RASC Snowflake

Rainier Auto Sports Club  

The Wishbone Alley Gazette

December, 1996

Rally News

 Pacific Forest Rally by Mark Nolte

It appeared to run seamlessly and nearly perfect, with decent weather and happy rallyists. From my point of view, it was a few days of living on the edge, anticipating problems and nursing the RASC stages to match rallyists' expectations.

No doubt, John Nispel did an incredible job to make it happen. Often by himself at odd hours, he supervised the stages and kept on working when he should have been asleep or relaxing. He went out over the roads well before any RI's were written, and wrote his own notes, with all the side roads & tracks noted.

This was new to me, but the only way I could get through since the RI's didn't get done until a day or two before the rally. Even then, marking the control locations seems to have a low priority. I just set up the locations where it made sense at the moment!

The weeks preceding the rally were spent pounding stakes and setting banner guard. All in all, John made the rally happen.

Even then, Saturday morning found John replacing stolen stakes and missing banner guard. He had one of the three gate keys. Ron Barker's key was with him, setting up Parc Expose' in Shelton. The 3rd key was not available. I had to find Ron and barrow his key. Fortunately, we all had HAM radios, or things could have fallen apart.

Finding enough workers to properly man the stages is a daunting task. Brazen guesswork determined the need for 30 bodies. Gretchen Jones took the lists and made the contacts, starting 12 days earlier than I would have. Her system worked, and we had just about enough workers. Oh, we got lucky when Scott Alderson showed up out of the dark to provide Road Marshal duty on Friday night. He just parked in the woods during the stage, something he didn't HAVE to do. We need more friends like this.

Friday night was fortunately miserable, keeping civilians out of the woods. Flailing around in the Stage, the HAM radio probably carried some shrill announcements from the Stage Captain, all monitored by visiting VIP's, Marge Binks and Bill Bradshaw.

We eased some new people into this sport. Bob Smith (SCCA racer) experienced a Start Control, and then Road Marshal'd on Saturday. Darin Hansen and his brother also spent the weekend guarding the stages. Tom and Brian Palidar were recruited at ES1000, then plopped in the middle of Friday night's stage. They brought Mike Daily with them, too.>

Saturday's weather turned "good", with spectators trying vainly to "see it all". Mark Hillman tried to be nasty and chase them off, but such a nice guy has a hard time pulling that off. He got on the radio to announce my greatest fear- motorcycles crossing stage roads. Then Sweep reported chasing one off the road (almost visa versa...). We never found 'em, but scary.

Also scary was finding a father and his teenage sons in the middle of the stage at an unguarded intersection. Imagine my relief when it turned out to be the Simpson area manager!

The frustration of waiting for the last car to arrive. And wondering if the Road Marshals are going to "stay put" 45 minutes after a car went by. They don't know if the stage will be "swept", or even what the sweep car looks like. We did very well to get the stages started and run, but closing them down needs some attention.


It was good to see local heros do well, tempered by the fear that they had an unfair advantage after running these stages over the years. Janice/Amity were 4th O'all, followed by Sam Bryan/Rob Walden (Yes, they finished!!). Ralph Kosmides/Joe Noyes in 7th, Scott Fuller/Ben Bradley, and Beson/Fenter(11th) make it look like local talent can match the National competitors.

  •  If all goes according to plan, there won't be an Evergreen State 1000 in 1997. Instead, Jerry Hines will revive the 1967 NOR'WESTER. Back then, it was a TSD covering 800 miles in 3 days. Mark the date on your calendars- Sept 20-22 (the usual ES 1000 weekend) 
  • The Oct. 12 issue of Autoweek had an announcement of serious changes to the World Rally Championship format, written by Russell Bulgin. Bernie Eccelestone, FIA vice president for promotional affairs, has dictated that the rallys will be run in a cloverleaf route with a central service area, run 250 miles of special stages, and last 3 days. The events will be either gravel or paved. All 14 events count for points; only 9 counted previously. A four-day reconnaissance period precedes each rally, with one day of scruteneering and orientation.
  • At the Pacific Forest Rally, John Nagel announced that he's planning an Olympus International WRC rally over the July 3-6 weekend. This is contingent upon confirming a sponsor. I was unable to get confirmation via Rally-L (over the Internet), by press time. Think we can find and train 350+ workers in 7 months?
  • The date for the NWR-SCCA Worker's Party hasn't been set yet, but plan on Super Bowl weekend.
  •  Terry Simons will retire as Rally Chairman of NWR-SCCA, and John Nispel is expected to take the position.
  • NWRC meeting is on December 12. Expect the members to raise the Friday Niter entry fee, finalize the start location to the Redmond Park & Ride, decide on a 8 month season (March>September), and make some decision about dash plaques. Mike Jones plans to attend.

For once, the car was done early. We didn't run in Reno where the normal inspections were held this year, so we knew we had to get an inspection before the rally. Duane Bender looked it over at his shop a couple weeks before the rally.

So after throwing our hands in the air and giving up on finishing the van in time, we resigned ourselves to using a friends' Jimmy for service. A Jimmy is NOT as big as a van. Not even close. We learned this as we tried to pack the usual amount of spares and personal comfort items in the smaller cargo space. Oh my, did we really need all this STUFF?

As with other national events headquartered here, registration and tech were at the South Sound Community College. From there, we went to the Little Creek Casino for parc expose' and FCO at 6 PM.

The carnage on the first stage was appalling. One would think that with the wet, dark conditions, it might be prudent to start out at less than 100%. Out of 48 starters, 10 were done before FCI on Friday. We got ourselves off the road on the last stage trying to pass the young Ungers. The fog had them spooked so they stopped to pull us out, but we were stuck good. We told them to go on, then Jim's adrenaline took over. It took much shouting and arm waving, and necessitated getting out the tow strap and comealong (both of which were, of course, too short) and digging and more shouting and arm waving, but we DID get ourselves out and only collected two minutes road penalties at the final MTC.

Saturday morning, our service team found a badly worn tie rod end, then saved us by buying another in town and replacing it in plenty of time for us to start on time. 37 other teams started from downtown Shelton, flagged off by SCCA BOD chairman Marge Binks, whom I'm sure was quite glad she didn't have to break out the raingear that we all warned her to bring. The weather was frighteningly fair this particular weekend, and I'm sure most folks just hated it. I actually saw one fellow with his shirt off, sunning himself on his tailgate.

We were more rested, and recognized the roads in the daylight. We flattened a panel and dented another in separate offs on Saturday, but everything out there was really wet and spongy. We pretty much "bounced off" everything we hit. We missed the big stuff, and the really solid stuff. Our only competition in Class 4 was Jack Horn, who had suspension problems that even a serious raid on our parts box couldn't fix. He finished; but off his pace, so we just traded places in the standings. Ten more teams dropped out on Saturday, one way or another, with a rookie team rolling just 2 miles into the first stage, so we had only 28 finishers. That's a total attrition rate of over 40%!

"To finish first, one must first finish!"

The trophies were hand drawn rally art by local artist, Scott Alderson, who had donated other drawings for the auction. John Forespring personally helped push the price beyond the pocket cash of most there. Not Fair!

We couldn't stay for all the "festivities", as everyone who punched a clock on our team had to work in the morning. We collected the kegs and loaded them onto our trailer. Not a good idea on a Saturday evening. Our service crew had to explain to the local law enforcement (when they got pulled over) that they were emptied by about 350 people at a rally and that he driver had only one. Drink, not keg!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The wind propelling the rain against the windows and the gentle "whoosh" of the forced-air furnace remind me that another summer has come to an end. How did it get away while I had so much to do? I still have that peeling board on the back of the house that needs to be sanded and repainted. We didn't work on the masonry or dig up that old oil tank. Thank heaven it doesn't leak! And too bad we can't say that about any of our CARS! The van still needs a driveline, and now that racing is over for the year, there's no push to get it done. Now it's time to be inside and warm, to plot our winter's adventures, and buy a project car...No, NO, I didn't mean that! I don't know where that came from! We've gotten all those boat anchors out of the yard and it looks nicer out there, really!

"Honey, I found a Quattro. It only needs a LITTLE bodywork." What? Can we get a what? For How much?? Well, even a tightwad like me could warm up to a AWD at that price. Leather seats, clean, electric sunroof (with vent), real sleek sleeper-looking kinda thing (with the smallest trunk I've ever seen!), and only superficial front-end damage, for half the price of the Saab. I told him that if he didn't get it after all the noise he'd made about wanting an Audi Quattro, he'd be in real trouble. I priced a used front clip for it, and with a fancy new paint job it'll end up costing just a few dollars more than the Saab. And it even comes with a yuppie cell phone. (Know anyone who wants a cell phone?)

We also plan to spend some of this winter dreaming up a new paint scheme for our rally car. We're redoing our whole color scheme, retiring the old hood with the Red Hook logo. It will hang with honor in the shop of the Fremont brewery. We considered the hood of the Technicolor Dream Rabbit, but it looks just fine hanging on the side of the garage. We'll be original, if nothing else. Of course, the decision would be easy if a sponsor wanted to BUY the hood space.

Club News

The elections were held and the new RASC Board will soon meet to divvy up the officer positions. Kirk Simons and Cristy Breazeale will continue as Board members. Elected were: Mike Jones, Jerry Hines, Joel Wright, and Terry Simons.

After decades of supporting the SCCA Pro-Rallys, RASC may get a chunk of the profits of the Pacific Forest Rally. What with making new control signs, arrows, and buying new stakes, it may not amount to much.


  • Al Perez found a buyer for his GTX, and also for the PRO-Rally Fire Arrow that has languished in his garage for years. A Camry is on order.
  • Rod Chelgren is back in town. I offered him the chance to rallymaster the RASC Friday Niter, and he turned it down.... His phone number is 523-9330 if you want to find out what he's been up to. 

For Sale 

  • Porsche seats, 240Z mags. Call Mike Jones for other parts not listed. (206)823-8329
  • Jarvis is indeed dismissing the Fiesta from the Owen's stable. Roll cage, some engine mods (de-smogged). (206)857-7025
  • Rally Videos: 30 minutes of Doo Wop 3&4, and 30 minutes of Wild West (1995), as shown on the Public Access Channel. Plus 60 minutes of in-car footage from Merrill and Choiniere. All for $25 Scott McFetridge (206)739-9303
  • Forced Sale: Rally Computer: Unused Alpha TSD "A" box. Owners' Manual, one Alpha mileage pickup, driver's display. $300 or trade for ??? Four Goodyear 205/60-15 Ultra-Grip radial snowtires. About 3,000 miles on 'em. No studs, very loud. $100 OBO PIAA Pro 90 light kit, still in box. These are big rectangular fog& driving lights with the projector-style fog lights. Includes wiring harness. Cost almost $400, will take $250 or trade for ???. Engine: 1989 Charger 2.5 Turbo with auto trans. Cost $850 (in a moment of delirium) asking $500. Or....? Project car. 1986 Plymouth Turismo, 2.2 Turbo, auto. New parts, too many to list. $1800 OBO.(Why? Car is size 6, driver is size 12, measurements taken when car was 99% complete) >Insert laughter< Roy Ward (206)869-3836
  • Cell phone with trunk-mount, battery pack, and hands -free mike. Make offer. Jim or Cristy Breazeale (206)935-8312

RASC Enthusiasts Calendar

Round one of the scheduling shakedown.  With the NOR'WESTER revival replacing
the Evergreen State 1000, Jerry Hines is juggling the date to follow POR.
NWRC Hotline: (206) 277-4351

Feb. 8-9 Thunderbird Rally by UBCSCC,  FCO  12:31, Cache Creek, Overnight at
 Fraser Inn, Williams Lake, Finish 3                         
                     PM, Cache Creek.
Followed By Satch Carlson's Lost Patrol
Feb. 22/23     Doo Wop I&II Div-PRO-Rally
Mar 15/16     Doo Wop III&IV Div-PRO-Rally
April 11/12    Wild West Nat'l & Div-PRO-Rally
April 19/20    Pemberton TSD, British Columbia
May 3/4          Rim of the World(California) Nat'l PRO-Rally
May 10/11      Edge of the Rock (Vancouver  Island, B.C.) CARS PRO-Rally
May 17/18      Bighorn (Calgary) CARS PRO-Rally
June 7            Oregon Trail Div-PRO
June 21/22      VIGOR, TSD, Vancouver Island, B.C.
July 3/6          Olympus???
July 19/20      Jag/MG TSD, Vancouver, B.C.
July 26/27     ORV Rallysprints Divisional PRO-Rally
Aug. 2/3          Coast-to-Coast, Vancouver Island, 
Aug. ?              Mountains to the Sea, TSD, Oregon
Aug. 16/17       Road Not Taken,TSD,  Oregon
Aug. 16/17       Vedder Bench (Fraser Valley,  B.C.)
Sept. 6              Oregon Trails II DIV-PRO
Sept. 13/15      POR, TSD, Michigan
Sept. 20/21      NOR'WESTER TSD, by RASC
Sept. 20/21      Totem Rally,TSD,  B.C.
Oct. 4                Ridge to Ridge (Vancouver Island)CARS PRO-Rally
Oct. ?                Armageddon, TSD, Bellingham
October 25/26  Midnight Rally,TSD, Vancouver  Island, B.C.
Oct. ??              Ghoul's Gambol,TSD, Oregon
Nov. 8/9            Pacific Forest Nat'l PRO-Rally
Dec. 6                Reno Div-PRO
    Gary Webb sent a note requesting fellow  LP participant's contact him:
Atlantic Driving School, P.O. Box 31, Mechanic Falls, ME, 04256-0031. Phone:
1-800-287-3550. The same note said he was competing, and bringing along three
or four cars of workers. Planning on filming television spots at Dawson City,
Arctic Circle, and NW Territories.

          Rainier Auto Sports Club  will meet this coming Monday, December 9,
at 7:30 PM at CoCo's in Bellevue,
( 520 112th Ave., between the "NE 8" and "NE 4th" Exits of 405 on the west
side of the Hwy.) We have a meeting room set aside in the back. Monthly
meetings are the second Monday of each month. Past Members,  visitors, and
spectators are welcomed. 
          Agenda:  The dramatic "Passing of the Gavel" ceremony as the new
officers are sworn in. Then the Clinton-esque speech by the new President.
Ain't pomp and ceremony wonderful? The Board may also ask the membership to
decide how many events to "do" in 1997, and when.  The latest word about Lost
Patrol may be available.    And we'll all chuckle as Roy explains why he went
to all the blood, sweat and tears to build a car he won't fit in....
                  1996 Board Members:
 President: Kirk Simons, 854-0382, Vice-President: Joel Wright, 244-6253 ,
Secretary:  Pete Shelton, 526-1130 ,  Treasurer: Cristy Breazeale, 935-8312.
  Board Members: Vince Plancich, 742-3558 & Ed Millman, 361-7389
The Wishbone Alley Gazette is published for the members and friends of
Rainier Auto Sports Club. 
The editor is Mark Nolte, ph. 226-3155. Contributions and paid/unpaid ads
eagerly received at 2108 NE 12Th. St., Renton, Wa 98056    WAG FAX Line:

 Merry Christmas, Best wishes for 1997


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