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Well technically that would make you an asphalt specialist - tarmac is a different type of road surface (named after a Scotsman actually). ;-)

There are in fact lots of "tarmac" rallies in the US, I was driving one only last weekend. TSD may not be as sexy as stage rally but it's a hell of a lot cheaper, challenging in a different way and a lot of fun.

Ian.
 

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I am from Georgia and I honestly haven?t been on the best roads on the east coast (tarmac at least) like the tail of the dragon and such, so I really cannot compare, but the best road asphalt road I have ever driven was on my one and only trip to California. Ortega Hwy going into Lake Elsinore from the Coast (and vice-verse) is a damn fun road. I had one hell of a time storming down that road and I was in a minivan!!! I am sure the traffic is way too bad, but that would be a fun stage. I really hope there is room for asphalt in rally, and seeing NASA committing to asphalt rallies is really exciting. I ran Cherokee trails in 2002 when I was 18, and as soon as I financially recover from that (damn rally is expensive? or am I just poor?), AKA finish college (yeah I?m poor), I am definitely getting a car and hitting some asphalt stages.

Chris Raymond
Rally Driver Extraordinaire - is that humble enough?:D

P.S. When I said I haven?t been on the best roads ?tarmac at least? is because I could not imagine better gravel roads than those of Cherokee Trails, those roads are truly epic.
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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>I hate the attitude that Gravel = Rally

OK

>and if you want Tarmac
>you should be on a track. Whats the story with that.

You've drawn a conclusion based on a post meant more to continue the friendly banter battle between Dennis and me (notice the emoticon?) than to establish a stand as being categorically against sealed surface stage rallys.

I'll make no bones about the fact that I'm largely disinterested in entering a tarmac rally because it adds to the expenses of rallying across a season, further erodes the ability of true rally drivers to overcome the mechanical advantages less talented/better funded and/or equipped drivers bring to the competition, and adds no particular enjoyment, for me, to the sport I love. That said, I can tell you I am investigating the possibility of organizing a sealed surface stage rally here in northeast Oklahoma because it's easier finding and securing little used, challenging, asphalt roads than gravel ones here.

Also, I've road raced a lot since 1983 but that form of autosport has never generated the fascination for me that loose surface rallying has - and still does. I tell my road race buddies that I'd rather run 2 or 3 stage rallies a season than 20 - 30 road races because the difference in enjoyment I get from the two challenges is that stark. I can also add that racing on asphalt without the door-to-door facet that makes road racing the most interesting dampens my enthusiasm for changing the suspension and fitting new wheels & tires just to enter the Bug in an event in which I am virtually guaranteed to be less competitive.

All THAT said, I will admit to having had some real fun on Brockway Mountain and that very first stage of the 1983 Foresthill Divide Rally (where a short piece of former state highway was blocked off near Auburn, CA and attacked on rally tires) but if I never run another sealed surface stage again I'll not miss them.

MM ...
RealAutoSport, LLC
 

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Tightens!
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I'll be running Rally TN with my SCCA ITB road racing car. We maintained licensing on the car for just such an opportunity and we are looking forward to it!

One thought - tarmac provides a crossover opportunity for road racing types, who might want to get some rally experience without beating a shell to junk on gravel. I actually went road racing to co-driving in a Gr2 Golf, BACK to road racing, and now to driving my first rally in Tennessee but events like this could be the entre that attracts new entrants to this sport.

Kirk
 

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Last weekend I went up Hwy 21 from Horseshoe Bend to Idaho City. Talk about a great tarmac stage. Excellent!

On an earlier thread, someone mentioned that the road heading out of Flagstaff is very San Remo-esque in character. I've never been there, but I'd love to see it. The coastal roads in Southern California seem ideal (Mulholland, Decker Canyon Rd. in the Carson City and Thousand Oaks area). Having lived in Oregon and travelled through Washington, I know that there are plenty up there too!!

It seems that the U.S. has plenty of roads that would be able to compete with European stages. It seems that liability issues are the main problem and road closure permits. =((

Simon
 
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<It seems that the U.S. has plenty of roads that would be able to <compete with European stages.
<
<It seems that liability issues are the main problem and road <closure permits. =((
<
<Simon

Says who?

It will take you just about the same amount of effort to get a special use road permit for a tarmac stage as for a gravel stage. In fact, it is now actually becoming easier to get permits for tarmac roads under the local government jurisdiction than for forest roads under the jurisdiction of some government agencies that see it their reponsibility to keep, needlessly, vehicles out of the forest.

The real reason for the current situation in the US is that it was seriously but mistakenly thought for decades that the only type of rallying was on gravel. Yet, there are whole countries where rallying is very popular that have only or predominantly tarmac national rally championships.

Ivan Orisek
2005 International Rally New York (45 % tarmac)
2006 Rally New York USA (all gravel)
2006 International Rally New York (all tarmac)
 
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