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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No, not about the contoversy (what's a rally without controversy anyways?)

I'm looking for feedback from drivers and co-drivers about the stages to help make next years event even more enjoyable. What did you like, what could you have done without? Please be specific, what corners/sections/stages were the most fun, flowing, challenging, etc?

How did the central service areas work for crews (besides being tight and long and forcing teams to speed)?

And spectators/photographers, what did you think of the public spector locations? (other than you'd like more, of course)

Since I only made it to stage 2, I didn't get the full experience, and would like to know what you think.

Thanks for your input,
Rick
 

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Rick,

Leon and I LOVED the event. Everyone was friendly and helpful and we had a good time. The roads were challenging too. We loved seeing the arrows out there, a NW tradition.

Here are some things I'll suggest, but even if nothing changes, we'll do our dangedest to be back next year. It's always great fun racing with our buds up north.

Loosen up the transits slightly, especially the post-fueling transits. Some cars take longer to fuel than others (the Audi is a thirsty beast!)

Tell the FIA to forget about all those hurry up and wait RGC controls.

Depressurize your scoring crew on Saturday night by announcing up front that Saturday's results will be posted provisional Sunday morning at Parc Expose at 8:00 AM. This also helps the codriver cadre by letting them head out for dinner with the team instead of waiting around in the car park. (We've got it rough, eh??!! )

It may be difficult, but try to localize the daily start and end points. Looking back, we registered in Shelton, started Saturday at ORV, finished Saturday at the fairgrounds, started Sunday in Shelton (after returning to the fairgrounds just up the road), and finished Sunday at Little Creek. Fortunately the last three were all pretty close. I feel for the guys staying at race HQ.

Beautiful start ramp -- don't sell it!

Wonderful people -- don't lose 'em!

Great rally, great competition, great fun. Thanks again for all your help.

----------------------
John Dillon       John @ WidgetRacing.com
            www.WidgetRacing.com
 

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It's nice to see some positive comments on a rally for a change. Lately, the negatives have been outweighing the positives about twenty to one. It actually sounds as though Wild West was a pretty good rally, yet most of what I've been able to read about it here so far has been negative...and a lot of it from people who weren't there.

What ever happened to the entertaining stories about overcoming small disasters...snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...close calls...?

Bruce
 

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Wildwest has always been a good event..but we lost quite a few competitors this year... :(

I didn't get to experience the RGC or the service area problems. There is always growing pains trying something new.

I know the course was really rough because it has been so dry here in the NW this summer, which is unusual for us!

I wish I could say that we finished the rally...but that wasn't in the cards.

Thanks to all those involved for making this rally a success!!!

Tina
 

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>
>What ever happened to the entertaining stories about
>overcoming small disasters...snatching defeat from the jaws
>of victory...close calls...?
>

There is some interesting "close call" video posted under "Wild West and the Wild Finish"...

I liked Andy Sharples speech at the awards ceremony: "I would like to apologize to the representatives from Simpson Resources (formerly Simpson Timber) for knocking down one of their resources..."

The roads were very good and a good mix of surfaces and speed! I just wish that I didn't weenie out when they got a little wet...

I agree that the transits after the fueling were too tight on time and transits into the regrouping control were too long...

The Sunday awards banquet (sponsored by Subaru Western Region) was fantastic! Prime Rib, salmon, and all sorts of good stuff... They did a nice job with the awards and reasonably timely results.

The finish area was a bit disorganized. It would have been nice to have all the cars with a place to park and a clearer understanding when it was OK to leave and put your car on a trailer (back at the hotel of course...)

Another irk from many of the events including Wild West is an assumption that you: A) have internet access B) will look and reprint supplementals up to about 4 hours before the start of the event... C) then know which schedule etc is the "official" one

I only know of a couple guys with the ability to be downloading revised supps as they tow across the state(s) to an event.

The Friday night "welcome party" is a great idea and I tend to attend them, but noting in fine print, that a "representative from each team should be present" and then having nothing of substance to announce or be worth hanging around for was annoying. No start list, etc. Those who chose to not show up were the smart ones.
I would hope that the purpose of the party would be made clearer next time.

It was nice to see the new, and all SMILING faces of the control workers. They did a great job.

Thanks to the organizers for a good event. Pe
 

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Hey Rick--

Mom and I were sad to see you standing by the side of your toasty car on stage 2... but here's my opinion:

Ditch the FIA stuff, it sucked. Okay, it only sort of sucked. Didn't like RGCs, didn't like separate fueling areas, didn't like short services!! :) Liked getting the same amount of time in service as the boys did, that was cool.

Seemed like the event flowed smoothly, no serious delays (actually, no delays at all!) that I could see, and we got done at a decent hour for once. :)

Some of the roads seemed extraordinarily rough. Brutal, pounding, excrutiatingly so. And then you get to a smooth part, where the road just flows around the contours of the land, and everything is clicking along so well, it makes up for the rough stuff. Found myself doing Rocky and Bullwinkle (mostly Bullwinkle) whenever Mom said it was going to be rocky. :) Bad imitation! :) Maybe next year, instead of saying "intermittently rough" they should say "intermittently smooth"! :)

I felt I was able to pick up a lot of speed for my skill level and car type, felt really good about 3rd gear cornering, enjoyed seeing all the spectators and camera people and RALLY SKULL!!!! I saw you guys!! :)

Oh, and here's the triumph over adversity part: Dad and the service guys crafted a bright blue Willans bandaid for my front strut for the first two stages of Sunday, so the guys could have more time to get to the junkyard and pick me up a new strut top. :) Made for an interesting stage, as I dove from one side of the road to another trying to miss the holes and big rocks. :) It was smoother, out of the ruts! :)

And the other triumph over adversity: I rendered a front rim completely inoperable, flatting a tire in the process... Only because the edge of the rim was completely bent over! :) We drove 5 miles on it, got to the finish, and there was my brother Matt, waiting for me outside the control! :) He helped me change the flat, as we just had to get to service and he was only 2 minutes ahead of me in line. :)

The End. :) Great event! Too bad the top teams had to be such wankers!

Okay, not all of the top teams. Just certain top teams.
 

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It was a great event, the controversy just added to the excitement!:eek:
Well done, the fact that the spectator directions went from spectator location to spectator location, instead of headquarters to location (which renders them useless)as at most rallies, was a big help. The spectator locations were great with excellent parking.
suggestions for dealing with the press I would like to offer and this refers to all rallies:
- Full course maps as well as directions listed as above. Maps should be detailed with labeled roads, squiggly lines on a peice of paper don't work very well
- Detailed schedule of the stages and services
- designated parking for press close to the stage. This should be reserved for press that show up at the last minute since when you are trying to cover as many stages as possible you can't show up an hour early and you can't park a mile away either.
-press parking window sticker/sign to get one into above mentioned parking area
- Starting order sheets
- a crackdown on the amount of press credentials given out. I see a lot of illegitamate "press" taking photos with disposable or point
and shoot cameras, they are not professionals and end up pissing off the marshals so that when the real press arrive they get a hard time.

Probably a lot to ask but hopefully it can be arranged.
 

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It was my first time to Wild West, and I had a great time. The roads were fun. The best part, few repeated stages!! I hate being in the back on the second pass, with the skid plate smoothing the roads! Some thought they were rough, but compared to Rim, they don't seem so bad. :)

My suggestions for next year:

1. For club only, drop the FIA 20 minute service. You need 4-trained crew to get the work done in time, and club teams just don't have the budget to hire people. Our service crewman said he wouldn?t do this again without more help. For club, let them declare their minute at RGC, get their minute for the MTC out, and send them into service. To keep the order right, the club teams may have to come back later and pick up their time card with their check-out minute.

2. Allow more time to fuel then transit.

3. POST SATURDAY PROVISSIONALS AT PARC EXPOSE ON SUNDAY! It will be easier on the workers and on the crews. If fact every two-day rally should do this! The navie, is tired, hasn?t eaten much all day, and wants to eat dinner and get some sleep. :9

4. Post times on a white board at the RGC and MTC areas. With 20 min for service I had no time to find others and compare times. A central location makes it nice to see where we stand.

5. 5. The service area on Saturday has problems. Because we were at the far end it took 2 min to transit, then another 2 min back to MTC out. Thus our service was only 18 min. Move the MTC out to the far end so everybody has the same distance to travel. Thus ATC in on one side, MTC on the opposite side.

Paul Nelson
:)
 

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The organization was (as with all Northwest events) excellent. There can be no criticism leveled against the organizers whatsoever. The event ran on time and smoothly, it's certainly the best organized event I've seen this year. Also after racing in other parts of the country this year I appreciate the arrows on stage more than ever.

I love the roads, they had a bit of everything and were a great challenge, the technical stuff got really busy with the stage notes in a couple of places, I enjoyed it. The sections where the roads flow are just superb and the rough parts were fun (this is rallying, no such thing as too rough). The only road I would like to see change would be the 1000-yard freeway, it's far too long.

I understand why the new twists (RGC/ATCS) were there this year. They keep everyone 2 minutes apart, makes sure everyone has the same service time, and removes the need to push on transits to get more service time. They were a pain but I can live with them as it does even the playing field.

It had the unintended side effect of encouraging speeding in the service area, I was surprised that Subaru and Mitsubishi set up at the other end of the service area and loose a minute or two of an already short service time to get from the "ATCS in" to their service area and back to "ATCS out". What is the betting that we see a radar gun in service and the big boys next to the ATCS next time? Entering and exiting at different ends of the service area would even it out for all.

Possibly consider a soft reseed at one of the service breaks, I got a little annoyed about being kept in the RGC for 21 minutes as faster 4WD cars were moved ahead of the Volvo at the second service on Saturday.

The ATCS out transits were tight when you lost a minute or two waiting for a car to fill up and get out of the way before you could get in (happened to us after second service on Saturday, the transit was really tight).

Other than that great event, fun roads and those new stages near the Saturday service area get better every time.
 

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Stages:
roads were fantastic... i love the roads out here...
enjoyed the "new" stages as well..
especially the one near Mason Lake..
but you can lose all the hillclimbs!:p
low hp cars like me dont need em :D ;)

FIA:
lose it... do we really need to run it under FIA/CNAR
was there anyone there who was participating?
seemed a right pain in the arse to hurry up n wait
everywhere...

Start lists/times...
be nice to have start lists for day 2 BEFORE stage 4 of day 2...
:) And yes, save everyone the stress and post provisionals
the next day...

Arrows... banner tape... LOVE EM!
always said we were spoiled rallying here in the nw...

one more thing...
you may want to consider moving the spectator tape
BACK a bit....
see this clip:
http://www.subiegalracing.com/IMAGES/videos/subiegal.asf

Organizers & workers rocked!
thanks to all for attending...
Jamie
www.subiegalracing.com
www.subiegal.com
 

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I loved the roads, that said from a team that bent/broke 5 rims out there. The arrows worked very well as they always do here in the NW.

The service control got me, but at least I will understand it next time, we managed to do a lot of work in the 20 mins so I did not see that as too big a deal.

When I went off on stage 2 I could not reach mountain top on the ham radio, I never heard them and am not sure they monitored the radio on that frqz. I had no problem hearing the stage start and stage control for the stage I was on and the next stage but kept off the radio as that is asked in the sups. It would have been nice to let everyone know we were fine just stuck. I was hoping to speed sweep up a bit}> so they could come get us out of the ditch. I think more clarity about what is OK and not OK for us driving cars with a HAM licence might be nice, ie can we call the stage after all the cars have finished but the broken/stuck ones?

On the stage 7 we stoped to change 2 flats. After we got going we got to the end of a very long fast stright to have a large Ford F350 parked across the road not too far off my line. I was not pushing all that hard but still I did not like the idea of hitting the truck if I got wide.

Keeping the rally on time was impressive and the ATC's had plenty of room for all the cars! not once did we need to walk in.

I posted a full story of the rally defeating us at:
www.11tenths.com/news.html

I would run it again just like it was.

Derek
 

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As my first visit to the Great Northwest, I can say we had a great time! You have some very good roads, even if they are like running an R/C car on 40 grit sandpaper! :) Thank you!

The people were great and feast was very good. Thanks to all who poured in their hearts and souls to make a successful event, at least for most of the classes. Its a shame that the Overall shenanigans had to tarnish it.

As with most rallies, a few things were also less than stellar. Since you asked and I believe you are looking for constructive criticism, here are my gripes. Take 'em or leave 'em.

First...the purpose of rallying for most of us in this country is about maximising the fun. Yes, it is very expensive. Should we punish those without 9 trained and uniformed mechanics by employing these 20 minute services?

If Joe Blow finishes the first day with a gearbox full of rubbish, I feel he should have the evening to change that gearbox to tackle the second day in earnest. If Joe doesn't have an army of trained mechanics, but rather some enthusiastic rally heads from the local area, he isn't going to get that chance with FIA services. A wasted second day that could be seat time.

Next would be the supps. I understand the need to quote a fair portion of the FIA rulebook, since most of us are unfamiliar with the FIA rules regarding the way things are done.

One item of interest: If I read them correctly (and I read them 7 or 8 times to make sure), it is considered ILLEGAL SERVICING to accept help or tools or fluids from ANY source other than one's own car when not in a service area. I lent Lauchlin tools to fix his car on transit. According to the rules in the supps, this is illegal. I don't care for this and willingly lent him tools despite the rules. This is American Rallying and I believe more in the spirit of American Rallying than the letter of the law.

Since we were supposedly adhering to a smathering of foreign rules, I would have liked to see these rules, FIA or SCCA, be enforced.

It was in the supps that we had a couple 22 minute services and a 45 minute service at the end of the first day before Parc Ferme. It was my understanding that there would be a control at the end of Parc Ferme and that the transit to Parc Expose was indeed a TRANSIT (ie, no service) and that Parc Expose was, in effect, a SECURE (or FERME) Expose (as per FIA rules). This means we hauled ass during our 45 minute service to make sure that the car was READY for Sunday's stages. You can imagine my surprise when I showed up at 7:30 (that's when my apparently outdated version of the supps said that PF closed)and found a good portion of the field working on their cars outside the fairgrounds. I was even more surprised to see trucks, including Factory Team trucks parked downtown servicing cars at the PE. Doc did his best to circulate a flyer discouraging this activity, but to my knowledge no penalties were levied for this. Unfortunate.

I was very freaked about adhering to rules that apparently didn't even matter. Since we had only 8 wheels, we took the (spent) spare out of the trunk on Saturday night to have a fresh tire mounted with our 3 in the truck. I seeked permission from Joe Noyes to make sure we could bring a fresh tire into Parc Ferme in the morning so we could have a spare. We went out on spent rubber on Sunday morning cuz we figured it to be illegal to change tires before the day's stages.

Oh well. I still had a ball and enjoyed the roads and the people. I'm sure these problems were probably due to the workers/organizers being as unfamiliar with the new rules as the competitors...in fact, in many cases, perhaps even less familiar.

I will definitely be back. Since we were locked into second in the G2 championship, we really just went for Mazda's exposure and to learn how to set up the car for next year. Winning was a bonus.

Thanks again, and please take these criticisms in the right light. It IS a great event. Just could be greater...and fairer.


Regards,

Eric Burmeister
MAZDASPEED Rally Team USA
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow, thanks for all your feedback, kind words, and constructive criticism. I'm glad most that attended had a good time.
Let me just make a couple of points here to assure you NWR is aware of these concerns and already putting things in place to make it even better next year.
First, we were way behind on organizing this event. (If you?d like to help make this smoother, please volunteer to help. We meet every Tuesday in Olympia to plan this event for all of you). Like usual, last minute planning and late nights got everything ready on the Tuesday before the event. This meant no time to double-check the route book, last minute schedule changes to make transits safer (although it sounds like some were still too tight), late supp's, and dealing with Simpson's request for fire protection (despite the rain, wudda ya expect in the NW?). One big thing coming out of the wrap-up meeting was: we need a priority schedule, like supps done 3 weeks before, route book 2 weeks, etc..... This one item alone will hopefully make things smoother next year, and reduce the confusion from differing schedules, etc.
The FIA stuff added alot of extra stuff that the NWR organizers weren't anticipating, and alot of headaches. Unfortunately (from my perspective), it sounds like we will still seek FIA listing next year. I think this means the same unpopular regroups, separate service/fuel, etc, in hopes of some day hosting a WRC event again. Oh well, at least Dryad will still be a relaxed event easier on the Clubbies.
I'll pass on the request to post provisional scores the following morning. Sounds like a good idea, easier for all (unless I'm missing something).
Rough roads : Welcome to Simpson }>. 2 points here- Simpson doesn't grade their roads unless harvesting in the area. This has caused some discontent amongst Simpson employees, because the stage roads remain rutted for years (despite the fact SCCA has always paid for road repairs). To alleviate this perspective and appease the landowner, this year the SCCA is contracting a grader to fix the roads themselves after the event (notice the difference between ORV RallySprint vs. ORV WW?, that's what a grader can do). So all these stage roads will be fixed up, and in better shape next year. I'm sure we can still find a few rough stages for those who like them, but I'm hoping to have generally smoother roads for next years event. Another point on roads- come to Dryad! We re-use stage roads and only repair them after the season (to save $), so they should be good for Dryad, but may already be rutted by WW (the local Club benefit).
The three new stages out West held up very well, so they could become permanent fixtures of these rallies (with the added benefit of adjacent service/spectator areas).
Hope you all enjoyed this rally and will be back for next year,
Rick
(half organizer, half landowner, remaining fraction driver)
 

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RE: press feedback

>suggestions for dealing with the press I would like to offer
>and this refers to all rallies:

>- Full course maps as well as directions listed as above.
>Maps should be detailed with labeled roads, squiggly lines
>on a peice of paper don't work very well
>- Detailed schedule of the stages and services
>- designated parking for press close to the stage.
>-press parking window sticker/sign to get one into above
>mentioned parking area
>- Starting order sheets
>- a crackdown on the amount of press credentials given out.

As another press guy who sends off photos to various publications this is SO true. Some events are better than others. Thanks to the organizers of the STPR stream-crossing this year for example...we got there an hour in advance and already there was a mob. Fortunately someone was thinking and the area closest to the crossing was reserved for press. The end of SS4 at Maine last year (Fri. night) was a disaster for several of us press types as no parking areas were set up for press and it was at least a mile walk from my car to the end of the stage then another 1.7 miles into the pre-selected spot of choice. Day 2 was different as I got some really choice spots to shoot from. I wasn't at Wild West due to lack of employment and no
$$$, but some year I'm gonna do it.
Just a little something for us guys with all of the camera stuff we haul around goes a long way. I'm more willing to give free photos to people making the programs if I've been treated well in the past.

Jerry Winker
 

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Morgan said:

>- a crackdown on the amount of press credentials given out.
>I see a lot of illegitamate "press" taking photos with
>disposable or point
>and shoot cameras, they are not professionals and end up
>pissing off the marshals so that when the real press arrive
>they get a hard time.

Just FYI - in today's digital age, many so-called "point-and-shoot" digital cameras are capable of taking perfectly adequate web-ready photos.

In my line of work (outdoor mountaineering and camping equiment), we call people who look down on others' tools "gear snobs". Let's not generalize and assume that those without the high end gear are simply opportunistic spectators.

Until rallying in North America starts attracting European-level interest from media and spectators I believe we should not only tolerate, but encourage amateur photogs and media-types. Of course provided everyone obeys the safety rules, etc.

I intend no offense by this post, it's just that I thought your comments were a little harsh.

Cheers,

Bill
co-driver, RSport Rally
Wild West ClubRally Car no. 63
 

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An example of what got me going on this is: At Ojibwe, some highschool age guys with there girlfriends flashed press passes, proceeded to pass under the yellow tape into a dangerous spot pulled out their lawn chairs and sat down. when the marshals told them it was dangerous and that they had to move, the guys started mouthing off. At which point the marshal got ticked and I got removed along with them, even though I was no where near them!We all know that there are not many media outlets covering the sport, so I find it a stretch that there were something like 80 press passes given out in Ojibwe. I have talked to Kurt about this and changes were made in WW and more for next year. The point is no one asks for proof that one is from the media when the passes are given out and marshals have not checked from less than 20 feet away. If it is easy to get a press pass it de-values the point of having it and allows others to interfere with the people that have a job to do. Other press people have expressed this to me as well.
I am by no means discouraging people from taking photos at the events no matter what kind of equipment they have
 
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