Thirteen teams took the start of the Seed 9 rally on November 5, 2011, based in Jean, NV. The rally consisted of thirty-five miles of dirt roads, starting in the afternoon and finishing after nightfall. Seed 9 marked the return of Bill Holmes and Sean Gallagher in a new large-displacement two wheel-drive class (CRS-5) Ford Raptor, after sitting out most of the season. The team was definitely not rusty, as they managed to win every stage and take the overall victory for the second year in a row at Seed 9.

Third overall and first in the production-based four wheel-drive class (CRS-GT) was Scott Crouch in his Subaru WRX. He drove a solid race, but was unable to make any headway into Holmes’ lead after dark as dust hung in the still night air and reduced visibility for everyone but the leader who was first on the road.

The closest battle of the day was in the small-displacement two wheel-drive class (CRS-2), where three teams were trading times throughout the event. After the final stage, preliminary results showed Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas taking the class win by just one second over Javier Olivares and Brock Heinz. However, Chavez/Salas were hit with a twenty second penalty for checking in late on the last transit, giving Olivares/Heinz the victory. Chuck Wilson and Brent Ellzey slotted into second place, only sixteen seconds back.

In the production-based two wheel-drive class (P-Stock), Rene and Sandra de la Trinidad took the class win. The victory capped off a weekend that started with them getting married in nearby Las Vegas the night before the rally.
The Seed 9 rally marked the conclusion of the 2011 CRS rally championship. Taking first place this season among the open four wheel-drive drivers was Jon Burke, thanks to wins in Idaho and North Nevada. He edged out Dick Rockrohr, who also had a win in North Nevada earlier this season. Among the co-drivers in this class, Laurence Babahekian finished first overall, with Mustafa Samli in the runner-up spot.

In CRS-5, team-mates Brian Hamblin and Ray Hocker finished as the top driver and co-driver respectively. Ray won the (now defunct) stock class as a driver twenty-five years ago, but this marks his first CRS class title as a co-driver.

CRS-2 was the most popular class of 2011, with over 35 participants this year. Michel Hoche-Mong claimed his first CRS class driver title in the hotly contested class, with Chuck Wilson taking second by a narrow margin over Javier Olivares in third. Brent Ellzey finished first among co-drivers thanks to his third place finish at Seed 9. Thomas Smith was closely behind in second place, followed by Brock Heinz in third.

In CRS-GT, last year’s P-Stock champion Alex Rademacher took the drivers victory in his Subaru after converting it from two wheel-drive to four wheel-drive in the off season. Second place went to Katiana Pihakari, while Kris-Jon Lyssand claimed third. Jeana Yi took the top spot among co-drivers, with Joshua Rodriguez in second and John Dillon taking third.

Jen Imai claimed the class win in P-Stock, over 2009 winner John Black thanks to victories in Idaho and Mendocino. Imai’s co-driver Terry Stonecipher also took top honors, with Lori Stone finishing in second place.
In the CRS Moto Championship, John Black claims the victory in the under 800cc class, the only class that had motorcycle competitors this year.

The 2011 Seed 9 rally is based in Jean, NV and features stages on maintained gravel roads with some rocky areas, sandy washes and exposures. The compact schedule sends competitors over 40 stage miles, finishing at the historic Pioneer Saloon in Goodsprings, NV. For more information on the Seed 9 rally, visit: http://www.seed9rally.com/.

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.

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