RASC Snowflake

Rainier Auto Sports Club  

The Wishbone Alley Gazette

July, 2001

Rally News

  • No Alibi Rally 2001, By Ron Sorem
    (Round Two of the Pacific Coast Challenge)

Snoqualmie Pass, Saturday morning – snowing?  We saw the storm cell over the Cascade Crest as we approached from the West.  So far we’d just seen rain, but I knew it had snowed at the summit two days earlier.  We entered the parking lot still in rain, but the talk at registration was the just-ended snow shower.  Registration and Tech Inspection (under cover) went smoothly and most competitors had plenty of time for a leisurely breakfast and for pre-rally stories and mock-intimidation, and for study of the route book.  The pencil and paper crews began the long division and speed calculations.   Interesting work when sitting at adjoining tables.

The Odo Check quickly sent the rally past Cle Elum on I-90 and SR 970, then south on SR 97, to a right onto the gravel.  We were still running the little Subaru “SportWagon” but with the Performance Rally RX’s gravel tires, our correction factors were new for this event, so we took some time here to decide on which numbers to use. 

A short TSD over the ridge dropped into the Kittitas Valley at Thorp and a brisk paved hill climb, back to east bound I-90 at Elk Heights.  After a Transit to the Ryegrass Rest Area the rally got off to its fast pace with a “change speed to 69mph” instruction.  This wasn’t too tough on the downhill but local knowledge foretold the wind and the Wild Horse hill climb after the bridge at Vantage.  As expected, there was a checkpoint at the top of the hill.  With careful planning, teams zeroed the leg, without planning or power they were late here.  Exit the freeway at George, run the alfalfa, onion, and potato fields past Quincy to the next gravel climbs and descents through green wheat and thunderstorms to Soap Lake.

 (A note here to all rallyists, novice and veteran, if you disassemble your dash and bump the fuel gauge, run the tank down to “E” and refill before the rally to calibrate the needle.  Ours apparently stuck for a time, as we left the start with nearly a full tank.  The warning low-fuel light came on as we started the gravel.  Having the needle suddenly drop is pretty disconcerting, but wondering if you can make 36 miles on a brisk rally with 2.4 gallons causes you to change to “fuel economy mode”.  We pumped 15.652 gallons into a 15.9-gallon tank at Soap Lake!)

Fuel and rest stops completed, we head north and east for a few checkpoints on some brisk and twisty gravel, prior to the (provided) lunch at Summer Falls State Park.  A storm cell had just settled the dust and scattered the picnickers in time for the rally to take over the Park, set in one of the Central Basin’s basalt coulees, carved by glacial action over volcanic rock.

Saturday afternoon brought brisk paved sections, interrupted by brisk twisty gravel, in and out of coulees, across scablands, and past rolling hills of wheat.  One brisk and roller coaster section found our Subaru “catching some air” (all the while under the speed limit).

A long transit into Spokane brought us to Rally Headquarters and the Buffet Dinner at Bayou Brewery.  Rally stories began in earnest as soon as the dinner began.  Scores were posted and we were in second in SOP by only 12 seconds (117 vs. 129, for some unknown reason this was later changed from 93 to 116, a gap of 23).

Sunday found all the crews awaiting the driver’s meeting and discussing such details as how many pages they used to calculate the days speeds (the eventual class winner claimed over 100 sheets – too much like work for us!).

We left the Start and ran an Odo Check toward Cheney and beyond.  Of course, the factor was different, but we decided to make the correction as “Real SOP”, on the needle and the odo wheel, as opposed to recalculating the whole day.  We probably should have recalculated!  (Another note here for all “Paper” rallyists:  Do the calculations before the brewery!  I did the calcs for day two after the beer and later found two different one-minute errors.)

The first TSD section was 37.78 miles and contained 6 scored checkpoints including one at Cast 8mph, in a tunnel, after a pause of 10 seconds.  Two speed changes and a pause, with two controls in a quarter mile.  We probably should have expected quick controls after Saturday’s back-to-back quick controls, but to pause before a hazard, then clear the hazard into a control was pretty cheap.  One of the basic tenants of rallying with regard to “PAUSE” is to clear the hazard, or the signaled intersection, or crossing a highway, or left turning traffic, or one-lane bridges, or one lane tunnels, then take the pause where it is safe.  This is part of every Novice Driver’s meeting.  The control burned some; some did it the way the rally master wanted some just lucked out.  It was definitely the topic of discussion between cars waiting at the end of each of the following transits.  A very successful Unlimited driver (R. Dale Kraushaar) held the opinion that “whoever did that control right” (meaning same as rally master right) “would probably win the event", apparently he was correct in his prediction.  It also prompted a scrawled note in large red ink in our route book…”Lame A..ed Control!!”  I’m not sure how a SOP car Casts 8 mph:  7.5 min/mile=. 75min/10th=45sec every 528 feet, while the needle doesn’t register, the odo wheel barely moves, or if digital you just guess when it will click over a tenth!

The next TSD took the rally from Harrington toward Odessa with three checkpoints on brisk gravel sections over 22 miles.  A 25-mile Transit to Marlin and the next TSD began with pavement and Cast 39.  Cast 58, Cast 42, and end pavement, through a checkpoint and off into the scablands to the Water Crossing (Photo Op) and into Ephrata.  Another climb over Monument Hill and brisk gravel through some of Saturday’s wheat and then the downhill into Palisades and Billingsley Ranch where speeds were very slow to appease the owner (who came up to the control and thanked them for a good job, great PR, guys!)

A rather long and tedious section was followed by the famous Rock Island Grade hillclimb.  Narrow roads, no guardrails, big exposures, several switchbacks, and maintain 33mph!  As expected, there was a checkpoint at the top.  Continuing on gravel through several controls and then over Waterville Ski Hill and down Badger Canyon to the finish at East Wenatchee.

We traveled 326 miles on Saturday, 300 Sunday, 54 to the start and 152 to get home…=833 miles.  We were scored as finishing second in SOP.  We had to leave early to get navigator to the airport and San Francisco, so we don’t get to participate in the after-rally “fun” and couldn't verify our scores.

We normally have an opportunity to reconcile the scores, the control locations and the number of controls (we counted 4 on one leg, they scored 5…  We counted 7 on another leg, they scored 6) so that we might improve from our mistakes.  We weren’t able to do so this time.

  • First Overall/First Classic Unlimited:  Satch Carlson/Russ Kraushaar (Saab Sonnet) 38 seconds
  • First Unlimited: Rebecca Rocks/John Kisela    (Subaru) 57
  • First Equipped: Mike Daily/Steve Pfau (Jetta) 159
  • First Seat-of-Pants:: Dan and Stuart Fealks (Subaru) 190
  • First Novice: Peter Hadfield/Max Vaysburd    (Subaru) 365
  • First Classic SOP: Steve Brown/David Glassman      (Porsche 914) 541

For more information see www.rainierautosports.com no alibi rally 2001

Ron Sorem  & Josh Sorem; Subaru RX Rally Team 10835 SE 170th Street, Renton WA  98055

  • Shitepoke/ Dryad Quest (June 9/10)

The RASC stage went fine. It was touch-and-go to round up enough workers- Hey, it's been a very, very busy spring!

As it was, Kirk and Terry Simons introduced us to their new kids. Finishing the first week of the "houseful" by going out in the woods to live in a trailer is tough; Kirk decided to take the following Monday off with various degrees of illness/ exhaustion.

Saturday's crew also included Roy Ward (doing HAM duty to free up Hams for other tasks), Debbie Sjodin, Jarvis, and Ron Sorem. It was Ron's first experience at a control.  Dave Folker and Jay Shukla parked up the road from the ATC/STOP location to start cars and/or do Flying Finish.

Nice to see all these people learning how to deal with the rain: Vince looked at clear skies, discussed removing his storm clothing, but knew that once removed, the rain would resume. "Yeah, it looks goofy, but as long as I leave it on, it won't rain."

Sunday was a different crowd, with Kirk and Terry manning one end, with brother Mark helping. Answering my pleas (panic…), Jerry Hines brought out at least two boys, and Ed Storer seems to have run the Flying Finish all by himself.

We had Rod Chelgren, Sue Calvert and Jarvis doing all the work while Nolte built burgers.

Never dull: Joe Noyes' Celica took out a little tree, then landed on another. The "landing" poked a hole under the co-driver's left, uh, cheek. A simple tug by sweep didn't get the impaled vehicle off the stump, so a crew of burly, motivated fellows went in, between stages, and lifter the car out of the bushes- and the car was driven out.

Awaiting delivery of burgers, no one thought to stop a car from entering the "cold" stage. This could cause a great deal of trouble, but it turned out to be spectators badly lost.

New idea (for us) - Nolte put a big, round, $10 kitchen clock on a tripod, and used it as the Start clock. The intention was to keep the workers a bit further from the fury of the starting cars. The other advantage is that the driver can see the clock, too. It would have been a roaring success, except some of the teams waited a moment to make sure they weren't going to be flagged off. It took a (painful) moment for them to realize that the crew was standing there, watching the clock, too.

  • Mountains to the Sea

We had this idea of starting from BOTH Portland AND Tacoma (or Olympia) at the same time and joining in Longview and continuing on from there to the final destination - sort of a post-modern Monte Carlo format.  So we were wondering if this would add interest and entrants from the Seattle/Tacoma area and if one of you enterprising souls would volunteer to step up and author that part - a tour mostly and we'll even let the RM enter the rally - from Portland of course.  We have a style and theme that I will be disclosing to interested parties.  The date for the event is: Saturday, September 22.  We'd like to arrive in Longview for lunch between noon and 1 pm.

We'd also need someone to help organize the local start process.

Any takers?  Time is of the essence so if you are interested, then respond soon please...  REAL SOON. Thanks. Monte

monte@saagervision.com <http://www.saagervision.com>


  • Next time you're mowing your lawn and considering the other things you could be doing, think of Jarvis Owens. He mentioned it takes 3 hours on his little tractor.
  • A Connecticut rental car company put GPS units in it's cars. Reviewing the stored information, the company noted speeding- 84 mph in one instance. So they tacked an addition $450 onto the bill.
  • One renter decided this wasn't fair, and took his case to court. Among other things, the court found that only the State was allowed to enforce speed limits. The money was ordered refunded.
  • Rod Johnson is changing his HAM call to  WE7X (from KA7YOU)  Something to do with sending Morse Code.


  • Ed Millman got a '97 Taurus, wants to sell the '91 white Taurus wagon. 150K mi. $2000 (206) 361-7389
  • Mike Jones still has the collection of parts in his garage that could make somebody a dandy Fire Arrow. Make an offer. (425) 823-8329
  • '87 Audi 4000 Quattro needs a home.  It's gold, with 4 new tires and 140,000 miles.  Runs great, got 27.5 mpg on a recent trip.  Has the usual Audi gremlins (electrics and door latches), fair body & paint, and a pretty good interior.  Not perfect, but you won't find a better one for $1500!  (Or I can fix it up and charge you more...).  Call Jerry at (206) 227-6343 or (425) 823-6343.
  • Subaru Impreza Wheels and tires: 15" rims don't fit over WRX brakes.  Hakka H1 studs on 4 (gold) American Racing wheels.  Only one season left on 3 tires, one nearly new: $650
  •  Four 15" Legacy wheels. No tires. Just one weekend of TSD on them.  $440 for all 4. mnolte@qwest.net

RASC Calendar

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

  • 7/13 – Friday Niter by NWRC, Bellevue, WA RASC will provide a CP crew for this "All NWRC" rally.
  • July 21- "Into the Sunset" (Monte Carlo-style rally)  Bellingham. Registration will open by 5:00 p.m., and FCO will be 6:00 p.m. at the Alaska Ferry Terminal in the historic Fairhaven District of Bellingham.
  • July 21 -Gold Digger Rally - ALL NIGHT Time-Speed-Distance Road Rally, part of the BC Rally Championship and following the 2001 BC Rally Regulations
  • (see http://www.rallybc.com ). The rally runs on straightforward instructions, and will be approximately 475 km in length with roads about 60% gravel and 40% paved. 
  • 8/4-5 - ORV Rally Sprints (ClubRally)
  • 8/10 – Friday Niter by ORCA, Bellevue, WA
  • 8/18, (SCCA Nat’l TSD) Dawn To Dust, (Tour), Silverthorn, CO
  • 8/18, (SCCA Nat’l TSD) TBA, (tour) Silverthorn, CO
  • 9/7-8 - Olympus Performance Rally weekend- 2Club rallys and Wild West National.
  • 9/14- Friday Niter by RASC
  •  9/15-16 – Pacific Forest stage, B.C.
  • 10/6 – Nite on Bald Mountain (TSD) by ORCA
  • 10/5-6 - Prescott Forest (PRORally)
  • 10/12 – Friday Niter by ORCA, Bellevue, WA
  • 10/27 – Ghoul’s Gambol (TSD)
  • 10/28 -  Litter Clean-up (MP 99-101)
  • 11/ 24-25 – Totem TSD (B.C.)


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