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Mountain Trials Rally
October 5, 2002
Merritt, BC, Canada

Round 5 of the Western Canadian Rally Championship

Event:
Specialty Subaru Mountain Trials Rally, round five of the Western Canadian Rally Championship presented by Yokohama. Performance rally cars from around Western Canada and the Northwest United States will be racing on a tight, challenging gravel road course in BC's interior. This event is sanctioned by the Canadian Association of Rallysport (CARS) and Rally Pacific Motorsports (RPM), and is organized by the West Coast Rally Association (WCRA).

When & where:
October 5, 2002, Merritt, BC

Headquarters:
Best Western Nicola Inn
4025 Walters St. at Voght St. Merritt, BC
http://www.nicolainn.com/
Phone: 1-800-663-2830, or 250-378-4253

Schedule (subject to change):
Friday October 4
17:00-20:30 Registration, Nicola Inn, Merritt
18:00-20:00 Scrutineering, Tirecraft, Merritt
21:00-21:30 Mandatory meeting for all seed 5 & 6 teams
21:30-22:00 Drivers' meeting and introduction of officials

Saturday October 5
8:00-8:30 Late Registration and Scrutineering (by appointment only)
9:30 Start of first leg, Railyard Mall, Merritt
14:00-15:00 Lunch stop, Railyard Mall, Merritt
15:30 Start of second leg, Railyard Mall, Merritt
19:00 End of Rally, Railyard Mall, Merritt
20:00 Dinner and Awards, Day's Inn, Merritt

Format:
Events in the Western Canadian Rally Championship consist of flat-out rally racing on challenging mountain and forest roads. No practice is allowed. Unlike circuit racing, competitors generally see the course for the first time as they race it. At every moment the driver and co-driver must be ready for what may be around the next curve!

Performance rallies consist of roads designated as "special stages" and "transit sections". Special stages are run flat-out against the clock and are closed to public traffic. Transit sections are the routes linking together the special stages in which teams must obey all traffic laws.

Performance rally vehicles are production-based cars and trucks from manufacturers around the world. They compete both for the overall victory and wins within a class structure that groups together vehicles with similar performance. Each vehicle carries a driver and a co-driver/navigator. Using a detailed route book and a sophisticated rally computer, the co-driver keeps the team on-course and advises the driver of any hazards noted in the route book. This role is as critical as the driver's skill, since the team is traveling at full racing speeds over roads they have never seen before.

Selected entries:
- Current 2002 Western Canadian Rally Championship points leaders and National two wheel drive champions, Gord and Kathy Olsen of Brooks, AB in a heavily modified Group 2 Volkswagen Golf GTI. The Olsen's have just returned to Western Canada after competing in two back-to-back National rallies: the Rallye Defi - St Agathe (Quebec) and the Rally of the Voyageurs (Ontario).

- Two-time defending Western Canadian Rally Champion, Janusz Komorowski, who has teamed up with rookie co-driver Keith Morrison of Calgary, in an Open Class all-wheel drive turbocharged 1992 Eagle Talon. Unfortunately, a string of DNF's have hurt the defending champion's chances this year. While the pair still have their eyes on the 2002 championship, they now find themselves in a must win situation for the last two events.

- Last year's winner of the Pacific Forest Rally, Scott Trinder, of Vancouver, with father Bob co-driving, in a Production Class all-wheel drive 1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS. Scott Trinder currently sits 1st in the Production Over class (P4) entering this round. Throughout 2002, Scott has also been driving for Knight Motorsports Inc. of California in an Open Class Subaru Impreza 2.5RS Turbo. He has proven to be a tough competitor, placing in the top ten in every event he's entered in the 2002 SCCA Pro Rally Championship, namely: the RIM of the World, Pikes Peak, and Wild West rallies.

- This year's winner of the Pacific Forest Rally (held earlier on June 8th in Merritt), Meran Arefi and Dan Mclean in a Production Over class (P4) all-wheel drive turbocharged 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX. In this, their rookie season, the pair have already experienced two national rallies and their first win overall at the last event. They should also be a contender at the Mountain Trials Rally, as they've already demonstrated both consistency and speed early in their rally careers.

Of additional interest:
· As round five of six in the Western Canadian Rally Championship, teams will be viewing this event as the key to their championship hopes for 2002. Many of the teams that missed out the last round are expected to be here in order to cement their standing in the championship.

· New competitive stages will offer a rare combination of both paved (tarmac) and gravel roads. It's expected that this type of surface change on the route will produce some of the most challenging conditions for the rally teams.

· This event is the second "dress rehearsal" for both rally organizers and the City of Merritt before the Pacific Forest Rally joins the CARS national series as part of the Subaru Canadian Rally Championship in 2003. The Subaru Canadian Rally Championship is broadcast regularly on TSN and OLN. Officials will be on hand to further evaluate the rally and the City of Merritt promises to deliver a venue well-suited to events on the national stage.

· Rally organizers have reached an agreement with Active Mountain Entertainment Corporation (AME) to use a network of private roads on their property. AME hosts the famous Merritt Music Mountain Festival, which attracts over 140,000 people annually to the region. AME is also the guiding force behind the Active Mountain Raceway (AMR) project that has been in the works for the last few years. At the Mountain Trials Rally, a network of roads on the AMR site will be evaluated for potential use as a full "Super Special" Spectator Stage. The test run this year is in anticipation of the National Rally that will be coming here in 2003. This unique opportunity is a combined effort between the organizers and AMR towards building a future rally site as part of the AMR project.

2002 Western Canadian Performance Rally Championship:
Date Event Place Winners
March 24 Ranchlands Rally Cochrane, AB DeWitte / Proteau
May 20-21 Bighorn Rally Edson, AB Olsen / Olsen
May 24-25 Rocky Mountain Rally Calgary, AB Olsen / Olsen
June 7-8 Pacific Forest Rally Merritt, BC Arefi / McLean
Oct. 5 Mountain Trials Merritt, BC
Nov. 10 Kananaskis Rally Calgary, AB

Contact:
Paul Westwick - Organizer
Pre-event: (604) 682-3296; e-mail: [email protected]
At event: (604) 617-4132

Ken Kwong - Organizer
(604) 808-0536; e-mail: [email protected]

At event:
Mitch Kosterman, Media Liaison
(604) 880-2100 e-mail: [email protected]

Spectator Guide:
Will be available at registration, however you can also download a PDF version at: http://www.rallybc.com/html/2002_mt_spectator_info.html

Additional Resources:
Canadian Association of Rallysport http://www.carsrally.ca
West Coast Rally Association http://www.rallybc.com
AMR http://www.activemountainraceway.com
City of Merritt http://www.city.merritt.bc.ca

2002 BC Rally Supporters:
Driver's Edge Autosport http://www.ompwins.com
Polaris Water http://www.polariswater.com/
Rally Equipment.com http://www.rallyequipment.com
Rocket Rally Racing http://www.rocketrally.com
Specialty Subaru http://www.specialtysubaru.com
Western Driver http://www.westerndriver.com/
Wilkinson's Automobilia http://wilkinsonsauto.com
Yokohama Tire http://www.yokohamatire.ca

-30-

Bill Westhead
West Coast Rally Association
 
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