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Rainier Auto Sports Club  

The Wishbone Alley Gazette

July , 2000 Rainier Auto Sports Club

No Alibi Rally: Way too cool by Satch Carlson (via the Internet)

It was a weekend worth waiting for; after being postponed last year, No

Alibi proved a splendid romp through the rolling wheat-covered hills of eastern Washington, from high-plains desert to river-carved canyons, from twisty new-laid asphalt with no traffic in sight to new-laid gravel as slippery as ball bearings to a stretch of I-90 that gave us a genuine tough-to-make-it hillclimb section---when was the last time you had a cast of 69 miles an hour?!

Like all memorable events, No Alibi has its stories that will now be carved into Rally Lore. But the best part of the entire event was the logistical planning that had us arrive in Spokane by 5:30 Saturday afternoon. Mike Daily, running SOP with Steve Pfau (aka Pfau the Unflappable after he fell asleep in Bob Chandler's Z car during a downhill Pro rally stage-on ice-two dozen years ago), knew of a GREAT Cajun restaurant, and soon most of us were sitting around a long patio table at the Bayou Brewery, drinking black beer and telling rally tales.

Rallymaster Kirk Simons had things nailed down dead-solid perfect, and Rally Roy Ward had done his amazing trick of finding wonderful roads that the rest of the world has forgotten. The competition was keen, especially with Glen Wallace and Richard Squire, both Microsoft engineers, running their laptop umbilicals wired up to provide amazing real-time feedback---including count-down to each instruction! The computer classes have gone WAAAYYY too geeky! And the aforementioned Bob Chandler, running with Mark Clemmens in Bob's ancient 240-Z, ran Computer Class instead of historic---though they lost a wee bit of time when Chandler, discovering a road-goes-RIGHT situation over a blind crest, elected to use a sturdy fencepost as a brake rather than slide off the road trying to make the turn.

After Saturday's scores were tallied, the top three or four cars were covered by a dozen points---easy enough to lose in the gravel, even during Sunday's shorter sessions! With Steve Willey and Eric Horst looking for the win in their Range Rover, Russ Kraushaar had to wring the utmost out of his TimeWise 798. The Range Rover was Alpha-equipped, so it was to be a showdown of the three top computing methods: Mike Friedman, Jack Christensen, or Microsoft Skunk Works.

What's worse, we had failed to ask the All Important Question at Saturday's drivers' meeting. . . and Sunday we had to make a strategic decision. (Rally geeks will understand the quandary when I say that all those luscious zeroes we THOUGHT we'd earned on Saturday turned into 1's on the scoresheet. usually one EARLY.)

I'll tell you, it's nerve-wracking to know you have only a five-point cushion and you're DELIBERATELY running slightly off time to account for the All Important Question. . . .

But as it turned out, the competition had troubles of their own, including the Irate Housewife With the Hard-Hat Husband, so Kraushaar and I squeaked by; the whole adventure reminds me that we really don't care about winning; we just want to play the game well enough so that the winners have to be REALLY good to beat us! And there were at least three other teams on that plateau.

Daily and Pfau were dominant in SOP, and all agreed that we WILL be back if the organizers promise NOT TO CHANGE A THING. (Where else can you find an instruction that tells you---correctly---to go straight at T?!) Maybe a little judicious control-point relocation, and send some Prozac to that hard-hat wife, and do something to guarantee a repeat of the splendid weather, the smooth gravel roads, the great food, the camaraderie.

Dang. It really DOESN'T get any better than this!

* Wrap-up- by Kirk Simons

With the No Alibi Rally starting at the summit of Snoqualmie Pass, the day started out with the typical Washington rain and drizzle. 13 cars started out on a 2-day Rally Tour, perusing throughout Eastern Washington on some old and new Rally roads. The inclement weather broke about the time the teams reached Ellensburg and remained sunny and warm the rest of the weekend with just enough of a breeze blowing that there wasn't any dust hanging in the air.

After 18 road sections on Saturday, mostly very smooth gravel, the teams and worker crews pulled into Spokane for the overnight stay. Since there wasnıt any dinner plans scheduled, Mike Daily stepped forward and rounded up most of the competitors and a couple of workers and took them to the Bayou Brewery in Spokane for dinner and a night of Rally tales.

Joel Wright also took some of the workers to the Longhorn restaurant he knew of for dinner and away we went. Thanks Mike and Joel.

Sunday morning, the air cool and the sun shining, the teams had a chance to review their scores from Saturday before heading off for another day of Rallying. The teams didn't make it far on the transit, when they came upon a railroad crew blocking an intersection on the Rally route. After what seemed an endless delay, they cleared the intersection and off the teams went. When they arrived at the 1st TSD section, the Rallymaster deemed it necessary to add 10 minutes to the Rally to make up for the lost time.

The teams finished in Wenatchee after completing 3 more TSDs and 1 very long Transit on once again very smooth gravel roads With the trophies handed out, Satch Carlson and Russ Kraushaar walked away with the overall victory and 1st in unlimited. 1st in novice went to Michael Garvais and Kim Prater and 1st in SOP belong to Mike Daily and Steve Pfau. Well done folks.

I'd also like to say thanks to all the workers that volunteered their time working the event, doing the check outs and helping with the organizing of the event. A big thanks goes out to Paul Appel for initially finding and laying out the route, even though he wasn't able to be at the event. Ok, so he was in Europe, man that must have been rough. Thanks again to all, I learned a lot, but God I'm glad its done!!

* June Club Rallys- by Mark Nolte

Usually I pity the poor rallyists whoıre thrashing through the woods while we workers are enjoying Mother Nature and the benefits of clean air. The attitude was reversed when the weather consisted of steady, depressing drizzle for the entire June 10/11 weekend. Any dry place would have been wonderful.

Not everyone could make both days, but just enough people showed up for each day to make the 6-plus mile stages good for each day. Part of the fun is seeing old friends and catching up on what theyıve been up to. Bryon Geerhart reappeared after 2 years- heıs got family near Shelton now. Pete and Amy Shelton brought a little bundle along; I think there was a baby in there someplace. Mike and Gretchen Jones have been busy with "family", but found time to join us.

Saturday: Jay Kingsley brought out a canopy, making him instantly hugely popular. Bryon, Dave Folker, and Rich Smith divided up the tasks of checking in the cars and getting them out for the 5:30pm run, then shuffled around for the second 9pm run. The first run was complicated as 5 cars "reseeded" themselves in the tight confines of the control zone.

Darrin Hansen trekked up with the family from Portland, and manned the first Road Guard position. Mark Wilkie got covered the second intersection (no civilians showed up), and took some fine pictures.

The Flying Finish was opposite an road needing to be guarded, so the Jonesı covered that with their car, and Mike helped first-timer Steve Willey clock the flying cars. Gretchen went the other way to the Stop Control, where the Lewellens (Carol and Duane) and Kirk Simons passed damp paper back and forth.

Something new: the Saturday stage was more or less a series of straightaways broken up with high speed curves. To add some challenge, two chicanes were inserted. Imagine some a-frame barricades across the straightaway, with the only passage to dive past on a narrow sideroad. It worked! John Lane watched one, Bob Grass the other. There was some sort of penalty for knocking down a barricade, but none was assessed.

The Sunday session was supposed to be fun, but the drizzle didnıt let up. Steve Willey got to start the cars, with Mike Jones, Jarvis, and Pete Shelton helping (something wrong with my notes- there wasnıt that much standing space on the skinny road!).

The ATC was graced with another canopy, this one provided by the Sheltons. Kirk and Darin Hansen seemed to be helping Gretchen, but I spent most of the time trying to get the brazier started and make some hamburgers.

Duane Lewellen and his son had the only Road Guard position. They enjoyed watching the deer cross the road almost as much as the rally cars negotiating a 90 left at the T.

Tom Palidar handled the Finish, with Dave Folker sitting at the FF with the FRS radio. These radios work as well as the landlines, with the plus (plus, plus, plus) of not having to pick up the soggy wire after the event.

* The Around The World rally hit North America at Anchorage, and is heading toward England as you read this. The Breazeales met the rally and worked some controls in Alaska. Rod Johnson and the Lingblooms met the rally near Banff and followed it to the border.

Full report and stories in the August WAG.

* Mountain Trials stage rally in British Columbia drew 9 cars, all Canadians.


* Wandering through the Internet, I found a new product- the Fastime 12 rally clock. When it advertised that the clock could freeze Time-of-day (TOD), I ordered one for $56 from England. This would be cheaper than the current CP clocks offered by Alfa and Timewise, in the $170 bracket.

Well, it arrived with a flat battery. And its not very versatile. In fact, itıs so specialized thatıs itıs nearly unusable.

Designed for stage rally competitors. The only way it will work is to hit the Start button at 10 seconds before Out time. It counts down to zero, and the stopwatch function takes over. At the Flying Finish, hit the button and the display shows the (frozen)Time of Day (TOD) and the ET (stopwatch) for the section. Semi-cool.

But the TOD canıt be used as a CP clock, since nothing happens without starting it with the countdown. (Once itıs running, that function can work forever; ignore the stopwatch)

Strangely, it also offers three other countdown timers. These are adjustable to start from 1 to 12 hours and minutes, but, again, key off that initial Start at 10 seconds before Out time. Miss that moment and the watch is somewhat useless.

Well, not completely. In another mode, itıll display TOD and date, just like any Timex. (With large numbers)

It may just be the example I got, but the LCD display is visible at any angle but straight on!! And when I touch the button for the light, the display goes blank. ­ Mark Nolte

For Sale

'80 2.6 Plymouth Fire Arrow, and lots of rally parts, on jack stands in my garage. Excellent shell, stripped for welding in a cage. Apart, not a roller. $500 to any Club Rally aficionado. Everything goes.

Helluva' deal! "Health forces sale! Mike Jones (425) 823-8329

'68 AH Sprite, 1275, roller. Race parts multiplying, must make room. Ed Millman, (206)361-7389

RASC Calendar

* Call the NWRC Hotline (206) 256-9627 for latest info on Puget Sound TSD events.

* July 15- Edge of the Rock stage rally, Nanaimo BC FCO 10, fin 6pm.

* 8/11 Friday Niter, Eastgate FCO 7:31

* 8/12-13 The Road Not Taken, SCCA Natıl Touring rally, Western Oregon. (503)662-3417 http://twistyroads.net/trnt.html

* 8/26-27- Coast To Coast TSD (Vancouver Island)

* 9/8 Friday Niter Eastgate, FCO 7:31

* 9/15 Pacific Forest stage rally, Cache Creek, B.C.

* 9/15-16 Wild West SCCA ProRally , Shelton WA

* Sept. 23/24 Totem TSD, B.C.

* October 13 Friday Niter by RASC FCO 7:31, Eastgate

Nolteıs No Alibi notes:

-The workers were presented with a finely done binder with all the info needed to work the checkpoints. It included the special Worker RIıs, with notes and shortcuts and everything in order. The problem I had was that they were printed in 10 point type, and the Alpines lost some definition when printed so small. Bad news: This is awful for a lone person to read, at speed. Good News: a lot less page turning, much more difficult at speed. It all equals out.

-Seven Crews! What a luxury for the organizers.

-Roy Ward is listed as a worker. This all started with him, and now heıs a mere worker? He and Sherry prowling the roads he should know so well.

-Mike and Gretchen Jones- finally getting the Outback dusty. Bet they enjoyed the air conditioning. Mike gets handed a radio that doesnıt work, then another. This is about the 3rd time heıs had this happen!

-Mark and Mary Hillman- They enjoy this stuff too much, and are available too seldom. Mary has a talent for running their show that Mark is all-too-willing to gloat about: she gets them to their locations on time with little fuss.

-Joel Wright- he checked out the course so will probably know where he is going.

-Richard Crosier and Pam Cain- They know all about this stuff. All weekend, these two HAMs kept a radio silence. Rare for HAMs.

-Steve Richards couldnıt raise a navigator in time, and volunteered to work. He drives this really neat car, some sort of A8 Quattro with a turbocharged V8. Much too nice a car to thrash on gravel roads, but No Alibi didnıt have much rough stuff, not even ugly pot holes.

-Kirk and Vince teamed up in the big Chevy pickup to be Pace, with two radioıs going.

-Mark Simons drove the Simonıs CJ Jeep as sweep. The puppy was rumored to be, uh, sedated. Terry may or may not be entering scores on the laptop as they roll along.

-My last CP on Saturday allowed me to "hide" behind a gravel pile, although the only shiny thing in miles is hard for the rallyists to miss. The seconds ticked down until the first car was due. Was the rally on time?

Then the maroon pickup appeared, a trailing dust plume pinpointing its progress.

Ooops they overshot the turn. Backup a bit, then disappear down the route without too much fuss. No reason to "rub it in" via radio.

Then the rally cars arrive. One by one, each overshoots the turn, but no style points awarded. Car #1 went furthest out of their way; car #5 did the most entertaining recovery.

-My last CP on Sunday- Moses Coulee. One of my favorite roads in the whole state. There is a certain happiness that everyone finished without mishap, and the glorious 20 mile trip between the high canyon walls is a great way to finish the weekend.

-Finish at the Royal Fork. No beer! It works, the results are printed off and approved. Everyone happy.


Rainier Auto Sports Club

will meet this coming Monday, July 10, 2000 , 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: No Alibi report. Kirk will tell us what we learned about putting on 2-day rallys, and thank Terry for all her work. (Or maybe the other way around.) The profit/loss statement may be available. Ed Millman can detail what happened to his Cortinaıs engine at the Historics . Latest word on Royıs whereabouts? Cooking advice for Nolte. Jerry may be thinking of moving.


2000 Board Members:

President: Terry Simons- 425-806-1741; Vice-President: Jerry Hines (425) 823-6343 Secretary: Pete Shelton- 206-365-4173; Treasurer: Ed Millman (206)361-7389

The Wishbone Alley Gazette is published for the members and friends of Rainier Auto Sports Club. Subscription price is $10 per year.

The editor is Mark Nolte, ph. 425-226-3155. Contributions and paid/unpaid ad eagerly received at 2108 NE 12Th. St., Renton, WA 98056 or e-mail: mnolte@uswest.net

Rainier Auto Sports Club, P.O. Box 852, Kirkland, WA 98134




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