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We took the best of 2011 and 2012, and combined it with the best of 2013.

For 2014, we are combining the comfort and facilities of Ukiah with the roads of Walker Ridge and South Cow Mountain. We return to the Welcome Party at Parducci Winery, the camaraderie of the gathering at the Mendocino Brewing Ale House, the hospitality of the Hampton Inn and the Comfort Inn. But we weren’t content with just repeating the best of the past. For 2014, we are welcoming Ken Fowler Subaru as our new sponsor, and we are adding a new finish location, Crush, where we can celebrate the podium winners in the parking lot and the class winners in the banquet room, where food and beverages will be available.

A one-pass optional recce with notes will be offered Friday July 25. Take your time on the recce and enjoy the scenery, in addition to fine tuning your notes. Pick up your route instructions and stage notes at the Hampton Inn, our official headquarters hotel. The Comfort Inn and Suites is our official overflow hotel. Both have great pools; bring your swimsuit. Other hotels, at various prices, are also available in the area.

After exploring our great roads on the recce, and passing the tech inspection at Ken Fowler Subaru, come to our famous Welcome Party at Parducci Winery. Free wine tasting, delicious food from Johnny Garlic’s (owned by Guy Fieri) and raffle prizes are included; plus Parducci wines and wine club memberships will be available for purchase.

Saturday morning you and your service crew can tow your car to the Bear Valley Stages service area, which will also function as the start and finish of the rally. In addition to the start and finish, you will have three service breaks here so your crews can get lots of quality wrench time. They can also watch the stage starts and finishes when not tending to your car’s needs.

Bear Valley Stage: The roads are fast, hard-packed gravel with open turns and few switchbacks. This is a coefficient 3 rally with 65+ stage miles. The fastest cars will take about an hour and 20 minutes to cover this, and slower cars will enjoy even more stage time. There is only one turnaround, and that is during one of the service breaks.

Saturday night, after Bear Valley Stages, we return to Ukiah for repairs and refreshments. The Mendocino Brewing Ale House is staying open late for us, and giving us a dollar off on pints of their finest beers and ales. Food will be available and we will have a slide show of Bear Valley Stages running on the big screen. Bring your in-car video and we will run that too. No awards or speeches Saturday, just fun, ale, and maybe a game of pool.

Cow Mountain Stage: The roads are twisty with tight turns in soft dirt and lots of switchbacks. This coefficient 2 rally consists of 35+ stage miles and over an hour of competitive driving. For 2014, turnarounds have been reduced from two to one, and service breaks increased from one to two. Service will be at the air conditioned Lakeside Family Fun Center in Lakeport. What other rally gives you an air conditioned service area?

On Sunday, following Cow Mountain Stages, we will meet at Crush in Ukiah for a podium celebration of the overall winners and trophies for the class winners of both Bear Valley Stages and Cow Mountain Stages. After the awards activities, you can head home (Crush is less than ¼ mile from Hwy 101) of stick around for a fabulous dinner at this very popular Italian Steak House. (Visit: ukiahcrush.com) Great food, yum!

For more information, to enter the 2014 Mendocino Rally, or to volunteer to work the rally, please visit mendocinorally.com

Good luck at Idaho! Go fast, but don’t trash your car; then enter the Mendocino Rally.
 
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