The 2010 California Rally Series (CRS) Championship concluded this past weekend as fourteen teams competed at the season finale, the Seed 9 Rally in Jean, Nevada. The rally saw some class championships come down to the wire, while other drivers came out to have some fun even though they already had mathematically eliminated their competition.

Keith Jackson and Marra Estep repeated their 2009 performance and took top honors once again in the Four-Wheel-Drive Open class as driver and co-driver, respectively. Although the team had locked up first place with their performance at the Prescott Rally, Keith couldn’t stay away and came out to Seed 9 to drive the course closing vehicle, trading his Subaru Impreza rally car for a pickup truck. Timo Hayosh (driver) and Eric Olson (co-driver) secured second place in Open Four-Wheel-Drive with their first in class finish at Seed 9 in their Toyota Tacoma. Third place in the championship went to the team of Wolfgang Hoeck and Piers O’Hanlon who teamed up for victories at the High Desert Trails and Idaho Rallies in a Mitsubishi Evolution.

The CRS-5 class came down to the very last event, where George Doganis and Tom Smith in their Honda Civic earned second place points, which was sufficient to give them the championship over Bill Holmes and Sean Gallagher in their Ford F-150, despite Holmes and Gallagher winning the final event overall. Seed 9 was the first event that saw these two talented drivers compete head to head this year, as engine problems forced Holmes to miss several events earlier in the season.

CRS-2 was the most popular class this season, with a total of ten drivers and eleven co-drivers competing throughout the year. It came down to the last event, but the father and son team of Terrance and Nic Peterson in their Ford Escort claimed the class and championship win at Seed 9. CRS regular Chuck Wilson teamed with experienced co-driver Jonathan Schiller (also in a Ford Escort) and drove a consistent season, but they could not match the pace of the Petersons. Mechanical problems forced a DNF at Seed 9, and the pair had to settle for second in the championship. Third place in CRS-2 went to the rookie team of Gaylord Van Brocklin and Steve Secviar, who showed impressive speed, but battled a number of mechanical issues throughout the season. After a now legendary three wheeled seven mile ride in Prescott, the two continued their “press on regardless” spirit by limping their VW Golf through the final two stages at Seed 9 while stuck in second gear to take second in class.

Kevin Welker and Nolan Sambrano repeated their 2009 CRS-GT class victory again this year. They had accumulated enough points earlier in the season to sit out Seed 9 without threatening their championship, which was for the best as they blew an engine in their Subaru Impreza at the very end of the previous event. Second place in CRS-GT was rookie driver Katianna Pihakari, also in a Subaru Impreza, with her two co-drivers from this season, John Dillon and Marie Boyd tying for second place in the championship.

After his decision to sit out Seed 9 last year cost Alex Rademacher the Performance-Stock championship, he didn’t take any chances this year and entered the event despite he and co-driver John Stewart having a mathematical lock on the top spots. He teamed up with a new co-driver, Mike Ingoldby, to have fun and get some more seat time. Alex has announced he plans to convert his Subaru Impreza to four wheel drive in order to move to CRS-GT next season. Second place in P-Stock went to last year’s champion driver John Black, while the second place co-driver trophy goes to Brent Ellzey, who teamed up with a couple of different drivers and also found time to help organize the Prescott Rally. Third place in the highly competitive P-Stock class were Michel Hoche-Mong and Marie Boyd, who put their VW Golf on the podium at Seed 9.

The 2010 Bike Bandit CRS Moto Championship Under 800cc class was won by Chris Martin, who almost had a clean sweep of the series. His second place finish on the first day of the North Nevada Rally was the only event this season he didn’t win. Second place in class went to Noah Horak, who had strong finishes at the North Nevada and Prescott Rallies. First place in the over 800cc class went to Ken Wahlster.

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 and view the complete 2010 championship standings, visit www.californiarallyseries.com.

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