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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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
http://highdeserttrails.com
 

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Somehow I missed the thread, but already registered.

You should register too, it's a really fun rally, with some nice quite high speed sections. Plus, the Powerstage is a fun idea which I haven't heard of other rallies doing 'round here :)
 

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This is a great event, we ran it the last two years and are already enter for this year. The schedule is superb, you can trailer the rally car to the start of Stage 1, which also happens to be the service area, fast stages to keep you on your toes. The first year we took a service crew because we didn't know the format, last year we showed up by ourselves and had a great time, biggest bang for your buck, highly recommended!!!

Tony Chavez
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
40 years ago the High Desert Trails Rally took participants on a 12 hour long journey down to Mojave, all the way up to Lake Isabella, and back to Ridgecrest on dirt roads and trails. In the beautiful flowing desert scenery of the area, stage rallying grew in Southern California much like it did all over the world, first with Time Speed Distance (TSD) events and then endurance rallies covering hundreds of miles. Closed road “specials” were soon followed by performance stage rallies necessitating roll cages and safety equipment. Route following and map reading gave rise to pace notes, and by the 21st century computer generated stage notes, but the challenge of High Desert Trails remains the same: flat out racing in one of the toughest motorsports in the world.



Just as it was true in 1973: “Those looking to take up the challenge will need both a good driver and good navigator. You will need an accurate odometer and protective underpinning is strongly recommended.” Rallying on the gorgeous roads of Kern County, the 2013 High Desert Trails Rally will be held on Saturday May 4th. This coefficient 3 (65+ mile) one day event maximizes new competitor fun while remaining a great challenge for experienced teams. Keeping with this theme, we are a blind rally with no reconnaissance, the exact route and stages will not be disclosed to the competitors until the organizer provided stage notes hit co-drivers hands.

High Desert Trails was often an early test for championship events, or it was part of a National Championship schedule. This year we are excited to be a qualifying round for the new NASA Rally Sport National Championship and the first round in the NASA Rally Sport Pacific Cup! Podium spots in 2WD and 4WD will qualify competitors for the National Championship event to be held at this years Prescott Rally.

A first for USA rally in 2012, the High Desert Trails Power Stage drove the excitement all the way to the finish. This year the Power Stage returns as not only a great challenge that will be rewarded with champagne and bragging rights, but as a qualifier for the National Championship. Fastest 2WD and fastest 4WD competitor here will also instantly qualify for a spot to contest the title of National Champion!

The 40th Anniversary Celebration continues on Sunday at the Empire Fair Grounds, where it all began, with a rallycross event! Volunteers will be rewarded with a big discount for helping out the rally if they sign up to compete, and rally competitors are encouraged to attend for fans and friends! More info on our website: http://highdeserttrails.com

For the fifth consecutive year, Streetwise Motorsports is pleased to support the High Desert Trails Rally. Streetwise offers rally car preparation rental, service, and parts including Bilstein Motorsports Struts. They have over twenty years of experience racing and knows what it takes to win rallies and championships! http://streetwiseparts.com

HDT is round 1 of the California Rally Series Championship for 2013. As the premiere rally series in the southwest, and one of the biggest regional championships in the country, the California Rally Series provides an exciting, well run championship for competitors, plus support, equipment, and volunteers for the rally. High Desert Trails is proud to be sanctioned by NASA Rally Sport. NRS focuses on competitor fun and providing support for rally organizers. Providing tools to the racers, organizers, and fans to increase their enjoyment of rally is one of the core missions of the organization.

Please join us in the beautiful high desert!
- Kris
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Time is running out with less then a month until HDT!
2013 Early Entry Discount Ends Tomorrow!

Pretty strong early showing though:
Current Rally Car Entry List

Come join us for a great day of rally in the high desert!

Thanks!
- Kris
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
High Desert Trails Power Stage dominated by 2WD kicks off west coast NNRC

High Desert Trails Power Stage dominated by 2WD kicks off west coast NNRC
Photography - Bill Rogers Motorsport Memories
Part of the NASA National Rally Championship (NNRC)
Part of the California Rally Series (CRS)



Saturday, May 4th marked the 40th anniversary of the High Desert Trails Performance Rally based out of Ridgecrest, California. Crews headed out early for a great day of rally on 70+ miles of stages in and around the scenic Kelso Valley in the southern tip of the Sequoia National Forest. In 1973 the High Desert Trails Rally used some of these same roads for the inaugural event. What began as an all night car rally with miles of average speed and timed sections has grown into what the sport is today: Highly modified production cars with driver and co-driver racing as fast as they can against the clock on closed dirt roads. As part of the NASA National Rally Championship (NNRC) drivers could instantly qualify by setting the fastest time down the last stage, the HDT Power Stage.

Right from the start, Jon Burke and Tom Morningstar made sure every stage counted in their Subaru Impreza. Jon clearly wanted to wipe away problems of the past and launch into the 2013 California Rally Series Championship with renewed confidence after a series of DNF's plagued the team last year. Jon backed off slightly for stage 6 (The HDT Power Stage) and still won it all for Open 4WD. Driving a Mitsubishi Evo prepared by Laengworks Racing, Vartan Samuelian and Laurence Babahekian were quick all day, but could just not match the pace of the Subaru and ended up securing second overall and 2nd in Open 4WD with a series of 2nd and 3rd place times throughout the day. Proving that this rally is not just about top speed, the 2WD Honda Civic driven by Pete Pollard and Marie Boyd came in 3rd overall, set the fastest time on the Power Stage, and won it for 2WD and CRS-2. Burke, Morningstar, Pollard, and Boyd celebrated with champagne and a $100 cash for each team at the finish line for the fastest 2WD and fastest 4WD rally car down this years 14 mile long Power Stage.

There must be something about the Power Stage that makes the 2WD guys go to maximum attack. Sarkis Mazmanian and Michael Mazmanian set the second fastest time on SS6 in their Acura Integra, beating all the Open 4WD cars for a 1st in CRS Performance Stock. A close battle all day with the 3rd fastest time down the Power Stage was the VW Golf GTI driven by Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas. A mere 22 seconds separated them from Mazmanian for a 2nd place in class. Third in CRS-2 with a solid drive in a VW Golf went to Erik Christiansen and Amy Floyd. Marvin Ronquillo and John Burke set an identical time on the last stage as Chavez and claimed 3rd in Open 4WD. They shook off any rust from their rally sabbatical. Also back from a break, Jeff Rados and Guido Hamacher struggled with brake problems on their Ford Ranger. They will settle for top points in CRS-5, but were looking for a much better position overall.

Survival was the name of the game this year in the new California Rally Series Open Light class. Michael Carnes and Reza Yazdani were the first ones out, having engine problems on their Audi. They were followed soon after by Michael McCanna and David Moss who misjudged a crest on SS3 and flew into a ditch pushing their left front tire into the A-Pillar. Having problems on the first stage, Ray Piloto and Tyler deal got stuck and received a 45 minute time for SS1. Never thinking that their rally was over, the team set great times on the remaining stages and a 5th fastest time on the Power Stage to bring home 1st in CRS Open Light! It's never over until it's over, and as we say in rally: Press On Regardless!

Supporting the event in a big way this year, Streetwise Motorsports helps the High Desert Trails Performance Rally give competitors a great day of competition. Streetwise offers rally car preparation rental, service, and parts including Bilstein Motorsports Struts. With over twenty years of experience, they know what it takes to win rallies and championships! Check them out at http://streetwiseparts.com

Teams are off to Rally Idaho for the next event in the California Rally Series Championship on June 7th-9th. We would like to thank all the volunteers and crews for making this such a successful event! See you next year!

 
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