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LEBEC, Calif. (Aug. 4, 2012) — The Gorman Ridge Rally, presented by Subaru Western Region, is the third event in the 2012 United States Rally Championship. Taking place Saturday, Aug. 25, the rally celebrates its 23rd anniversary. Gorman is also the fifth event in the California Rally Series.
As traditional forest stage rallies slowly began to fade into obscurity in many parts of the U.S., Gorman's flexibility in venue continues to provide both a challenging and exciting course inside the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area in Lebec, Calif. The event's headquarters will be at the Holiday Inn Express in Lebec.
Building on the success and positive competitor feedback from previous years' events, the course will once again use those stages. The route is all dirt road surfaces, which are generally smooth and hard packed with occasional rough or sandy spots. There are always a fair number of washouts and waterbars.
Stage rallying, or rally racing, is often defined as "real cars, on real roads, going real fast." It is a form of auto racing that takes place on closed public or private roads in modified production or specially built road-legal vehicles. A co-driver, or navigator, has a set of incremental instructions he or she reads to the driver. Teams follow a point-to-point format of stages that make up the rally, leaving the start of each stage at regular intervals. Victory is claimed, using a combination of skill and speed, to the team who finished with the lowest overall time. Competitors are divided into classes based on factors such as power train and engine size. However, it is more than just the team and their cars—it is a family, a community of many dedicated people work together. Rally involves competitors, service crews and volunteer workers.
For many years Gorman drivers navigated the roads inside the Angeles National Forest, until the event's permit application renewal was denied. Organizer Ray Hocker hopes the rally can return to the forest roads in the near future.
"We are really happy with the relationship we've built through the many years with the staff and administration at Hungry Valley," Hocker said. "We were a good forest user and had a perfect safety record for over 30 years. Every year we did thousands of dollars of road upkeep and repair on the forest roads."
Gorman Ridge Rally is infamous for its barbecue. This year it will be during the rally's mid-point and provided by the local Boy Scouts. Post-event beer is provided by Karl Strauss Brewing Company.
The event also features live scoring, presented by RallyData.com, available through the event's website.
As an added bonus, for those who want to follow the event's social media efforts, there will be live text-based updates, using a custom, proprietary application aptly called Live Text as well as the other popular methods. Facebook members can find us at http://www.facebook.com/groups/gormanridge/, and follow @gormanridgerally on Twitter. To tie this all together, visit the event's news blog at http://gormanridgerally.wordpress.com.
Further information about the Gorman Ridge Rally is available on the Web at www.gormanridgerally.com. The event is sanctioned by NASA Rally Sport and organized by Creative Edge Events, Inc.
Ray and Donna Hocker, Organizers
Creative Edge Events, Inc.
About NASA Rally Sport: www.nasarallysport.com
NASA Rally Sport is a sanctioning body dedicated solely to stage rallying in the United States that provides a customer-driven organization offering safe, fair competition. It provides affordable events for competitors, volunteers, organizers and sponsors. Its goal is to keep fees as low as possible; in turn, cost is kept down for organizers and competitors alike. Its focus is on the sportsman-level competitor working with each organizer to help them put on great events for the grassroots racers that are the backbone of this sport.
About United States Rally Championship: www.unitedstatesrallychampionship.com
Celebrating its seventh season, the USRC draws on the very best in U.S. rally events to create a championship that offers national-level competitors an affordable and realistic series. It is open to both domestic and international rally teams eager to join the American rally experience. Its streamlined schedule and strategic locations allow competitors the opportunity to compete in a national championship without the overwhelming costs required to traverse the continent. The USRC is operated and controlled by United States Rally Inc.
About the California Rally Series: www.californiarallyseries.com
The CRS is the premier performance rally championship in the southwestern United States. The Series incorporates events from various sanctioning bodies in order to create a meaningful regional championship for its members. The Series celebrates more than 35 continuous years of performance rally, making it the longest running rally series in the United States. To learn more about the California Rally Series visit www.californiarallyseries.com and follow @crspress on twitter.
Los Angeles – The California Rally Series heads to Northern California with the Mendocino Rally on August 4th, 2012. Fourteen teams are set to compete on fifty miles of twisty hard packed dirt roads outside of Ukiah, CA. New for 2012, teams will be provided with stage notes to help them navigate the extremely technical course. With over ten lines of instructions per miles, co-drivers will definitely have their work cut out for them!
The top seeded team is Alex Rademacher and Jeana Yi, who won the event last year in their Subaru Impreza. The team will be looking to redeem themselves after a mistake at the last event in North Nevada caused them to get stuck off the road and cost them an overall victory. They will face stiff competition in the production-based four-wheel drive CRS-GT class from Aaron Ekinaka and Marra Estep, also competing in a Subaru Impreza. Ekinaka hasn’t competed since the Gorman Rally last Summer, but he took the class win over Rademacher at that event, so expect a tight battle between the two Impreza drivers at Mendocino. Also fighting for class points are Ray Piloto in his Subaru and Michael Carnes and Reza Yazdani in their Audi 4000CS.
Michel Hoche-Mong is the current points leader in the small-displacement two-wheel drive CRS-2 class, and is a favorite to extend his lead. Look for him to be pushing his VW Golf to its limits in a fight for the overall podium. Meanwhile, the team of Erik Christiansen/Amy Floyd, also in a VW Golf, will also be pushing to score championship class points in order to move up the leaderboard.
In the production-based two-wheel drive P-Stock class, the two teams who have been battling all season will be at it again in Mendocino. Sarkis Mazmanian currently has a narrow lead in the year end points total. He is teaming up with veteran co-driver John Dillon in hopes of taking the class win in their Acura Integra. Hoping to usurp the lead is John Black, who pairs up once again with Lori Stone in their Ford Ranger. The two drivers have been trading stage times all season long, so the class competition should be extremely close.
The 2012 Mendocino Rally is based in Ukiah, CA. The rally features nearly 50 miles of hard-packed twisty stages contained within the South Cow Mountain off-road vehicle park. For more information on the Mendocino Rally visit http://www.mendocinorally.com.