>Do we run this stage for us ?
>Or do we run it for the spectators ?
>Why do we run it ?
Since you've asked...
We run it for the spectators. It's easy to get to, has amenities, allows them to watch cars on several corners. The more easy places we give them to go, the less likely they are to find their own place in the forest and do something dumb. Note that stage maps are NOT available to the public this year.
I hear the crews like it, too...they actually get to see their car competing!
>>Too Rough ???
>>I love it, leave it alone ...
>See why I had this guy in the car last year? We about
>giggled our asses off during Prescott's Friday night stages
>we were having so much fun!
Friday night stages were brutal but a blast!
I want to know what "Rough" is. So often those of us out here in CRS country hear about these horribly rough stages at Cherokee or Maine or this stage and wonder how bad is it. Is it worse than Del-Sur? or Limestone Canyon, if so that is really rough.
The term is so relative, anyone able to help?
BTW I love the rough stuff, rally includes it all and you need to be able to handle and survive the tough stages as well as the smooth stuff.
Bradney A. Boli
Over Exposure Racing
Honda Accord #311
The thing that makes it marginal is the land used for the course. I think it was a farm field turned pasture, so it has lots of beautiful dark topsoil. Great for growing stuff, not so great for running 80 rally cars on. Towards the end of the pack where I was, the course began to look like the Grand Canyon in places. A G2 car got high-centered in front of me- he was in the middle of the road, not off the side!
According to the land owner, if anybody wanted to contribute several thousand yards of gravel he'd be happy to move it around and make a better road.
I know the crews enjoy the Buffalo burgers and watching their car either compete (if they're up front) or survive (if they're at the back of the pack).
>I want to know what "Rough" is. So often those of us out
>here in CRS country hear about these horribly rough stages
>at Cherokee or Maine or this stage and wonder how bad is it.
> Is it worse than Del-Sur? or Limestone Canyon, if so that
>is really rough.
Having cut my rally teeth on the Big Bend Bash, Chisum Trail, some gnarly Oklahoma divisionals and even the Tostito's Coronado in Arizona I too was left wondering what the complaints of roughness at Cherokee, Maine, Rim and even Prescott prior to 2001 (except for SS2 in 1999 - THAT was a rough one, but so busy and tight there was little chance to gain a ton of speed) were all about. For whatever it's worth, Friday night's stages at last year's Prescott were THE roughest I have ever run - period. The speed one got to hit the rough stuff at had a lot to do with making those four stages so memorable!
While I find STPR a challenging rally it is so for a wholly different reason than those events of my younger days. There's a certain art to running really rough stages fast enough to vye for the class lead without breaking the car straight away. Without trying to cheese anyone off, I noticed that the cars with the thinnest skidplates and/or piloted by the drivers with the freshest, youngest faces were the ones largley missing at the Yavapai Fairgrounds restart Saturday morning. Sad thing is, I fear rallies that benefit a robust over an outright fast car and/or reward an experienced, salty dog driver over a lightweight "hotshoe" are soon to be the province of ClubRally. Of course, if we're looking out for the international future of our young ralliests then maybe that's a good thing.
It was Jonathan Ryther who last year rolled his Impreza right in front of the service area on the ranch stage in seemingly flat terrain with ruts. He returned to the service area to repair the damage and continued somehow without being disqualified, not that it mattered much. He finished last. If that was what you were asking.
Perhaps the supps or an allowance posted by the stewards allowing service help during the stage if required adding to your stagetime or post-stage to be part of the transit time if it really gets that rough.
If the stage is identical to the last 2 years, how much of the previous rutting still exists or has it been regraded?
having only walked the course at the ranch, i can say it is far more tame than Del-Sur and Limestone, though certainly no Perkinsville... I would say it is close to the first few miles of limestone, with the ruts (only bigger ruts), before you get to the first creek.
I dislike the stage, but feel it should definitely be included. It is vastly different for the first car than for a middle or tail end car. The ground is so soft, it not only forms deep ruts, but forms tremendous washboard in places that can really shake things up. There is an uphill in the second half of the stage that can get near impossible to climb, it is so deep with loose sand/kitty litter.
On my solid engine mounted VW two years ago, I had a good time, but broke an engine mount clean off the frame. Welded it back together at service. I took it a lot easier last year.
I think it should be included for the spectators and for the crews. It is getting harder for crews to see any action in today's ProRallies. Things like this and the Mexico park in Maine and the town spectator area at Sno*Drift are great. I already ask for too much of my crew's time. It is nice to give them a little entertainment.
Ya know, last night Brenda and I went down the street to where the county is working on the boulevard treatments and we carted away almost two hundred interlocking concrete pavers. The county is throwing them away, along with the 10 or 20 yards of bedding gravel that they were in originally...
Dang!!! if only these things could be coordinated! Yeah, I know, 10 or 20 yards of sandy gravel wouldn't go very far out there....
One of my few lasting memories from last season was watching Mark Nelson blast through that stage in his Evo VI. That little silver rocket was seemingly floating on top of the soft muck. With the anti-lag banging away, he was throwing dirt off all four tires in 50 yard streaks. Awesome.... simply awesome.
Actually, as I recall, they were panalized for illegal service and given the total stage time from start to finish (they exited the middle of the course, serviced, and re-entered the course in the same place, thus they did not short cut the course. They started the stage a good half hour ahead of us and rolled into finish control right behind us.
As a spectator, I like to have a super special or two, but I didn't really like watching the ranch stage (though it's been a couple years since I saw it). It was great to see the cars up close, but it was not an exciting stage to watch. It appeared too rough, so the cars went too slow with not enough sideways slinging, just alot of up and down bouncing. If I were to spectate Ojibwe again, I would spend my time getting positioned back in the woods rather than watching the Ranch Special again.
With those thoughts in mind and the notion that the Ranch Special is done primarily for the spectators, I would vote to discontinue it entirely. The poll is designed for those who have driven this stage, so I didn't throw this vote into the poll.
The speedway superspecial stage was lots more fun to watch.
From inside the car: Yes, it's rough. No, it's not too rough. Could be improved by smoothing the car-busting holes(bulldozer 3 wk before the event would take care of that).
If the justification is to attract spectators, it is mostly a failure, but may become a success as its fame spreads. The orgainizers may want to consider running it only once. By the second run, there was no defined road, and many competitors(including us) just ad libbed it.
The rally was a fine event. If I had to pick one to do after 10 years, I'd say I picked the right one.
The second time around did my car in and I hear it took out seven others. For a "stage" that is meaningless, that is a pretty high rate of attrition. I'd say one time around would be OK but the ruts and stuff were pretty bad the second time and did a lot of damage for no real reason.
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