The Temple Canyon Hill Climb, based in Canon City, CO, marked the second round of the Colorado Rally Cup and the first flat out high-speed event of the 2008 schedule. Twenty-one teams entered the rally classes for the annual Mothers Day weekend race, setting a new overall entry record for the rally classes.

Practice and qualifying on Saturday greeted teams with one of the smoothest road seen in years, but with ominous weather. After wind and sporadic periods of rain made conditions less than hospitable for officials and course workers, two all-wheel-drive teams posted qualifying times faster than the standing record of 3:21.75 with three more teams within three seconds of the record. In two-wheel-drive the record wasn’t under threat, but five teams were within 10 seconds with a further two just 13 seconds off of top qualifier John Conley, with co-driver Keith Rudolph, in their Dodge Neon SRT-4.

Conditions improved overnight and Sunday greeted teams with a forecast of mid-70s with a slight breeze, ideal conditions for racing. On the first run, the competition in rally all-wheel-drive that had been building during practice and qualifying began to boil over with the top four teams within five seconds and all under the record with two additional teams just seconds more back. After the second run a total of 5.53 seconds covered the top 5 teams in rally all-wheel-drive with all 5 teams breaking the previous record and .52 seconds separating first from second. As the dust settled Jason Waples and JP Hodgson came out ahead, 0.52 seconds in front of their teammates Todd Moberly and Rebecca Greek to go 1-2 for JP Motorsports/Phoenix Autosport, with Mike Whitman and Aaron McConnell finishing just ahead of Dave and Allison Kern to finish third.

Rally two-wheel-drive saw John Conley and Keith Rudolph finish a comfortable 7.2 seconds ahead of Scott Leonard and Adam Kniepp, who just finished ahead of Jim Gillaspy and Chris Daniher and Jeremy Brown and Simon Branton-Housely. Further down the order the remaining five entries were all within six seconds forcing all teams to be on the limit and flat out on both runs. Unfortunately the rally two-wheel-drive class also saw the Texas-based entry of Fornari and Paipott suffer a race-ending crash after just starting their first run on Sunday, forcing the team out of the event and throwing into jeopardy the rest of the team’s season as they make repairs to their Mazda RX7.

Teams will have a short three week break, then will head to the Continental Divide Hill Climb based in Monarch, CO. After such tight battles at Temple Canyon, the competition is sure to be fierce as teams battle for Colorado Rally Cup points and Colorado Hill Climb Association results.

About the Colorado Rally Cup:
The Colorado Rally Cup is a multi-organizational championship. Formed by competitors for competitors, entered teams compete in eight events covering three different versions of rallysport-based competition in three different classes. More information on the Colorado Rally Cup can be found at: http://www.ColoradoRallyCup.org

About the Colorado Hill Climb Association:
For 37 years the Colorado Hill Climb Association (CHCA) has been putting on a series of all-dirt hillclimbs in Colorado. Host to a variety of different classes the CHCA will offer its brand of high-speed dirt racing at five events, promising something for just about every motorsport fan in the process. More information on the CHCA, as well as detailed results, can be found at: http://www.CHCAracing.com

Story & Photo (c) 2008 Kevin Hahn – Jason Waples with interim co-driver Jason Hodgson continued to show his prowess at Colorado Hill Climb Association events and took an impressive victory over team mates Todd Moberly and Rebecca Greek. Their .52 second victory is one of the closest seen in the rally classes at a CHCA event and put them just nine points back in Colorado Rally Cup standings after two events.

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