RASC Snowflake

Rainier Auto Sports Club  

The Wishbone Alley Gazette

August, 2001

Club News

  • New meeting location.

Woody's Grill and Bar. 14450 Woodinville-Redmond Rd, Woodinville WA, 98072; phone: 425-483-6633. It is located at the corner of Woodinville-Redmond Rd and SR 202, just east of the Red Hook brewery. Kids are allowed.

Rally News

  • July Friday Niter

RASC volunteered to "do" a crew for this "All NWRC" rally, rallymastered by John and Derris Humphrey. I arranged for Kirk Simons, Mike and Gretchen Jones, and Steve Willey to work CP, with me. I gathered up all the CP paperwork while my group held a little meeting.

By time I got back to our corner of the Eastgate Park'N'Ride, they concluded their meeting.  Kirk wasn't feeling well, so he was leaving for home. Steve Willey was going to run the rally with someone. Which left Mike, Gretchen and me. 

We went our separate ways to arrive at the CP outside of Maple Valley, and were having a heated discussion about who would get to write, where we would sit, which way the car would face, which car to use, where the outcone was- you know, the usual stuff.

The debate and wild gesticulating was interrupted by Bob and Debbie Sjodin, who inquired whether we had a spare set of traffic cones.  (Harumph- newcomers!) Since the road we were on was freshly paved, there were traffic cones just around the corner.

I whipped out my new "Pat Biggar Signature Model CP Timing Line Light", put a cone next to the paint mark and we were in business.

And not too soon.  Having a jolly ride in a gorgeous XKE, a couple showed up roughly 15 minutes ahead of time.  At the time, this didn't appear too odd. While waiting for the rest of "the pack" to appear, I called Derris on the cell phone and told her to get the next CP crew to "hold" the Jag for 10 minutes. There wasn't any good going to come of having the rally spread out.

We hustled on to our second CP, maybe 8 miles away.  Remember the Pipeline Road? With it teeny railroad overpass? Well the neighborhood has grown up, and we damn near missed it in the midst of a housing development.  As Mike said, "It used to be easy to find- it was the only road!"

The Humphreys' were very specific about the location of our CP- one mile from the previous CP. We waved as we went past the other crew. Then…one mile from what? The in or out cone?  In the dark, the discrete paint was invisible.  Another phone call put them a few minutes away, so we parked and Gretchen led the discussion about how to park the cars, who should sit where, and which direction the cars would face. Mike wanted to check the clock.

The second CP was much too much like the first.  In only a mile, the cars should arrive in neat order, precisely one minute apart.  Due to some situation prior, they were all over the place.  Yeah, frustration from another leg hurt their score on this one.

I didn't stick around for scoring. It was yet another fun rally. -MN

  • Rally into the Sunset by Chuckanut Sports Car Club (July 21)

Unfortunately scheduled opposite the "Heart of Darkness" rally in Vancouver, the Bellingham club still drew 23 cars for their little 4 hour rally.

Ken and Sue Lingbloom restricted the rally to all-pavement. It went mostly around Lynden, getting far enough north to view the same scenery on the other side of the border.

Steve Richards tweaked the Timewise as we passed 8 manned checkpoints. There were also 9 Do It Yourself (DIY) checkpoints.  Unlike the usual DIY's, there wasn't a Pause.  Steve and I fudged the DIY's a bit, which is interesting, come to think of it.

I was easily distracted, maybe "out of practice". We built up some large early errors without any CP's to catch me until the last one- a solid 7. Steve mumbled something about if we lost the rally by that much he'd have to hurt me.

Fortunately, it didn't. We won with 18 pts. Biggar/Sjodin had a problem with their box and took a 6, at a DIY (!), for 20 total pts.  Mike Daily/Steve Pfau are doing very well with their Alfa (24 pts). And Bob Chandler talked Phyllis (or visa versa) into running a rally (the brood is at summer camp). They totaled 45 pts. After that, the scores get large.

The rally was a well written, with the usual "I wish I could arrange an SOP'er to Win" aspects that Ken keeps adding.  Didn't work this time.

  • Olympus Wild West National ProRally. Sept 7-8

Murmurs of "we're going to do this right" are coming out of Olympia as the National Tour visits the NW in a month.

John Nispel tells me he has long stages lined up, all in Simpson Forest Land.  He has handed RASC a stage with 12 Road Guard positions.  I pleaded hardship- no food, horrific traffic, early (?) setup time on Saturday, and escaped any Friday responsibilities.

If you want to actually see a rally car when it isn't idling or sideways, you have the Tech on Thursday from 4 until 8, and again from 10 until 2 on Friday.  There's also something called the Auto Glaspro  Press Stage from 8 until 10am, on Stinky Road, in Shelton.

The Olympus National is combined with the Wild West and Sou'Wester Clubrallys. The road sections start at 5:30 PM on Friday, and 9:30 am on Saturday.  Nothing on Sunday.

Workers get T-shirts.

Call me if you want to be involved- Mark Nolte, 425-652-3578

  • Removing a Car from the Roll Cage

By Ron Sorem ©2001

First, be sure you can handle it…mentally.

Properly installed, the roll cage is connected to the best structural points in the car.  Coincidentally this is where most carmakers concentrate the greatest strength in the least amount of space and, of course, the most inaccessible locations.

 My decision to remove the car from the cage was brought on by excessive sheet metal fatigue and "distortion due to a sudden stop”  (front clip needed, both rocker panels 6” closer to the center of the car, floor buckled and separated from firewall, roof buckled, both rear corners squeezed toward each other, rear floor and left wheel-well buckled, hood, both doors and rear hatch beyond repair).  Other than that, it just looked easier than removing the cage from the car.  Your situation may be different.

I had made inquiries as to the best way to remove the sheet metal without damaging the roll cage tubing.  An air chisel, a reciprocating blade saw, a cut-off saw (think rescue crews plus chainsaw motor) and cutting torch all had their merits.  I decided on the reciprocating saw and went to work on removing the roof.  Most of the glass was gone but I had to pull the windshield and stuff it into a garbage can.

The first cuts were the most difficult, emotionally.  The “A” pillar was connected to the cage in three spots so I made cuts at the top and bottom of the windshield and trimmed the welds later.  The “B” pillar was next, and again a section was left attached to the cage to be trimmed later.  By now the “C” pillar was easy.  Off came the roof.

Now the real work began.  I cut around all the cage-to-body support plates and soon realized I couldn’t cut the bottom out of the plates.  The unibody “frame” is boxes within other boxes, all spot-welded.  As soon as I cut through one layer the blade bounced off an inner layer of metal and broke.  (Probably more time was spent replacing blades than actually cutting.)  Several blades later the “B” pillar and “C” pillar and all the side metal had been cut to the floor for better access (and smaller pieces to throw away) but I still couldn’t cut where I thought I wanted to cut.  So out came the cutting torch…

Subaru uses several layers of metal for strength in each corner of the floor plan (probably all others do as well) and different grades including some really hard and some zinc coated.  The torch burned through sheet metal and frame supports quickly until it came to something different, spewing out 4th of July-like fireballs, sparks, and some pretty noxious smoke.  Which led to small paint and undercoating fires.

Armed with fresh knowledge of what not to do, I attacked the cage-to-rear-suspension supports.  There I joyfully found only two layers of metal; soon the rear tubes were free.  The trunk sagged an inch lower.

The center supports at the main hoop were securely attached to something even though I thought I’d cut completely around them.  Time for exploratory surgery.  A cut made two inches further away; with metal completely removed gave access to yet another box beam and the torch sliced the box away.

 Now the rear was free, the main hoop was free, and the front hoop wiggled a little… that’s all, just a little.  The same box-in-box situation found for the front hoop. This, I had learned to deal with: more sheet metal cut away and the front hoop pops free, only to wedge itself between the doorposts.

 By now the oxygen tank is empty, the torch is of no use. I’m down to one blade for the saw…and the cage is still rattling around inside what’s left of the car.  One blade, one doorpost later, the cage is on the ground.

 After several more hours, and several grinding wheel discs, the excess body metal is trimmed away from the tubing and floor plates.  It looks good.

 I’m left wondering how to haul the complete cage back to Dave Clark to install in the next car…Let’s see, upside down on the roof rack of the Sportwagon?  Yeah that’ll work!!

Subaru RX Rally Team   10835 SE 170th Street,  Renton,  WA  98055 ronsorem@hotmail.com 


  • Sarah Cohen camped out at Jerry's place a few years ago, then went home to England. She's visiting, with her husband (John Harmer) in early September. Jerry is thinking of hosting a bar-b-que. Call him or Colleen if you want to join the party.
  • Fire at Thirty Mile Creek- in the 1992 ES 1000, we climbed Toats Coulee road to reach the 39 road, then started a 37 mile Transit through the top of the ridges to end up in Winthrop.  .8 miles south we crossed Thirty Mile Creek. It had a shelter, if you remember.

FOR SALE / Wanted

  • 1992 Audi S4 Quattro Red/Blk leather, 90k miles, Hoppen/MTM Stage 2+ engine enhancement, RS2 manifold (290+ hp), CD changer, all else stock.   $14,900.  Call Steve at (425) 337-0232 or email smrdcatman@juno.com for pics and details.
  • 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. Needs either a new timing belt, or a new motor = PRICE REDUCED to $400. Call Jerry at (206) 227-6343 or (425) 823-6343.
  • Colleen wants a convertible.  The pearl white (with white 17" wheels and new tires)  '89 Corvette is offered at $9900.  Call Jerry or Colleen at (206) 227-6343 or (425) 823-6343.
  • '94 white Plymouth Grand Voyager LE, AWD, 3.8 motor, new transmission, seats 7, dual A/C, custom wheels, 140K miles. $5900.  Call Jerry at (206) 227-6343 or (425) 823-6343.
  • Three (3) Checkpoint Timing lights. These are "Pat Biggar Special" timing line tubes with the "delay" module so you don't get 4 flashes for 4 tires. I purchased them thinking RASC would upgrade timing techniques.  I'll keep one. $80 each
  • Subaru Impreza Wheels and tires: 15" rims don't fit over WRX brakes.  Hakka H1 studs on 4 (gold) American Racing wheels. $650
  • Four 15" Legacy wheels. No tires. Just one weekend of TSD on them.  $440 for all 4. mnolte@qwest.net
  • '88 Cavalier 4 dr, 4 cylinder, auto. $750. Ran out of parking space. …But wants a Audi/Passat wagon (Amy is tired of trying to parallel park the Suburban. Pete /Amy Shelton 206-783-5681

RASC Calendar

Call the NWRC Hotline (206) 256-9627 for latest info on Puget Sound TSD events.
  • 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 - 2 Club rallys and Wild West National.
  • 9/14- Friday Niter by RASC
  • 9/15-16 – Pacific Forest stage, B.C.
  • 9/22-23 Mountains to Waikiki TSD by Cascade Sports Car Club. Portland to Ocean Park, WA. http://www.cascadescc.com/m2c or (503) 844-6664
  • 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.)


Rainier Auto Sports Club will meet this coming Monday, August 13, 2001, at 7:30 PM. New location, tested by Roy Ward: Woody's Bar and Grill, 14450 Woodinville-Redmond Rd, Woodinville. Ph (425) 483-6633. Monthly meetings are the second Monday of each month. Past Members, visitors, and spectators are welcomed.

2001 Board Members:

 President: Kirk Simons- 425-806-1741; Vice-President: Gretchen Jones (425) 823-8329 Secretary: Pete Shelton- 206-783-5681;  Treasurer: Ed Millman (206)361-7389

Members at Large: Terry Simons (425)806-1741, Eric Horst  (206)363-9752

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@qwest.net

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



View our Privacy Policy.  Web problems? Suggestions?  Mail the webmaster.
Copyright © 2000-2005 Rainier Auto Sports Club. All rights reserved