreza beat out the Legacy of rookies Evan Davis and Nick Roder by over three minutes to take the win on Saturday. However, Evan proved that they was just taking their time getting used to rallying and got faster and faster. On Sunday, they came out charging and took the day’s win by three seconds over Chiarelli.

In Performance-Stock, the husband-and-wife team of Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas took an uncontested win both days, beating out several of the CRS-2 cars in the process.

Next, the CRS heads to the coastal mountains of northern California for the Mendocino Rally, based in Ukiah, CA on July 26-27.

The California Rally Series is the premier performance rally championship in the southwestern United States. The Series incorporates events from various sanctioning bodies in order to create a meaningful regional championship for its members. The Series celebrates more than 35 continuous years of performance rally, making it the longest running rally series in the United States. To learn more about the California Rally Series visit www.californiarallyseries.com and follow @crspress on twitter. 

 

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