The Event:

The Plan b Rally rose out of the ashes of the Quartzite Rally, an event which a lot of competitors would love to have come back due to the awesome stage roads. The rally moved to Ridgecrest a year ago, and now has settled in its new home, headquartered in Indio, California. Using one stage road from the Desert Storm Rally and a brand new stage road, it turned out to be a blast for all of the competitors, who also enjoyed having both day and night stages.

A Bilstein of America management team and engineers came out to volunteer their time at the event, and provided several start and finish controls with their help. We would like to thank them for supporting our sport; we heard they had a great time.

This event was a coefficient 2 points event sanctioned by Rally America Inc.* It was also a round of the Bilstein Southwest Rallycup Series/Bilstein Cup Class,* as well as the California Rally Series.* The rally took place on May 8th, 2010.

The Competitors:
Doug Chernis and Craig Macnair came out to conquer Grahams Pass (the stage beat them last time), and the Subaru team won that personal challenge. Then they found that the new stage road really pumped them up, and the duo truly enjoyed the new night stages. A lot of the competitors loved the fact that Grahams Pass was in the Plan b schedule, since they did not get to use it at Desert Storm.

George Doganis and Tom Smith were on Doug’s tail the whole time, and were not going to give Doug and Craig any slack in the fight for rally victory; they had to earn it. George took second place overall and first place in Group 2 in his 1997 Honda Civic. Doganis and Smith are still in the lead overall in points for the Bilstein Cup Class.

Michel Hoche-Mong, in his Group 2 class 1985 VW Golf GTI, did not compete at Desert Storm but did come out to compete at Plan b. He and co-driver Marie Boyd came on strong to take third overall and first in the Performance Stock class. Boyd was delighted to be able to get back in a competition car, since her regular driver has retired from rallying. Michel is coming on strong to challenge George Doganis for the year-long Bilstein Cup Class championship. Michel won a Group 2 Rally America national championship a year ago, so watch out for him. It is likely to come down to the final event, whether it’s at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb, Seed 9, or the Roxton Rallye de Paris in the Bilstein SWRC series. It will be exciting to see who wins this coveted award from Bilstein of America, along with the contingency funds up for grabs.

Alex Helton and Pat Lobban started the rally near the bottom of the speed rankings, but came out on near the top in fourth overall in the event. Helton also took third place in Group 2 and in the Bilstein Cup Class, and first in CRS-2. Marco Zapata/Francisco Arellano took fifth place overall with first in PGT class and first in CRS-GT.

The brother and sister team of Andrew/Robin Lockhart was truly hardcore, by competing at Plan b taking sixth overall in the event, which was good for fourth in Group 2 and the Bilstein Cup Class, and then second CRS-2. They came to the awards, left to take care of Mother’s Day, then got the car prepped for Oregon Trail and left by Tuesday to get up to that rally in time to do recce. They finished that event 27th overall and fourth in Group 2. Not bad for a full two rally weekends’ worth…

Also Gaylord Van Brocklin/Steve Secviar did the same thing. They competed in Plan band finished sixth overall and fifth in Bilstein Cup Class, along with fourth place in CRS-2, and then went on to Oregon Trail to compete and finish between first and second in Group 2 and 25th overall in the event. They were doing the MaxAttack! program and came out with fourth-place winnings. They had a great two rally weekends.

The rest of the field:

Timo Hayosh/Eric Olson – 2nd in RA/SWRC-Open/CRS Open 4WD
Jack Szanto/Jack Penley- 1st in RA/SWRC-Group 5/2nd -CRS-5
John Black/Katianna Pihakari – RA/SWRC-1st-Production/2nd-Perf Stock
Chuck Wilson/Jonathan Schiller- 5th in RA/SWRC-Group 2/3rd-CRS-2
Javier Olivares/Brock Heinz – 7th-RA/SWRC- Group 2/3rd-CRS-Perf Stock
Jojo Angeles/Jun Castrence – 8th-RA/SWRC-Group 2/5th-CRS-2
Tyler Turnbull/Tony Holden- DNF
Terrance/Nic Peterson – DNF

*About Rally America:
Based in Golden Valley, Minn., Rally America sanctions the premier performance rally series in the United States, the Rally America National Championship Series. In 2010, Rally America will conduct six National Championship events at venues across the country, from Olympia, Washington to Newry, Maine. Rally America competitors reach speeds of well over 100 mph in modified street cars on natural-terrain courses consisting of gravel, dirt or snow. Additionally, through a partnership with ESPN, qualifying Rally America drivers will be invited to compete in ESPN’s Summer X Games 16, the annual leading action-sports event that’s broadcast live on ESPN. For more information, be sure to visit

*About Bilstein Southwest RallyCup Series:

Organized as a non_profit in 2004 and officially recognized by Rally America, the sanctioning body for national and regional rally events in the USA, the Southwest RallyCup series supports the advancement of the sport of performance stage rally in the Southwest region of the United States. The 2010 season currently features 6 events over 6 weekends, and is promoted as an attainable entry point for individuals interested in participating in the sport. In 2010, Bilstein of America proudly is the title sponsor for the Southwest RallyCup Series and to add in 2010 the Bilstein Cup Class.

Bilstein offers a complete selection of shock absorbers for most vehicles. For more information visit the website at: or call 1_800_537_1085

*About the California Rally Series:
This is the 36th running season of the series. A association formed by event organizers and the officers of the series to support event organizers and provide/promote the sport of Performance Rallying.

Photos (c) 2010: Motorsport Memories,

Editor’s Note: This article was submitted to on May 21, but was not posted until June 14. I apologize to the event’s organizers. Ben B.



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