RASC Snowflake

Rainier Auto Sports Club  

The Wishbone Alley Gazette

May, 2002

Rally News

Raindrop?  Not a one in sight.  Great planning on the part of Rainier Auto Sports Club for their spring touring rally.  A Sunday drive on a sunny day, with a good turnout.

Twenty-eight cars had pre-registered when I last checked the website, but apparently no one wanted to be car number one.  We led the parade of forty-two starters.

My navigator, Chris, had been on only one rally before; that being a trappy Friday Nighter a couple of years ago.  This would be a training experience, first use of alpines, everything mileaged, and little chance of getting off course.  I’ve known him since High School, and as an unofficial tenant in our basement, and roommate of my son.  We plan to do more rallies together.  The plan for Raindrop: Just don’t pass the rally master, and don’t let car two pass us.  I think the saying goes: “The best laid plans…” We succeeded in the plan, but precision was not the best.

The Odo Check proceeded out of Tacoma, across the Narrows, and into Gig Harbor, ending in a City Park, with time to spare.  The mileage factor was off about three percent, but I knew the speedometer factor in the Subie was off even more.  Chris could figure the estimated mileage, but the speedo was on me.

Section Two, “OH! LA! LA!”, was listed as the longest TSD of the day and started with a climb up the hills out of Gig Harbor, with a twisty little section at 29 to the first checkpoint.  Yes, we were late.  Our first real communications slip was at a Free Zone where we checked the view, checked the mileage and the speed, looked for a good place to take our pause, and missed the turn.  Bottom of page versus top of next page.  A learning experience for Chris, a reminder of past mistakes for me.  Cast 24 in a 35 zone was a sure hint that something was wrong so I asked for a quick review of the last instructions.  I had seen the Banner Road sign (comes up quickly over bridge) out of my peripheral vision and a quick u-turn and recovery took up the pause.  Another twisty hill climb, this time with the first of many bicyclists, and another checkpoint or two.  Yes, we were late.  The balance of the section was at 44 and we ended the section about a minute late but with apparently no further checkpoints.

Section Three was the transit to Manchester State Park, past the Southworth Ferry, with spectacular views of Seattle.

Section Four, “Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead!”, was quicker in both speed and puns.  We started on Beach Drive, took a right on Beaver Creek, Stopped at the Woods, Right at Hillcrest, Left at Mountain View, looked for Llamas, took the left at “Baby Doll”, past “Horstman” looking for the Horst man, traveled along the Long Lake and saw the Yak on left.  I saw a couple of checkpoints but have no idea how we were running.

Section Five was a quick transit to Purdy and Wauna on Henderson Bay at the top of Carr Inlet.  From here Section Six was a fairly brisk fifteen miles of left, right, straight, through rolling hills.  Then Section Seven transit, a little over five miles to Belfair State Park, and time to catch a snack and debate the issues of the day with Rally master Steve Willey, and the first several cars.  At this point I didn’t have a clue as to how well we were doing, but I was having a great time.

Section Eight was as advertised, “Into a less populated area…” North and West into the hills and hidden lakes with a trip around Tee Lake and north to Dewatto Bay.  Section Nine was the Rally Transit Zone (RTZ) with 13-plus miles of very nice rally roads taken at a brisk speed, increasing the time for the views of Hood Canal and the Olympics, before the control.

Section Ten was a quick TSD trip past “Miami Beach” to the break at Scenic Beach State Park.  Then Section Eleven: “Where’s the beef?”, out of the park with opposing rally traffic, through Seabeck for another checkpoint (late) and Section Twelve transit through Bremerton, Gorst, and Port Orchard, with a view of the Naval Shipyard at Sinclair Inlet.

We both had to leave early, but received a phone call on the way home, saying that we had taken Third SOP.  This was written from memory before seeing the scoring to influence any of the experience.  Overall, we both had a great time.

After seeing the results… It is surprising how different things seem.  I would have bet we were late at every control early in the rally but results show early instead, for seven checkpoints. Then late for five, and early for the last three.  So much for consistency.  I need to re-calibrate my right foot. - Ron Sorem © 2002


From RM Steve Willey- Raindrop Rally 2002 was a fabulous event, enjoyed by one and all, especially the rallymaster.

We had an excellent turnout of 42 teams, with 22 of them being novices.  Tom Palidar has done an excellent job marketing rallys and is partly to thank for the large turn-out.  The weather also cooperated and we couldn't have asked for a warmer brighter day.  We're going to have to change the name from Raindrop Rally if we continue to get weather like we had this year. 

The start was at the Tacoma Community College Transit Center Park-N-Ride, chosen primarily for it's immediate proximity to a pancake house.  The Odometer Transit took the rallyists over the Tacoma Narrows and on the Kitsap Peninsula ending in Gig Harbor.  From there, alternating sections of TSD and Transit consumed the competitors next two hours culminating in a mid-day stop at Belfair State Park.  After this short break, we headed into the Mason County portion of the peninsula for both fast and slow paced rally competition.  The rally ended in Port Orchard at the Godfather's Pizza.  

As a novice rallymaster I had no idea of what to expect.  I was pleasantly surprised how smoothly everything went.  Much of the credit for this goes to the workers who knew what to do and didn't need much from me.  Rainier Auto Sports Club has been putting on Raindrop Rally for twenty years and other events like it for longer. 

Raindrop 2002 built from previous Raindrop rallies (1990 and 1995) that visited the Kitsap Peninsula.  The three state parks, the very popular Dewatto Monte (rally transit zone), and other portions are all borrowed from previous events.

I'd like to thank the workers who made this year's Raindrop Rally a very successful and enjoyable event: Gretchen Jones took on the Registration chores with a minimum of fuss (she knew vastly more about the methods and operation than I’ll ever learn).  Eric Horst helped with details, and dragged his parents out to work checkpoints, as well as his own. Pete Shelton and Amy Wolf spent a lot of quality time with the raw wood that became pretty decent trophies- 24 of them!

Mark Nolte gave me his notes from the 1990 and 1995 Raindrops, which made layout easier, plus some guidance on how it should work.

Dave Smith volunteered to do checkpoints; practice for the Alcan in August. Kim Prater and Mike Gervais rounded out a proper number of crews for a 4 hour rally.

Special thanks to RASC president Mike Jones, who kept me inspired to keep to schedule, then found a few errors on the checkout that made the rally you ran go smoothly.

 I hope to see you all on down the road, whether it's as sunny as this Raindrop was or more in keeping with it's name.  -SW


 *No Alibi (June 1-2)- Kirk reports that the snow isn’t receding fast enough to use some of the Cascade hill roads he’d planned on- even if the snow is gone, the snow runnoff may make the roads rough. To make it a bit more civilized, he’s routing to more potty stops, too. Asked if there are any rough spots, he said yes- but with slow CASTs- then mentioned that the majority of the gravel is the wonderful, smooth stuff we like so much.

Motels fill up, so he arranged for the Pheasant Hill “Best Western” in Spokane to block 15 rooms until May 18. And he needs everyone to pay for the Dinner by May 24th.


* Oregon Trail (April 20) – All went well, and the weather was much better than the monsoons of Tillamook. Hillsboro is a nice place. Didn’t see too much of it, since John Nispel gathered his forces alongside Highway 26 a couple of miles from the Saturday stage. Then kept us out until late.

             Among his group were enthusiastic novice workers. We trained them! They learned! This kept myself, Dave Folker, Jay Shukla, and John mostly looking over their shoulders to make sure things went smoothly. Got to see the cars.

             John brought down a gas grill and some burger fixing’s. He expected the 40 patties to last for some of the two days, but Oregon found enough Sweep / EMT people to take up most of the parking in the forest, and they were thankful to be included in the group that John fed.

I had a chance to look at the Pace Notes that many of the entrants bought. This is an extra $125, and got either green or yellow pages. Apparently somebody went over the roads and “codified” the stages. I think the green set was numerical, assigning number values to each section of road, while the yellow set described the same route in “conversational shorthand”. I’d never considered that there was more than one way to do it.

Sunday saw us on a road that went past fresh logging- a work crew had to pull some pointed “sticks” from close proximity to the stage. The Forestry folks had recently laid down 6” of thick, soft gravel. The rallyists reduced it to a deeply rutted track- wonder if that was planned?

The finish was at the Hillsboro hospital, the only place large enough to hold the rally crowd. - MN


*Heart Of Darkness (April 20)( British Columbia TSD series event #2) It was a dark and stormy night. Those who were there won't forget it anytime soon! Heart of Darkness 2002 was going to be a rally that Mother Nature was going to predict! 22 brave souls braved the elements of this all-night TSD event starting in Hope, moving up to Princeton, proceeding through Coalmont and Tulameen. Afterwards, moving to Peachland, Summerland and back to Princeton for a trip home.

 Mother Nature first starting dabbling with the weather right from the word go. The first transit to Princeton saw torrential rain and high winds turning 4 lane highways into 2 lane creeks. After getting to Princeton and out of the rain for the first fuel top ups, it was off to Tulameen for the first stage. A car blocking the road greeted CP crews. As it was, there were 2 washouts on the first stage effectively canceling the first regularity. After re-grouping in Princeton, the competitors were off to Bates Road for the second regularity, which was wet but clear conditions. After the second regularity it was off the third regularity, which also quite high and saw some snow. The normally muddy conditions of the Peachland forestry road were further augmented by the wet weather making the entire stage very slippery and challenging for all the drivers. Slippery enough that the CP crew of Shelley Donaldson and Mike Wiebe required a tow out of a muddy corner. 

After proceeding to Summerland for the 2nd fuel stop, it was off to the Princeton-Summerland road for the trip home. After a reasonably uneventful stage, and a clear sunny sunrise coming up, it was back to Hope for scoring and breakfast. Alas, Mother Nature still had one more surprise for us! The torrential downpour we had left in Manning Park on the upward transit had turned to snow before stopping! The transit home had become a driving event in itself! As some competitors remarked, it wasn’t very often the transit was as exiting as the regularities! – from the results page of the BC Website.


*Dryad Quest/Shitepoke (June 15-16) – The guy who runs’s Simpson’s Road Operations has a rally car. This is good. He mentioned something about some roads west of Matlock, and they are good. This means NEW ROADs!

             A work Party is going to check them out, and clean ‘em up on Sunday, May 11. Meet at Matlock at 10am.

             The schedule is in the first “revision” stage, but it looks like RASC has a stage at 1:30 on Saturday, then a variation of Stillwater Glen on Sunday, with 10:30 and 3:30 runs. Sunday’s gathering will probably be at 8am.

             It’s possible the Club rally will draw 40 cars.

*Alcan- Jerry updated the Web site with more info. Sponsors’ are lining up. Red Bull is the beverage of choice.

He’s doing something for the motorcyclists on the Tuesday before the rally, centered at the Totem Lake “Café Veloce” restaurant.


* Pete and Amy fixed up the house, had the baby, and now want to build a garage. See ads elsewhere.

*Jay Shukla passed his HAM test, now he is KD7RBC. Lee Chambers ran some sort of class in Olympia to help get the folks past the FCC exam. Dave Folker missed the mark, and will continue studying for his license.

* A rallyist at Oregon Trails had ugly silver tape on his eyeglasses. I asked what happened; he replied that the little screw that holds the glasses together…went away. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this happening.

Schucks sells an eyeglass repair kit for $3 or so, on the counter. One made it into my First Aid Kit.

Better yet, a recent requirement for a teensy screwdriver was fulfilled by McLendons Hardware. They have this neat little “kit” that looks like a pen, except that it has 4 small screwdrivers inside. I went back for a second “pen”, and they were out. Seems it’s a new item, and their supply (one box) sold out in four days!- MN

* I nagged Dave Folker and Jay Shukla all weekend (at OTR) that their FRS radios sounded “muddy”. In the interest of scientific study, we swapped one of my yellow ones for one of Dave’s silver ones at Chehalis, and chatted just fine all the way to Federal Way. Seems that all FRS radios are not interchangeable! Yellow to yellow was OK, and silver to silver was also fine. More research to follow.-MN

* More on Speed Channel : “On the WRC TV coverage...all of the TV output from WRC is done by ISC  (International Sportsworld Communications) run by Dave Richards.  ISC has a 10-year contract with FIA and they own the TV and commercial rights to WRC while FIA retains authority over all sporting and technical rights.

“In-car footage is captured to tape and collected for processing each day. 

“ISC/WRC operates a big base station made out of 5-6 silver semi-trailers. I'm guessing it includes an on-site editing/production facility (but nobody invited us in to see!)

“I have watched 3-4 rallies on French TV ("Eurosport") during the past 2-3 years.  Last year's Rally GB aired each evening at about 9:30 PM, so I guess that gives them 3-4 hours to produce each day's coverage.  Probably a big reason FIA dumped night stages for "safety reasons".

“What we see here on Speed Channel looks like exactly the same footage they use on Eurosport and elsewhere, just a different logo and (unfortunately) a different announcer.  I guess with a 5-6 hour time difference, that gives Speed Channel another 4-5 hours to lay Ralph Shaheen's witty comments on the tape”. - Jim Hogan

* Rod Chelgren looked at the prospects for work in the great NorthWest, and ended up in Philadelphia.

For Sale

* ’94 AWD Voyager, loaded. $4600 call J. Hines (425) 823-6343

* Mike Jones’ has the parts to make a good stage rally car, in this case a Fire Arrow (2.6 ltr. Motor.) It’s been in the garage, no new rust. Make an offer. (425) 823-8329

* 1957 Chev Belair.   350cu V8, th400 auto.  Turquoise and Ivory 2dr post with 17" polished Torque Thrust wheels.  New brakes, radiator, fuel pump/tank, carb, intake, headers, flowmaster custom exhaust, + many other misc. Interior and Exterior beautifully restored.   No Disappointments .  $18,500  .Contact Pete Shelton 206 783-5681 or email at paaz@peoplepc.com

 Wait- There’s More : ’84 BMW 318, orange. Includes studded tires (unmounted) $2500

  ALSO: Single axle car trailer, electric brakes. Too small for some tasks, great for a rally car. (Looking for a tandem axle trailer, suitable for a collector-grade BelAir). $1200 OBO (less….Ed) Contact Pete Shelton (206) 783-5681, email at paaz@peoplepc.com

NW Rallyists’ Calendar

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

* Pileup July 20: Chuckanut went to auGust 24.

May 18-19       CARS Nat  Big Horn (stage)
May 18             Beaver Cleaver (SCCA Nat'l), Oregon
May 19             Barlow Trail  (SCCA Nat'l), Oregon
May 25-26       Rocky Mt (stage) AB
June 1-2          No Alibi by RASC                                     Snoqualmie Pass-Spokane-Wenatchee
June 8/9           Mt Trials, BC (stage)
June 14             Friday Nighter            ORCA
June 15-16       Dryad/Shitepoke (stage) Shelton
June 21             Friday Nighter (Portland)
June 23             RallyCross, Oregon
June 29-30       Coast to Coast, B.C.
June 29             Oregon Trailblazer TSD (Oregon)
July 12              Friday Nighter  NWRC
July 19              Friday Nighter (Portland)
July 20              Mountain to the Sea,TSD,  Oregon
July 20-21        Gold Digger, TSD, BC
July 28              Rallycross. Oregon
Aug 3-4            ORV Rallysprints       McCleary
Aug 9               Friday Nighter            ORCA
Aug 10             TRNT, central Oregon
Aug 16             Friday Nighter (Portland)
Aug 13-22 Alcan 5000 :       http://www.alcan5000.com/
Aug.24             "anAUGUST” rally, touring  by Chuckanut (Bellingham) FCO 1:30, Finish 8pm.
Sept. 1 Rallycross, Oregon
Sept 10             Kananaskis Rally AB, (stage)
Sept 13             Friday Nighter     TS
Sept 14             Fri Niter (Portland)
Sept 20             Friday Nighter (Portland)
Sept. 29            Rallycross, Oregon
Oct 5                 Night On Bald Mtn TSD, ORCA
Oct 5-6             Reno Rally (stage)  NV
Oct 5-6             Pacific Forest Rally (stage)  BC
Oct 11              Friday Nighter     RASC




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