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Los Angeles – The Northern California City of Ukiah played host to the Mendocino Rally on August 4, 2012. Twelve teams descended on the scenic town to compete on the hard packed dirt roads of the South Cow Mountain Off-Highway Vehicle area. The stages have a distinct flavor, with flowing twists and turns that drivers raved about all weekend.
Michel Hoche-Mong kept his winning streak alive after taking top honors in the small- displacement two-wheel drive CRS-2 class at the Idaho Rally in June. He not only took the class win at Mendocino, but won the rally overall in his VW Golf. His win was not without drama, however, as an overheating fuel pump nearly left him stranded before the last stage. He let it cool off, and fortunately was able to get the car started with just seconds to spare before taking the start. The close call did not throw off his concentration as Hoche-Mong went on to win the final stage. Claiming second-place points in CRS-2 were the team of Brent Hercelinsky and Alex Orozco in their Suzuki Swift. Their strong finish moves them both into third place in the championship with just two rallies remaining.
Last year’s overall winner Alex Rademacher returned with hopes to defend his title in his Subaru Impreza. However, he could not hold off Hoche-Mong’s charge and had to settle for second overall and first in the production-based four-wheel drive CRS-GT class. Barely one-minute behind Rademacher were Aaron Ekinaka and Marra Estep, also competing in a Subaru Impreza. They put up a strong fight throughout the rally, but could not match Rademacher’s pace.
The production-based two-wheel drive P-Stock class was shaping up to be yet another battle between John Black and Sarkis Mazmanian. By the halfway point, Mazmanian had a slim lead over Black and co-driver Lori Stone, but suspension damage to his Acura Integra ended Mazmanian’s rally early. Black/Stone went on to claim the class win in their Ford Ranger. Chris and Victoria Rosner drove a smooth rally and took second place in their Geo Metro. Despite his DNF, Mazmanian holds on to a slim lead in the class going into the last two rallies of the season.
The California Rally Series heads south to Lebec, CA for the next event, the 2012 Gorman Ridge Rally. The rally features 60 miles of hard-packed dirt stages located within the Hungry Valley Off-Road Vehicle Park, just one hour north of Los Angeles.
The California Rally Series 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.
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.