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- 12th overall, Second overall in GrN, 5 GrN stage wins. Excellent result with Subaru!

- Ramon came to Californian Rally Series like many other rich kids; He got a brand new NISSAN 200SX and entered to "High Desert Trails Rally" and got his butt kicked real bad. At least he was smart to ask the Stock class winner, me, "How do you beat me with that old and ugly Volvo 142?"
- I told him and he asked for help. We started to work together, got rid of that new car, built an old one with proper suspension and so on and he started to be in top three in no time.
- He also "hired" me to run his car couple of times and was willing to navigate for me with great success. I can't understand why more young drivers don't do the same here, in the US! They do that in Europe. Must be "ego" thing... or something. It's much cheaper to learn next to someone who knows the ropes than trying to learn by wrecking...
- I saw the kid had lots of talent and desire. You gotta be hungry, willing to push, willing to bend metal and if you don't run out of money championships and wins will follow.

- Ramon has won FIA Cup (unofficial world championship for GrN), many rallies overall and is still going very well.

- Remember; Start with an inexpensive 2WD car so you learn how to drive and you won't go broke when you smash it and if you don't smash it you ain't trying! Ramon did his share of sending cars to be made into BUD cans but it's OK when speed and results are there.
 

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Topi,

I couldn't have said it better Topi, in 1984 I started with a cheap Datsun 510 that was actualy a retired pizza delivery car, but it was good enough to win the regional novice champ. That car was followed by another 2wd non-turbo that gave me 3 overall regional championships.
By the time I got a my first 4wd-Turbo car 9 years later I was well seasoned on what to build and how to drive it.
I put on a rally school for our club here in Calgary once a year for rally beginners and one of the things I stress the most is to get them to understand the value of starting your rally carrer in a 2wd, 2 liter or under, production car.

If you check it out, most fastes F1 and Indy drivers all started on Go Karts and most on slow 4 cycle engines.
We all know that what you can learn on an underpowered car about being "smooth" you can not learn it on a 4wd turbo because the power and grip constantly hides your mistakes, not to mention the fact that, as you said it, you can afford to wreck a lot more cheap cars in order to learn the limits than expensive AWD-turbo machines.

I think that like many other racing diciplines around the world, it is about time we should have some regulations when novices enter the sport, such as having to drive a Production 2wd car their first two years.
In the long run, It would make it more appealing for more people to enter the sport, it would certainly make it easier to "keep them in the sport", it would help building the sport from the ground up and last but not least, it would also make it "safer" and avoid certain accidents we have had in the past with inexperienced crews driving high powered cars.

Cheers
Jorge Dascollas
 

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Yeah, Thumbs Up for Ramon, friendly , eager and goos humor way back 1984!!
And still at it.

Jorge,
I push cheap, affordable, and strong constantly.
You've seen* how cheap I am, go look at your 1987 Pincher Creek results list.... :) (seen the taillights disappearing in the distance!!...oi oi! besos, muchacho!)
But I don't push Production.
And I would never reccomend that people should start in a class where none of the weaknesses in a standard road car such as flimsy control arms, or slow steering or junk NVH optimised motor and trannie mounts could be dealt with.

What would that teach you?
That cars made for getting groceries are unsuitable when beat down logging roads might be the biggest lesson.
The second might be that there is only one position for the throttle.

I've only been doing this gravel rally since back then the year I met Ramon (after he was DNFed, but smiling), just 20 years, but I really met personally only a couple of people who said they wanted to start in a Production car, nearly all want some room to grow.

Also Jorge, there is a unspoken assumption in the advice that 'everybody should start in a Production car under 2 liters'.

Not everybody comes to this sport as a blank piece of paper without anything written on it.
I know of many guys, me included, my friend Dave Dunn, Vance Walker from Oregon, Mike Whitman from New Mexico, Eric Eaton from Tacoma,
who all came to rally with 12 to 20 years of serious and in several cases Professional moto-cross racing.
All of the above named had rather decent results, but I cannot imagine any of them ever considering starting rally if there was some requirement that they pedal a P car for 2 years.

Some P cars are so slow that 2 years could only be 1 event!

No Jorge, thereäs nothing you can do with a rule.

Maybe less chear-leading for boring driving in turbo 4wd cars, and more promotion of results like "Boy" Tennis in his old mild mannered 99 Saab, or articles examining the relative expenditures and reults from those expenditures of some of the recent 2wd drivers such as Tennis, or his grouchy old Uncle Sean Tennis, or Carl Jardevall when he was in his Volvo.

If more guys saw they actually could make decent results overall in a well done basic old car, maybe they would rush out and spend all their dough on cars the drive so slow they are an hour behind at the end.

I still say we should _force_ Eric Eaton and Vance Walker to drive some simple strong 2wd car. They would kick tail and be an guiding light for others.



John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

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John,

I am not in the habit of writing important stuff in these forums so what I wrote above was not to be taken for something as serious as a pitch to propose new rules or promote production cars.

I was just stating the fact that what Topi wrote was quite acurate, I also remember Ramon flogging his little Toyota Starlet back in 84, 85 but unfortunately that is an image that many young North American Rally enthusiasts are not often exposed to today.

There is a whole new generation of young North Americans that no longer drive Monte Carlos and Camaros but Toyotas, Subarus, VWs, etc. a growing portion of these guys will eventually precipitate towards Rallying or Road Racing, but unfortunately many believe that in order to go rallying you have to get yourself a WRX and that is just a fallacy, that is all.

Besides, it sounds like you are basicaly saying the same thing as I do, that a well driven 2wd car is just as much fun as any other (at least for the beginner)

Next week, after being absent from competition for 7 years, I will be driving a 2wd Celica P3 car in a winter event, I will let you know if it is also as much fun for me too.;)

Jorge
 

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>According to the entry list, he is Peruvian. Wyeth Gubelman
>was the only US entry.

Well, mostly Topi is saying that he was sorta welcomed into the WestCoast rally scene was back then and 'adopted' and became Honorary 'Norte' American.
It is a big shock to many '****** Yanquis' but USA is not all there is of America.

So, many people I know who met him way back then have considered him, in a way 'one of our own', and followed his quite admirable exploits since then.
From my part because I felt that he was jazzed about the sport enough to leave the comforts of home and move across the world to try and measure himself against a known higher standard, rather than staying here in the US and using his family money to kick the tails of the then poor general standard of cars.
He sought out real competition at the hardest level he could.

So while he wasn't first first United Statesian? of America, he was still one of our own.








John Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat

Black Rocket Rally Tires
http://www.blackrockettires.com/
 

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>John,
>
>I am not in the habit of writing important stuff in these
>forums so what I wrote above was not to be taken for
>something as serious as a pitch to propose new rules or
>promote production cars.

No problems Jorge!
It's just that there are some people who _are_ serious about such things (and the humorous is, naturally their suggestion won't apply to them!!!!)
>
>I was just stating the fact that what Topi wrote was quite
>acurate, I also remember Ramon flogging his little Toyota
>Starlet back in 84, 85 but unfortunately that is an image
>that many young North American Rally enthusiasts are not
>often exposed to today.

That's so true.
>
>There is a whole new generation of young North Americans
>that no longer drive Monte Carlos and Camaros but Toyotas,
>Subarus, VWs, etc. a growing portion of these guys will
>eventually precipitate towards Rallying or Road Racing, but
>unfortunately many believe that in order to go rallying you
>have to get yourself a WRX and that is just a fallacy, that
>is all.

Well the problem is if they believe that then 'How do you convince them' that the "Image" that they _already bought_ is deeply flawed?
>
>Besides, it sounds like you are basicaly saying the same
>thing as I do, that a well driven 2wd car is just as much
>fun as any other (at least for the beginner)

Yep we are in agreement with that, and I even maintain that 98% of ALL drivers would have just as good results with a well built proper car 2wd car, it's just the mandatory Production thing I oppose.
My friend Derek Bottles made the move from a Maz-dog 323 to a VW Golf and is not only having much more fun beating the car, he's finishing minutes ahead and having more fun doing it!
>
>Next week, after being absent from competition for 7 years,
>I will be driving a 2wd Celica P3 car in a winter event, I
>will let you know if it is also as much fun for me too.;)
>
>Jorge

Oi Oi OI! have fun! Maybe I'll see you in BC later this year, if you don't massacre the poor Toyota!





Juan Ricardo Vanlandingham
Seattle, WA. 98168

Vive le Prole-le-ralliat
 

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I will pile on and endorse this advice. I co-drove first for three seasons. Then when I started to drive I drove a 1979 Volvo GT, then a Volvo turbo, and onto a P car, etc... you learn to drive smooth and as a result you finish more often. Jumping into a fast 4WD car to start in doing it the hard way in my opinion. Karl
 

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Yea, I remember Ramon. I thought he was just a rich
Soth American kid. But when you have money, focus and
talent you can achieve anything. He had them all. And that
Toyota Starlet was the one you almost won Rim overall
in, right Topi? A little problem on the last stage as I
remember.


Roger
 

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> Well the problem is if they believe that then 'How do you convince them' that the
> "Image" that they _already bought_ is deeply flawed?
>>
>>Besides, it sounds like you are basicaly saying the same
>>thing as I do, that a well driven 2wd car is just as much
>>fun as any other (at least for the beginner)

hehe just pushing my own tune here, but in the recce rallies I have witnessed, the guys in the little cars that try hard often beat the 'big cars' because the guys with the big cars were just 'guys with big cars'. The kind of perception being, i.e. in Europe, that if you owned a nice fancy car like we all have over here, you'd better be winning or going somewhere (or trying to), because otherwise, you were a 'guy with big car'. Everyone who was givin' it was in small car, beating said 'guy with big car'. So basically, unless you were in it, it was not cool to have big car. Especially when getting creamed by little grp 2 cars. It would be significantly easier to do that with recce (cream a big car in a little car) than in the blind events.

Ramon is a nice guy, definitely down to earth and was very nice to me when we first met. He gave me some tips on pace notes etc. last year. Fastest in the western hemisphere ? Maybe/prbably right now. He is in the 'top group' of the fastest Grp N runners (you have the ex/semi-works big risk Paasonnen, McRae, Sola, then the 'consitently fast top group' and Ramon is at the top of that group with Arai, Ligato, McShea ,etc.).

as a passing note although I did not participate in oraganized rallies prior to my start 4wd non turbo start, I did have a lot of first RWD then FWD 'experience'. As in many cars abandoned in many places with 4 flats and no glass. I think grp2 is the best place to be when people ask. basically the 'less car more events' mantra (thanks to mike s.)
 

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RE: Pat Richard - Best American

>hehe just pushing my own tune here, but in the recce rallies
>I have witnessed, the guys in the little cars that try hard
>often beat the 'big cars'

I think Pat Richard is the exception to the rule.

Albeit he had late night "spectator rally-type" driving experience and I'm sure plenty of high speed runs up to his favorite snow board haunts, he jumped into a decent AWD car and was immediately extremely fast in any rally he entered. Some guys are like that.

I think his performance in Canada, USA and in Europe is nothing short of phenomenal given his first performance rally in 1999 or so.

My brother Ken co-drove for Ramon-F in many of his US rallies (CRS events and the 2 Olympus Rallies in the mid 80's) and indeed remarks that Ramon had a very strong desire to rally hard and become better. He has obviously achieved that through years of entering rallies. I was trundling along in 2wd Opels at that time and agree that learning with a 2wd is often best, and it is definitely better to spend money on entering rallies than on a new gizmo for your car.

Pe
www.get-primitive.com

<http://www.writerguy.com/primitive/cv/biopix/biopix25.jpg>
 

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RE: Pat Richard - Best American

haha thanks for the kind words paul,

my point was, I had left a lot of 2wd rwd, then fwd, then some early gen 4wd, cars

abandoned and left to die, with 4 flats and no glass

long before I entered my first rally. I can count more than half a dozen. If I had never driven the rwd or fwd very sideways on gravel and ice and tarmac then going to the soob would have been even more of a hurdle (it was already a huge hurdle as it was, to figure out the dynamics of how to do it with no school or teacher, despite the 'experience'). So I was just agreeding with Jorge et Topi.
 

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I've always been an advocate of starting with a small bore racer. I know of very few people who made it starting with a high end racer. Now of course Topi's tuning doesn't hurt either - the 144 I got from him shamed more than a few kids in AWD cars.

Tom Grossmann
 
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