Victory at the 1973 High Desert Trails for RC Laton and Gerry Finn
The rally was originally run in 1973 by Mike Gibeault & Gary Potts. It used roads South East and West of Ridgecrest, California that are now mostly part of an OHV trail system or paved. In the seventies, performance rallies were setup much like brisk TSD’s (a time speed distance rally with a high or unobtainable average speed on twisty dirt roads) and the rally was scored by checkpoints along the route. These rallies would run for hundreds of miles and usually all night. Sometimes workers didn't make it to the control and there have been many stories of getting to the finish and not having anyone there to check you in, workers asleep, etc. Roads were not closed and on-coming traffic was a general problem. It is unknown to us at this time the complete number of times and years High Desert Trails has run.
In 2008 the High Desert Trails rally was resurrected by Ray Hocker (who competed in the 1974 event and ran the event for several years in the 1980′s). A small motorsport facility outside of Ridgecrest had raised the funds to cut over six miles of stages into their property. Ray & Donna Hocker organized the 2008 event as a ‘shakedown’ for not only the cars, but the new roads.
Seeing an opportunity to keep the rally alive in 2009, Kristopher & Christine Marciniak organized their first event using the motorsports facility outside of Ridgecrest for the 2009 and 2010 events. In 2011 and onward, the rally was expanded to use roads that had originally been part of High Desert Trails and several other events in the past (20 Mule Team Stages, La Journada Trebajosa, Borax Bill Memorial Stages, and Piute Mountain Trials). The rally continues to run today!
We are so excited to announce that Early Entry registration is open for the 40th anniversary of the High Desert Trails Rally! This year's event will be held on May 4th and the deadline for Early Entry ($575 - same great price as last year!) is Saturday, April 6th. Competitor details can be found at: http://highdeserttrails.com/competitors
Also new this year is the High Desert Trail Rallycross, which will be held on Sunday, May 5th, 2013 at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds, 520 S Richmond Street, Ridgecrest. This event will count for points for the 2013 CRS Rallycross Championship! As a rally participant in this year's event, we are offering drivers and co-drivers alike a discounted entry at the brand new High Desert Trail Rallycross! For more information and to sign up for the rallycross, please visit the rallycross section of our website: http://highdeserttrails.com/rallycross/
Interested in more of the history?
Checkout the 1973 - 75 results here: http://highdeserttrails.com/results/
We hope to see you on the stages this year!
Kristopher & Christine Marciniak
High Desert Trails Rally