RASC Snowflake

Rainier Auto Sports Club  

RASC Snowflake

Rainier Auto Sports Club  

The Wishbone Alley Gazette

March, 2004


Rally News

Winter Alcan 16 entrants, 2 DNF’s. Great time had by all. One BMW X3 was sacrificed for parts so that the other two could be the top finishers. The other DNF was #13 Gilland/Boyd/Mitsubishi Montero. The story I like is that it went on its side, got pulled upright, and the engine was started before gravity had gotten all the oil close to the oil pump. It resides in Carnack, close to two similar vehicles.

The points structure weighed slalom scores against TSD scores. Low pts on the slaloms helped the Eklund/Rounds/Reid Subaru Forester capture 3rd. And to make things even up, the Wallace/ Hightower/ Carozza Subaru WRX STi took 4th.

Close behind for 5th, was the Horst/Willey /BMW 325 ix (240,000 miles), and leader of the becoming-famous “Team D”.

Now that we’re talking about “teams”, there were three- BMW, Subaru, and Team D (No, the “D” doesn’t stand for anything special). The 3rd Subaru entry was the Challenge Driving entry- R.Dale Kraushaar/ Engstrom/ Richardson. It was 6th, and fun to watch at the slaloms.

Another way to look at the results gets into the magazines: the winning X3 was carried the Automobile Magazine sticker, with Ron Ahrens and Gary Webb doing the driving, and Pete Schneider generating zero’s at the TSD controls. The Roundel Magazine X3 contained Satch Carlson/ Henry Joy/ Russ Kraushaar. Road & Track staffers Andy Bornhop and Doug Kott finished 7th.

Of course, the Alcan isn’t all about scores. The food was memorable, with a highlight being a BMW-hosted feast (of local fare) at the Inuvik stop.

Then there was adversity. After some “load calculations”, the Hogan/Comden WRX Wagon got a 110-amp alternator (stock is 70) a day or two before the start. Without enough time to test the thing, it did indeed fail. As 1/3 of Team D, the teammates followed the WRX back to town, then absorbed the stranded guys for the trip to the top of the world (or reasonably close…).  Later, the 3rd Team D car (Dunn/Marcuse/Mazda 323 GTX) found a sharp hole on the ice road and flattened two (2) tires. With friends like the Alcan builds, this one was solved with little drama. And the red car ended up 9th.

Speaking of red cars, Rene von Richthofen showed up to “tour” the rally, in a red Audi towing a cute little trailer. The father/son team tried to have the time of their lives and pretty well succeeded. They figured out how avoid the TSD’s and just cruise the highway. At the first Slalom, Rene ran one lap without the trailer, then came back with the trailer attached and topped his first time. He also became famous for collecting two tickets. One was called in by a trucker for an apparently unsafe pass, the other for not slowing down enough in the 100-Mile House city limits. Both tickets issued with one stop!

Jerry bought a satellite phone and found it quite a pleasure to be able to call ahead and warn the various food stops and other accommodations of their schedule and how many “bodies” were showing up. Years of experience led him to buy a huge SUV. It comes with a 43 gallon tank, gets about 13 mpg, and most important of all, can carry 6 passengers and all their gear. One passenger described the trip “As one of the few times a Ford Excursion was used as designed.”

Jerry sold it for near what he paid, just to add icing to the cake.  But he’ll choose something else for the Summer Alcan, just 6 months away.

The Alcan.com website leads to three other sites that give a daily rundown, some with pictures. I haven’t heard how many “hits” they took, but the event was well followed. –MN

 Thunderbird 2004, Canadian Winter Rally

 by Ron Sorem © 2004

February 14 & 15, 2004.  33rd Thunderbird Rally.  Merritt-Kamloops-Merritt, BC 

The Thunderbird Rally has been around since 1957, the 33rd running had 63 entrants prepared for snow and ice and a challenging drive through central British Columbia. 

Saturday morning the snow began falling an hour before breakfast, and would continue with the added mix of occasional dense fog.  We left Merritt and quickly moved onto the snow-covered back roads, on what may be the best TSD rally in North America.

The first regularity, “Minnie Lake”, climbed quickly from Nicola Lake into rolling hills with deep snow and speeds up to 72.  A year ago this section was run in the opposite direction, late in the day, in much warmer conditions.  The resulting melt and rainfall left most of the depressions in the road filled with water and slush, and “Minnie Lake” section became “mini-lakes”, with spectacular water splashes at rally speed.  This year’s weather had changed the path to a mixture of rolling roadbed linked by table smooth frozen areas, all of which were now covered with snow.

A short break, then “Martin Prairie” contained two checkpoints with varying speeds from 72 down through 40, keeping the navigators busy with calculations and notes, or tweaking the computers in the Unlimited class cars.  “Skimiken” Regularity was uneventful, then came the beginning of “Eileen Lake” Regularity.  Speeds began calmly enough, then 72 for a couple of checkpoints.  Fortunately speeds slow to 36 for “Caution! Hairpin L, Exposure R”, followed .33 km later by “Hairpin R”, a cattle guard, and then “Hairpin L” followed closely by a return to pavement and an increase in speeds.

Day Two begins with the 74.40 km “Tranquille-Red Lake” Regularity, longest of the event.  The climb up the ridge is twisting and steep, covered with overnight snow and is cloaked in dense fog!  Checkpoint at the top, in the fog, little chance to regain lost time.  Deep snow downhill, exposure obscured by snow bank and fog.  Past Red Lake into a narrow twisting cut and speed changes down to 40 followed by “Caution!!!  Hard R, Big Exposure Straight Ahead.  Exposures continue for 2 km”.  Surprisingly no checkpoint in the usual place at the bottom of the hill, so no harm.  Again climbing the side of the ridge to the top of Copper Creek, deep snow, and more fog slow “some cars” more than a minute.  “Others” seemingly have no trouble with the fog and white-out, and even manage to pass.  The descent begins at 50, with “Hard L”, “Hairpin L” (Car 8), “Hairpin R”, “Hairpin L”, cattle guard, where Car 6 regained his position on Car 7, then “Hairpin L”, “Hairpin R”, “Tight Hairpin L”  (Car 6, Car 28).  “Battle Creek 1” was just way too deep, followed by the smooth section into checkpoints and hairpins.  Then “Barnes Lake”, where a few cars actually did get to run at speed, before the grooming layer became a puddle, closing the track.  “Battle Creek 2” is just as deep, only now it has had the ruts of nearly 60 cars added to the mix.  “Tunkwa Lake” is sedate, so much so that several nearly miss seeing the checkpoint car, parked way off the road with only the white roof visible above the snowbank—most brakes worked surprisingly well.

We finish the rally, not first, not last, not damaged, and feeling great!

63 entries 53 finishers: Jim/Cristy Breazeale 13th, Ron/Josh Sorem 23rd, Jeff McMillen/Marvin Crippen 39th, Steve Richards/ John Rapson, 46th, Sean Tennis/ Ed Millman, 47th.

DOO WOP –Nolte is recruiting workers for the non-spectator Smith Creek stage on Saturday- e-mail or call him at (425) 652-3578 if you can squeeze it into your schedule.

The rally is headquartered in Hoquiam, so Sunday can head north to the fine rally roads near Quinault.

Ketchum TSD, February 29; 17 entrants, 6 hours. Mostly Skagit County roads. Simple, accurate measurements and R.I’s.

Genteel and brisk at times,  a really low score was possible. Best trick was CAST to 10 mph for maybe 500 feet, with a CP lurking to catch the non-believers. Te newly formed PSRC had enough checkpoints, and this rally probably had a “fruitful” checkout- it was hard to find a fault.

Perhaps due to the vagaries of the weather, or (more likely) to give time for the CP crews to shuffle, there were two deliberate breaks. One was at the Conway ice cream/gas station that I happen to like. The other was at Concrete, just before the hillclimb that has gotten countless Alcan rallyists “in the mood”. (And wasn’t used this year.)

Well aware of my sins and errors, I didn’t check scores. -MN

Steven D. Perret and Kathryn Hansen demolished their orange Honda on the 100 Acres Rally in Missouri.  Both are okay except for residual soreness.  A new body shell has been located, and Steven is beginning to learn the financial consequences of going fast!  (By the way, the body damage was on the co-driver's side, so he's doing something right.)  Father, Steve R. Perret, seems to think that the new car will be ready for Oregon Trail.  From Sue Lingbloom )

New SCCA Sponsor “SCCA ProRally Championship presented by Hot Wheels®.” The 2004 sponsor has a one year contract.

Wild West 2005 After much breast-beating, harsh words, hard questions, and meager reasoning, there is a rumor that the Wild West may rejoin the SCCA ProRally Series in 2005.

Club News

  • Dues were paid at the February meeting, and still more lucre is due before March. $20 for families, $17 for singles. No penalty for late payment, but we’re working on that.

  • The wretches in the Circulation Dept. have asked the WAG Editorial Dept. to poll readers and determine if all those paper copies of the WAG need to be laboriously printed, folded, stamped and labeled.

  • If the e-mail version is sufficient, please e-mail the Editor and request “No Paper”.


  • “Please let everyone know that the Kirkland Tire Factory carries the FULL LINE of Nokian tires (along with Bridgestone, Pirelli, Michelin, Goodyear,
    Kelly- Springfield, Cooper, and almost anything else), and they're real good folks. For those of us that absolutely must have their winter Hakkapiilitta fix, this is a good, solid dealership. They also only charged $12.50 per wheel for changing over from snows to others, mounted and balanced. They're located at 602 6th Street in Kirkland, just a little west of I-405. Phone number is 425-822-8251.” – Roy Ward

  • Pete Shelton has added another one to his pit crew. A little girl this time.

FOR SALE / Wanted:

  • Future Classic: TSD rally-ready 1983 Audi Turbo Quattro Coupe.  Mars red.  170K miles.  Lots of goodies, well maintained by owner (retired mechanic) $ 7,500.00). E-mail Peter Linde at pjnconn@yahoo.com.

  • “Just came across a set of die-cut vinyl letters "MOPARSUSHI".  2-1/2 inches high, white. Free.” Ed Storer edstorer@comcast.net ,  206-282-3145

RASC Calendar

*ORCA's TSD Rally class....APRIL 3rd. To be held at Northlake Christian Church, 19029 North Road in Bothell. The instructors will be Bob & Debbie Sjodin (from ORCA). Their presentation has become a full blown hi-tech, Audio-Visual experience...truly one not to be missed.

The class will begin at 9am & end around 4pm: beginning with various classroom sessions, a short TSD 'practice' rally for trying out what was taught, & then followed by the review session.

There will be snacks provided. For further info...contact Rem Remington at 425-778-6032 or email him at remremington@hotmail.com

And all this for only $10.00 per person!!  And will include a discount towards the NWRC April Friday Nighter too

2004 Northwest Stage Rally Schedule  
  • April 3/4- Reno 1 & 2, Reno, NV

  • April 22-24- Oregon Trail ProRally, Hillsboro, OR 

  • May 22-23- Bighorn, Edison, AB

  • May 28-29- Rocky Mountain, Calgary, AB

  • June 5- Dryad Quest, Shelton, WA

  • June 6- Shitepoke, Shelton, WA

  • June 26- Mountain Trials Rally, Merritt, BC

  • July 24-25- Rally Café, Bremerton, WA

  • July 31- ORV Sprint 1, McCleary, WA 

  • Aug 1- ORV Sprint 2, McCleary, WA 

  • Sept 11- Sou'Wester, Olympia, WA

  • Sept 12- Simpson Stages, Shelton, WA

  • Oct ? - Mt. Hood, Hood River, OR 

  • Oct 16- Pacific Forest Rally, Merritt, BC

  • Nov 7- Kananaskis, Cochrane, AB

Rallying in B.C.

  • May 01- Heart of Darkness       

  • June 04/06- Coast to Coast

  • July 24/25- Gold Digger

  • Oct 30- Midnight

  • Nov 13/14- Totem

Local TSD

• Call the NWRC Hotline (206) 256-9627 for latest info on Puget Sound TSD events. NWRC Friday Niters start at the Eastgate (Bellevue) Park and Ride. Reg opens at 6:45, FCO 7:31

  • Mar 12- Friday Nighter, FOOTZ/CSCC

  • April 9- Friday Nighter NWRC/ORCA

  • April 18- Raindrop, RASC    Kirkland,

  •  May 14- Friday Nighter, NWRC/PSRC

  • May 15- Jack's Rally, ORCA. Bellevue, WA

  • June 11- Friday Nighter, NWRC/TS

  • June 19-20- No Alibi, RASC, TSD gravel Ellensburg-Clarkston-Ellensburg

  • July 9   Friday Nighter NWRC

  • Aug. 13- Friday Nighter, NWRC/ORCA

  • Sept. 10- Friday Nighter. NWRC

  • Oct. 2- Night on Bald Mountain, ORCA

  • Oct. 8- Friday Nighter           NWRC/RASC

  • Nov 6- Armageddon XXIII,CSCC, Bellingham,

  • Nov. 12- Friday Nighter            NWRC/ORCA

SCCA National Pro-Rally

  • Jan. 30-31- Sno*Drift* Rally, Atlanta, Mich.

  • April 23-25- Oregon Trail, Hillsboro, Ore.

  • May 7-8- Rim of the World, Palmdale, Calif.

  • Jun 5- Susquehannock Trail, Wellsboro, Penn.

  • Jun 24-26- Pikes Peak Int'l Hillclimb, Colorado Springs, Colo.

  • July 30-31- Maine Forest Rally, Rumford, Maine

  • Aug. 27-28- Ojibwe Forests, Bemidji, Minn.

  • Sep. 24-26- Colorado Cog, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

  • Oct. 22-23- Lake Superior, Houghton, Mich.

Rainier Auto Sports Club

will meet this coming Monday,  March  8 at 7:30 PM at Café Veloce at the Totem Lake shopping center. Best way I can think of to get there is north on I-405, take the "NE 124th" exit, then keep right under NE 124th and straight at the signal. This puts you on Totem Lake Blvd, not whatever the frontage road is next to I-405. Then right first poss, with the Café on your right at that point.

 Monthly meetings are the second Monday of each month. Past Members, visitors, and spectators are welcomed.


Review of the legendary Alcan.  The Team D folks have earned some bragging rights, so just go along and let them bask in their glory. Maybe they’ll tell some lies. Jerry is already forming plans for the Summer Alcan. There’s Thunderbird, with members, ex-members and wannabe-members participating.

Nolte will offer opinions on the state of stage rally. Ed Millman can read the list of membership renewals .

Raindrop seems a long way off;  but worth talking about.

2004 Board Members:

President: Steve Willey – (206) 417-8517; Vice-President:;   Marvin Crippen –(206)365-5915

Secretary: Eric Horst  (206)363-9752;  Treasurer: Ed Millman (206)361-7389

Members at Large:, Mike Jones- (425)823-8329, Jerry Hines (425) 823-6343

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)652-3578. View back issues at http://www.rainierautosports.com/wag/default.htm

Contributions and paid/unpaid ad eagerly received at Rainier Auto Sports Club, P.O. Box 852, Kirkland, WA 98134

 2108 NE 12Th. St., Renton, WA 98056  or e-mail: mnolte@blarg.net



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