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For the 65 stage miles this year I am estimating the stage time for fastest competitor at 1:40. This was based on Mark Higgins winning times for 2002 + 5%. With the trees in bloom the sight line distances are much less. It could be closing to 1:45. The average time on these stages last year, 1:59.

John K. Shirley
 

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Should be an interesting rally. I heard comments to the tune of "rally is too short" (as in 4 stages), "it does not count for anything" or "they do not allow spectators". Well, for those of you who are debating whether to attend the rally or not, let me point something out:

First of all, Cherokee Trails, since 2000, has been known as a very "technical" rally. If you want to demonstrate, learn, practice or test your rally driving skills and STRATEGY, this is the event to go. This rally is no different to the ones in previous years and it will truly test man & machine thru stages of up to 17 miles long. For Seeds 6,7 and 8 this is good "schooling" and at a great price.

Second, it may not count towards anything but, really, how many of us are really in contention for any kind of championship anywhere? In the North East they are complaining that their club rallies have been cancelled for the year with the exception of one or two. So here is your opportunity to shake the rust off and attend a good event.

Third, as of my latest conversation with Kendall, there are now spectator areas and in private land. From what I understand, it should be a treat to the spectators. We all want our family, friends and V.I.P.s :p to be able to come and enjoy an event. So now they can observe and interact with the teams . The town of Cleveland has been great (ala Wellsboro) and we even have a podium start. Great photo opportunity that you dont get in many other rallies.;-)

But mostly, this is a great chance to throw your support to NASA Rallysport and help them get a good start here in the East. Remember, every good endeavor must have a good start and we all need to help the sport head in the right direction. Sure, we could continue to do it from behind a computer and not be heard by the decision-makers, or we can get involved, talk to the event organizers before, during and after the event and help them improve their event and, in this particular case, help the new group since John and Kendall are an integral part of NASA Rallysport.

Hope to see you all there! Dont miss this event. Everyone is talking about how great Gorman was, let's make it two for two. There is no SCCA or NASA, this is about the sport.

Carlos
 

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The issues of sanctioning body, series affiliation, and the like apply if you are part of a sponsored team pursuing a specific goal. If, however, you are a private competitor looking for seat time, fun, and maximum bang for the buck, a rally is a rally is a rally. Run whatever you can afford whenever you can afford it. If you become good enough, perhaps the issues above will become relevant.
 

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Seat Time, Seat Time, Seat Time... John Buffum once told me that was what it takes to become a good rally driver. I think 1:45 of competition time might help AND...

I sure hope that translates into reviewing the roads to organize the rally because I am definitely getting a lot more seat time than that on the Cherokee Trails Stages. ;)

Kendall Russell
Rally Manager
International Cherokee Trails Rally
[email protected]
 

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The nice thing about the Cherokee Trails roads is that if you mess up one corner, no worries....there are about 50 more to do on that stage! ;-)

I wish we could make it because it really is a great rally. The Holiday Inn in Cleveland is one of the best rally hotels I've experienced. The roads rock. The service area rocks and has the cleanest bathrooms around.

Oh, and the organizers are pretty cool as well.
 
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