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Rally Schedule

High Desert Trails Rally
May 4-5, 2018
Coefficient 2,3
Gorman Ridge Rally
Aug 25, 2018
Coefficient 3
Prescott Rally
Sept 29, 2018
Coefficient 3
Rallycross Schedule

The 2017 CRS Banquet is only weeks away. Sign Up Now!

The season is over and it's now time to get together with your CRS family to celebrate thi...

California Rally Series Championship Closes Out the Season at the Prescott Rally

Los Angeles – On October 5 & 6, the Prescott Rally marked the finale of the California Rally Ser...

Confused about the CRS Classes?

CRS press liason and CRS2 competitor Erik Christiansen has put together an article explaining the CR...

Getting Started in Rally

Welcome To Performance Rallying! To a rally driver it's an all out, day or night race on an unknown...

PostHeaderIcon Side by Sides Dominate in California Rally Series Championship Debut at Frazier Mountain

Los Angeles – California Rally Series (CRS) Championship season introduced new championship classes for Side by Side (SxS), vehicles, which have exploded in popularity of the last few years.  The Frazier Mountain Rally, held on May 20, was the first event to feature these new classes, and what an exciting debut it was, with SxS occupying all of the top four spots on the leaderboard!  The lightweight vehicles were well suited for the twisty stages that climb up and then down Frazier Mountain within the Los Padres National Forest.


Claiming the overall win and the SxS Production Turbo class victory was Stephan Verdier, a name familiar to Global Rallycross and Formula D drifting fans.  Verdier bested second place finisher Rhys Millen, another Global Rallycross and Formula D veteran, by a margin of only six seconds after forty-five minutes of racing!  Both drivers were piloting Polaris RZR XP 1000 Turbos.

Despite being down on horsepower at elevations approaching 7,500 feet, the normally-aspirated production SxS class still set times beyond even the fastest cars.  James Hill took the class win, and third overall with Erica Sacks calling notes from the passenger seat of his Polaris RZR XP 1000.  Not far behind was Cain Smead and co-driver Michael Henderson in a Yamaha YXZ 1000R, who finished fourth overall, almost a minute ahead of the fastest car.

WRXIn Open Four-Wheel drive class, Flynn Baglin and co-driver Vincent D’Angelo piloted their Subaru Impreza WRX to the class win and fifth overall behind the SxS.  The finished earned them enough points to move into the championship lead ahead of John Coyne and Doug Nagy, who were unable to make it to the first stage when they found boost issues in their Subaru Impreza. Deke Williams and Timbrey Lind, also in a Subaru Impreza WRX finished second in class, which puts them in third place for the championship, narrowly behind Coyne / Nagy. 


Chris Palermo and Chris Fine teamed up again for a last minute entry into the rally in their Performance-Stock (P-Stock) class Nissan Sentra.  They continued their streak of class wins which puts them solidly in the championship lead.  Their P-Stock rivals Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas had a rocky start to the event, with three flat tires in as many stages.  They finished the rally, but vowed to find a new tire supplier!

TuLast year’s P-Stock champs Brian Tullio and co-driver Andres Bautista have moved up to the large-displacement two-wheel drive CRS-5 class with a new (to them) Mazda MX3.  Tullio was ecstatic with the horsepower improvement over his old P-Stock BMW and his comfort level with the car was evident as he moved up the leaderboard, taking the class win and finishing just 0.6 seconds behind Palermo/Fine.

In the Four-wheel drive normally-aspirated Open Lite class, Kurt Northrup took his third class win in as many events.  He extended his lead over rookie driver Ernie Manansala, who saw his pace improve throughout the rally (even besting Northrup on the penultimate stage) thanks to pairing with veteran co-driver Marie Boyd.  

hmmThis was only Eliza Coleman’s second rally, but she improved on her pace from the season opener and took first place in the small-displacement two-wheel drive CRS-2 class.  This earned her and her co-driver Alex Gelsomino (of WRC fame) the lead in the championship over Erik Christiansen and Amy Floyd, who were forced to withdraw with mechanical issues.


The championship battle continues June 10 and 11 with the Idaho Rally.  Based in Boise, ID, the rally is the furthest event on the CRS calendar.  The event draws a mix of competitors from all over the west coast and rocky mountain states.  With 50 entries there will be deep competition in every class, including SxS.  Teams to watch include John Coyne and Doug Nagy who hope to solve their turbo issues and improve over their podium position from last year.  Idaho will also be the first CRS event this year for the CRS-5 Toyota RAV4 of Ryan Millen and Rhianon Gelsomino.  Millen piloted his Toyota to a victory in the Open class championship in 2015, beating many turbocharged four-wheel drive Subarus with his nearly stock front-wheel drive Rav 4!  He will be battling in the CRS-5 class with Bradley Morris and Ryan Scott, who set some blisteringly fast times in their front-wheel drive Mitsubishi Lancer at High Desert Trails before they were forced to withdraw.  With over 130 stage miles, Idaho is the longest event on the calendar, so anything can happen on this two day event.

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 40 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 and follow @crspress on twitter. 



PostHeaderIcon California Rally Series Kicks off the 2017 Season at High Desert Trails Rally

Los Angeles – The 2017 California Rally Series (CRS) Championship season began on May 6 with the High Desert Trails Rally.  The stages outside of Ridgecrest, CA offered a wide mix of challenges for the drivers, ranging from high-speed blasts through the desert to dodging trees on twisty forest roads.  Twenty cars took the start in what marked the tenth consecutive running of the rally, which totaled over one hundred miles of competitive stages between two CRS points events (Chaparral Stages followed by Mojave Stages).

Coyne IMG 8732-L

Last year’s defending Open class season champions John Coyne and Doug Nagy started off the season on the right foot, claiming maximum points for both events in their Subaru Impreza.  Second place went to Flynn Baglin and Vincent D’Angelo, who were also competing in a Subaru Impreza.  Behind them in Open Class was a third Subaru Impreza, piloted by Deke Williams and Timbrey Lind.


Northrop IMG 8821-L

In the normally-aspirated four-wheel drive Open Lite class, Kurt Northrup and Will Smith took the top spot in both the Chaparral and Mojave Stages events.  Northrup was the 2016 Open Lite runner-up so he will be shooting for a championship win this season.  Their drive was not without excitement – at one point they clipped the inside of a right hand corner just enough to send them into a spin.  Fortunately they were able to keep it on the road and press on with nothing more than a scuff on the front bumper as a memento. 

cadwell IMG 8854-L

After a short hiatus, the large-displacement, two-wheel drive CRS-5 class has returned with growing popularity.  There was plenty of excitement at High Desert Trails, with multiple lead changes.  Bradley Morris and Ryan Scott were the pre-event favorites in their turbocharged Mitsubishi Lancer.  They had a substantial lead after the first three stages, and were mixing it up with the four-wheel drive cars when a mechanical problem forced them to retire on stage four.  The lead then switched to Andrew Cowan, who teamed up with 2016 P-Stock champ co-driver Andres Bautista for this event.  Cowan is last year’s CRS-5 champion who is looking to repeat this year.  They set some impressive stage times and secured first place class points for the Chaparral stages, but unfortunately a CV joint failed during an uphill section of the first stage of Mojave Stages, leaving them stuck on the side of the road.  This allowed the BMW 325 of Michael Cadwell and Omar Cardenas to improve upon their second place finish during the morning event, and take top CRS-5 honors in the Mojave Stages.  An impressive finish for their first rally!

Christiansen IMG 8776-L

Small-displacement, two-wheel drive cars compete in the CRS-2 class, which has seen some close competition over the years.  Husband and wife team Erik Christiansen and Amy Floyd drove their Volkswagen Golf GTI to victory in both the Chaparral and Mojave Stages events.  On the very last stage they experienced a similar off-road excursion as Forman/Furlong, going wide on a downhill right turn (in the dark!) but were able to rejoin the road and finish the event.  Second place went to the father and son team Larry and Lance Gross in their Toyota Corolla, despite their car not being well suited for the long uphill straights on some of the stages. 

Palermo IMG 8793-L

Performance Stock (aka “P-Stock) class is a CRS tradition, consisting of two-wheel drive cars with limited modifications.  Chris Palermo and co-driver Cristopher Fine drove a clean rally and were rewarded with first place in both events.  Husband and wife Tony Chavez and co-driver Raquel Salas pushed hard – perhaps a little too hard which resulted in some close calls.  They could only manage a second place finish in both events.


The next championship event on the CRS calendar is coming up this weekend with the Frazier Mountain Rally, based in Frazier Park, CA.  This event debuted last year and features tight and twisty stages that climb up to 7,500 feet in elevation!  John Coyne and Doug Nagy are favored to build on their Open class points lead, but will face competition from Flynn Baglin and Vincent D’Angelo who are second in the standings.  With exposures and trees lining the course, expect Frazier Mountain to be unforgiving to any mistakes!

Open Lite points leader Kurt Northrop will be looking to carry momentum from his win at High Desert Trails into Frazier Mountain.  He will be teamed up with a different co-driver Laurence Babahekian for the event.  Also looking to build on their points lead are the current CRS-2 leaders Erik Christiansen and Floyd.  Meanwhile Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas, who are currently sitting in second place in the Performance Stock standings are hoping to turn Frazier Mountain into an opportunity to pull into first place.  However, last year’s P-Stock champion Brian Tullio will be there debuting a new (to him) Mazda MX-3 with Andres Bautista back by his side in the co-driver seat.  Chavez bested Tullio at this event last year, so Tullio will be looking to even the score.

Frazier Mountain also marks the debut of the CRS Side by Side (SxS) Championship, a new series for 2017 that allows the popular utility vehicles to compete.  The series is off to a promising start, with SxS vehicles making up almost one third of the field.  There some big names in racing eager to give this new series a go.  Rhys Millen, who has competed in Formula D Drifting, Global Rallycross, and Pikes Peak (where he set a rear-wheel drive record time), will be piloting a Polaris RZR Turbo with veteran co-driver Chrissie Beavis reading him notes.  X-Games Rally Car veteran Stephan Verdier will also be competing in a turbocharged Polaris RZR. With the narrow, twisty stages, the light weight SxS vehicles might end up with an advantage over the heavier cars and be in the fight for the top of the podium! In the normally-aspirated SxS class, Cain Smead, a veteran SxS racer is the favorite, and is expected to be setting times alongside the turbo four-wheel drive cars in his Yamaha YXZ 1000R.   

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 40 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 and follow @crspress on twitter. 


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