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I couldn?t resist waiting any longer. Someone has to say this?
The roads at Rally Tennessee are awesome!!! These are the kind of roads rallyists dream of ? the kind that seem artificially perfect?like in a video game. Please don?t even try to compare them to gravel stages. And I?m not trying to imply that they are better?just great roads! I can only compare them to the few tarmac stages I?ve competed on before in downtown Rumford, RNY, Charlevoix, Brockway Mountain (LSPR) ? just to mention a few ? and I think the roads in Tennessee are superior in most respects. They are fairly smooth and free of bumps and potholes. The surfaces had a layer of crushed gray stone over tar that provided superb grip. Only a few loose stones on the edges would sometimes become a concern as you tried to take the ?racing? line through the turns. Drivers who habitually like to cut corners were pleased to find huge (3-8 feet) grassy, smooth run-offs on both sides of the road for almost the entire length of the stages. Sight lines were obviously superb. There were no culverts, ditches, hidden rocks or stumps lurking in the grass, or any trees anywhere near the perimeter of the hard road surface. The majority of the turns were 4s and 5s with correct cambers ? in fact?I don?t recall any one instruction being noted as Off-Camber. There were, however, lots of elevation changes with crests on and between every turn ? it seemed. The racing was flat-out fast!
Overall, you get the illusion these roads were engineered on request by Sebastian Loeb or, should I say?Roger Clark! The rally-gods would approve! As it turned out, the small field that entered did approve and swore they would return again next year. The organizers did a great job of selecting roads that are so challenging, so much fun, yet so safe. Yes?I said safe! I do realize that statement is relative.
This rally is a great addition to the series. It?s so easy on the cars and will surely attract some crossover entries in the future. Even the Irish would approve a tarmac rally like this! What am I saying?? The Irish won this rally! The word is out. These roads are great! Congratulations to John Shirley and Kendall Russell for the vision and the guts to put on this great new event.

Constantine
 

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So why such a small entry?

Can't see me in your mirrors?
I must be in front of you!
 

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These roads were so cool. there is only one way you can describe it to someone who has never really run a tarmac event you cant. It is like driving in a video game. I have viewed my in car and that is the only way I can describe it. I will return next year.

Rallymeister
 

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While I would echo everything Constantine said about the roads, I do have a complaint.

As a Brit living in New Jersey I was looking for a genuine cultural experience in travelling to a small town in Tennessee. Initially, I was rewarded: I saw my first mobile home repossession centre, had my car aligned by a tobacco chewing gentleman with a handwritten sign outside his garage, and drank in a bar where motorcyclists could park inside.

In Linden, however, I was utterly disappointed. I've seen the movies. Genuine Southerners are not supposed to like outsiders, particularly big city yankees with foreign cars and strange accents who roar into town and disrupt their lives. Accordingly I expected to be chased by overall wearing characters weilding guns in the back of a rusty pick up truck or be locked up in a corpulent sherriff's dank facility for eyeing a local's daughter. I wanted stories of tobacco juice spitting and squealing like a pig to tell back home.

To my horror, after towing a thousand miles in search of genuine southern hostility, we were welcomed. NASCAR fans who should have been deriding my four puny cylinders complimented my driving. Locals who should have been sitting on their porches looking surly, approached and welcomed us. I was briefly encouraged when one woman said I looked like Dale Earnhart Jr. in my racing suit, but then to my dismay she told me she had intened the remark as a complement.

By the time the rally was over I had been under-charged, repeatedly asked for autographs, and most gallingly begged to return next year.

While I thank the organizers who did an exceptional job in other respects, I can't help but suggest that some half-hearted chicane burning does not a cultural experience make.

Please take steps to ensure that next year the local population knows what is expected of them. I recommend showing them the movie Deliverance.


Mark Lawrence
 
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Amen.

In the past, I was assured by SCCA Public Relations expert that
there was no way we could successfully market rally in the NASCAR
country.

Today, the NASCAR country extends all the way to Sullivan County,
New York and we have been equally embraced by the local NASCAR
fans here. A motorhead is just a motorhead, regardless of the motor.

Ivan Orisek
International Rally New York
Rally New York USA
Rally New York Rallysprints
Rally New York Rallycross Series
 

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>How many unique miles of road were used? Was the same set of
>roads used multiple times, more than 2 times?


rallymeister

We ran 3 stages one direction and then ran them the other direction. It felt like different stages to me, It was 2 full days of tarmac, I was wooped on Mon. I am sending video to John and hopefully he can make it available.

Rallymeister
 

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There isn't much to say that hasn't already been said. The roads are unfathomable and the locals were amazing. One of the locals from the VFW told me "I tell you, when my car finally stops runnin' Imma get me one a them Hondas! You just caint break em' I tell you!"
We should have in-car soon for those who missed out. Don't make the same mistake twice.. Register early next year!
 

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Mark,
There are a bunch of us southern ******** that have been involved in rallying since the Memphis Mafia was around. We apreciate anything that hauls liquor and doesn't get caught. I do think that Kendall and John should make nomex bib jeans and in car spitoons mandatory next year. Hell y'all drive more like us than the lefties ever do. We just have to get our resident southern boys "*******" Randy Bailey, Seamus "Joe Bob" Burke, and Bruce "Big Daaaady" Newey in some appropriately spactacular equipment.
I only wish it wasn't the traditional weekend for our family to get together in North Carolina! Sigh!

Chuck McCrary
Professional lead car services
 

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While I was only a lowly worker (ahem), I did get to run at least two stages at above-legal speeds during layout and haybale cleanup Sunday morning...my lil' gold Chebby hasn't had a workout like that in a long time. I'd be crowing a lot louder about my driving prowess except that the guy ahead of me was my control captain, driving a Ford F-250 diesel pickup running just as fast and apparently just as effortlessly as I was...

We learned a lot about certain location-specific logistics, including the proper spots to put radio units for effective communication.

Several things to remember, though...

1) When setting up a stage to run both ways, the 1/10th mile setup for a start control does not work the same for a flying finish setup -- especially when drivers tend to disregard the flag and keep their foot in the injectors...

2) Breakfast at the Linden TN Sonic drive-in at 8 AM Sunday morning is still intensely adequate. I suggest ordering a pint of milk, as it neutralizes the burn from the jalapenos in the Steak, Egg, And Cheese breakfast burrito.

3) For a nice sit-down surf&turf dinner, I heartily recommend The Rusty Fish Hook in Linden.

4) When in the area, and you discover that the Pope VFD is selling munchies to raise funds, the chili dog topped with cole slaw can't be beat.

5) To really get a larger entry field, they've gotta pick another date. Labor Day weekend is the last blast of summer -- county fairs, family picnics, prep for school, etc etc etc. People don't mind going out and watching rallies, but they'd rather not spend the time towing there and back. Something early spring might be nice, just after things have become noticeably green...

The event enjoys massive local support...it has the potential to become very popular with just a tad's worth of tweaking, and the building of a solid local worker base.
 

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>Only a few loose stones on the edges would sometimes become
>a concern as you tried to take the ?racing? line through the turns.

Maybe that was my mistake, huh? x(

Look - any time a racer can roll a perfectly good car and STILL be thrilled about the event, the roads MUST have been good.

There's been a lot of speculation about why the turnout was low - gas prices, Labor Day obligations, etc. - but there were also regular competitors who voiced concern about the surface, or the need to completely revise suspension set-ups to suit it.

I made the classic novice road racer's mistake of being afraid of the edge of the track, and don't blame any of our problems on the surface. With one event's experience on these roads - okay, half an event - I was left thinking that there's a LOT of latitude within which a set-up would be pretty darned good on the Perry Co. roads. A full gravel package, down around stock ride height, with hard-surface rally tires wouldn't have been completely awash.

We used our softest road racing springs and were perfect for the two shorter stages and only a little too stiff for the longer one. We were on road racing KONIs at maximum ride height, while the other MkIII Golf used DMS units as low as they would go - leaving us at about the same place.

K
 

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I'm with Charlie on this one... this was my first time at an event as a worker rather than a competitor and it was a blast!

I really liked haulin' butt around in our team's old F-250 crew cab diesel pickup, moving from place to place to work radio... and this was a FUN type of moving as compared to the pick-up-stakes-and-move-service-50-times crap at Maine Forest.

For those of you that missed out, shame on you! The local folks LOVED the event, they REALLY want it to come back. Not a single person I spoke to didn't like the cars or the work required to put the event on. It was quite the southern hospitality!

AND the local workers recognized their newbie-ness in the whole ordeal. They all said that they were learning and preparing how to do things better next year. There is even talk of knocking out 3 corners of woods right near a Right 90 over crest spectator area on Tree Farm, leveling the area, putting porta-johns, concessions, and much much more.

They love it! For my boys in Maine, they NEED to make the 27-hour tow for this one.

K1WRX
 
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I was so stoked to be there! I needed another month or two to work some bugs out of the car, but I wasn't going to miss it. I too wrecked but was lucky enough to get back in for Sunday's stages thanks to my wife driving 3.5 hrs. round trip to almost Nashville to get me a driveshaft.:7 I too agree that this was the best event ever considering I ditched the car on the first stage and had to sit out Saturday fixing the car and waiting on parts...we were haulin arse for 3 minutes there haha. I'll bring more spares next time....ug. If I don't do anything else next year I want to try to redeem myself at Rally Tennessee '06. I just don't see how it can get much better than that Hohenwald stage. I have a personal reason now for not liking the Treefarm stage }( j.k.

My opinion: keep it on Labor Day weekend! We camped at the most beautiful state park on the river all weekend and it was great- weren't rushed to get back home, and stayed till Monday afternoon enjoying the scenery.

John
 

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Mark, the problem is you actually. Being from the UK, you are so polite, we can't help but be nice back. Lessee, weren't you the owner of the expensive rally lights that we knocked out with our rear bumper, and all you could do worry aobut us being OK??? How can any one not be nice back??

I wish I had seen the bale fires.......:)

Mark B.
 

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Wow what a rally! Anybody who did not enter or did not spectated missed the best rally this Unites States has ever had or seen. The roads where the best and the locals where so friendly. I can't say enough for the organizers and the local government. The roads reminded me of the Nurburg Ring in Germany. They should call this rally the Nurburg Ring of the south. Just look at the pictures of the roads they speak for themselves. I feel next year's rally will be jammed packed with competitors and spectators. Enjoy the pictures.


Celsus Donnelly & Noel Gallagher won the event by 3:45 There total time was 1:16:04
There was a tie for second;Danny O'Brien & Stephen Duffy tied Scott Gardner & Constantine Mantopoulos with an over all exact time of 1:19:49 WOW
Then there was a three way tie on one stage. can't get any better than this.

You can check out the rally Tennessee photos. They are all divide into each car #. They are @ www.eventpix.com When site loads click on event guest then click on search for recent events then type in event name (Rally Tennessee). When prompted for password type in rally Tennessee. Then event name is also the password. Enjoy the photos.
See ya Steve Kurey :7
 
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