No Alibi is a TSD touring rally in the Grand Tour tradition. Challenge your driving accuracy and navigational skills in a friendly two-day competition for driver and co-driver. The rally covered 600 miles of paved and smooth gravel roads through the scenic Cascade Mountains and Eastern Washington. This year No Alibi was proud to serve as Round 1 of the Pacific Coast Challenge International Rally Series for 2003.
Date: May 31-June 1, 2003
Rallymaster: Kirk Simons
Thirty-four teams from as far away as New Hampshire and California competed in this fourth running of the No Alibi Rally which started at Snoqualmie Pass on Saturday morning at 9:00. The weather cooperated for most of the weekend, except for the torrential downpour which created an impromptu "lake" (after the pace car passed) on one of the Saturday afternoon sections. After crossing Blewett Pass and transiting through Wenatchee competitors climbed over 3300 feet to cross Badger Mountain before heading North through Waterville and down Browns Canyon toward Chelan Falls, throwing the elevation gain away. A lunch disaster was narrowly averted as the food found highway 97A closed and had to backtrack (very fast) to meet waiting competitors at Chelan Powerhouse Park. We traveled North by way of McNeil Canyon, through Brewster and nearly to Omak spashing through the impromptu Greenaway water crossing before heading back South. A drive past Grand Coulee and along the South side of Lake Roosevelt got crews over near Wilbur and a turn South for final sections ending in Ephrata about 7:00 for dinner, entertainment and rest.
Sunday started early at 8:00AM with a trip through our famous "small" water crossing then headed back through Ephrata to a familiar section on Baird Springs Road. The Rock Island grade section was delayed 30 minutes while trucks full of horses or cattle descended the grade. The three-mile,1800 foot grade climb got cars up so dramatically that they barely noticed gaining another 1000 feet to cross over Badger Mountain again. Coasting down through Waterville and Browns Canyon pointed cars back through Wenachee to a quick stop at Peshastin Pinnacles park. The Blewett Pass sections of Saturday morning were run in reverse to get the rally back across to the finish in Cle Elum at about 3:00.
Congratulations to Mike Daily and Steve Pfau on their First Place finish! Competition was very tight in all classes throughout the rally and their win was secured by only two seconds over last years champions, Lee and Rod Sorenson.
A Note From Kirk:
No Alibi 2003. Sitting down tonight to write out my thoughts on No Alibi, I think back on the great weekend we all just had. WOW! 36 entries with 34 teams starting the event Saturday morning. It was really great to see some of the returning teams from last year and then to meet the new competitors to the rally this year. I really love seeing the different makes and models of vehicles that range from vintage SAAB Sonnets to the newer Subaru WRX's and even the brand new 2003 Mini Cooper that came out to run this event.
It is always quite the challenge to put on this size of an event and a lot of times the organizers have no control over some situations like when Mother Nature decides to unleash her fury on us and turn a perfectly dry road into a very large mud hole or when the local cattle rancher has done his Spring round up and is bringing two very large semi-truck loads of cattle down Rock Island Grade. Timing, Timing, Timing. It's all about Timing.
The rally did suffer some adversity on both days, but everyone kept level heads and we got through them. Hopefully those that were biting their tongues over my Do It Yourself Checkpoints didn't hurt themselves in the process. The Rally really lacked in workers this year and for those workers that did come out, I can't say thanks enough. These folks really hustled all over Eastern Washington for us. I also want to say a big thanks for those that assisted in the preparation of the event and especially our scoring team whom waded through the DIY Checkpoints and multiple time allowances. Hmmm, were going to have to do something about that for next year.
Well I believe I've said enough except to our local competitors and those that traveled from afar to enter the event. Thanks for coming out, hope you all had a great time. Cheers and good night.
Thanks to the Workers:
What Do I Do Now??
We hope you enjoyed No Alibi? Isn't driving on gravel fun? Here are the events we put at the top of our list for this year. You'd probably enjoy them too:
Pacific Coast Challenge International Rally Series: No Alibi 2003 is part of the Pacific Coast Challenge International Rally Series for 2003. It will return to the PCC calendar in 2005, as it alternates years with Night on Bald Mountain. Information on the series including current series standings are available at the Pacific Coast Challenge Website.