Vermont Winter Challenge Rally, Feb. 16, 2013

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Dave_G
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Re: Vermont Winter Challenge Rally, Feb. 16, 2013

Post by Dave_G » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:40 pm

Alex_76 wrote:Hey Guys! I'm from Russia! And I would like to visit this event. Can anybody tell me where and what time it will be? Thank you...
Are you talking about visiting as a driver, worker, or spectator? I'll warn you that as a spectator there's really nothing to see! It's not like a big Rally America or NASA or WRC closed-course stage rally with spectators lining the course. It's a TSD (time-speed-distance) rally on steroids, where the course is on open roads and is not known in advance to any of the teams. Scoring is based on route-finding and timing accuracy, not on speed, though this rally is famous for its "brisk" (though 100% legal) speeds.

If you mean as a driver or worker, all the info is at the rally web page: http://www.winterchallengerally.com/.

If you just want to see the pre-rally driver's meeting and/or novice school, headquarters is the Day's Inn in Barre. Here's the schedule:
Time schedule:
11 am - Day’s Inn assembly room open – Barre
Practice map available for pre-running/Rallymaster available for questions
12-1pm Registration + Tech inspection Day’s Inn
Noon- Novice school – general info on maps + timing – basically a ‘refresher’ – no necessary info given out
1 PM Route instructions given out in numerical order Day’s Inn
1:30pm Driver’s meeting Day’s Inn
2pm Start Day’s Inn
6pm Rest break – P+H Truck stop
9pm Rest break – McD St. Johnsbury
1 am + Finish competitive portion at Days Inn
2 am Critique and Awards (we’ll have something) Days Inn
Last I heard, entries were up to 25, so that's good news. :D I'm sure there will be a few more entering during the week, and IIRC they're capping it at 30 cars.
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'90 Miata (summer fun)
'91 BMW 325iX (winter fun) oo=[][]=oo
'04 Mazda 6s wagon (family fun)

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Rabbit Farmer
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Re: Vermont Winter Challenge Rally, Feb. 16, 2013

Post by Rabbit Farmer » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:07 am

I'll be there working a checkpoint..... at least the event is a lot shorter than it was in the past.
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It takes hundreds of nuts to hold a car together, but it takes only one of them to scatter it all over the highway. - Evan Esar

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Re: Vermont Winter Challenge Rally, Feb. 16, 2013

Post by Rabbit Farmer » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:29 am

Just got home. Had a good time.
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It takes hundreds of nuts to hold a car together, but it takes only one of them to scatter it all over the highway. - Evan Esar

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Dave_G
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Re: Vermont Winter Challenge Rally, Feb. 16, 2013

Post by Dave_G » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:24 am

Diane and I got home a little after 5:00 this morning. After a bit of rest and recovery, I'm still buzzing from last night's fun. Y'know, I've done quite a bit of track days, time trials on race circuits, wheel-to-wheel racing, autocrosses, and sliding sideways in ice time trials. I love all of it. But last night, as I was flying down a narrow, icy roller coaster of a Northeast Kingdom back road, trying to maintain 38 MPH while keeping it between the ditches, it occurred to me that this was as much fun as anything, and that 38 is just as exhilarating as 110 MPH when you're on a road like that. Thanks to John Buffum for once again providing us with all the fun we could ask for last night.

There were some changes this year, mostly in the form of shifting the start time about three hours earlier, so it started in daylight and did not run all night. It was still 11 hours long, but the earlier start time dictated that the early section was a little slower than in past years. No matter, that was a route-finding section, and John did a great job in designing a rally where if you went wrong, you paid a small time penalty, but did not get totally lost. There were some pretty clever bits in that section. The later two sections, run in darkness, were more for the driver.

Despite our frequent errors in all three sections (who knew that if the map showed a left turn, we were supposed to turn left, not right? :wtf:), we were able to work our way out of them with diligent application of time allowances, and when the dust all settled at the end of the rally, we found we had managed to finish 8th overall, and 1st in stock class (no computers).

Big thanks to Steve and all the checkpoint workers who let us play! :coolbeer:

I'm already looking forward to next year!
Dave GuertinImage
'90 Miata (summer fun)
'91 BMW 325iX (winter fun) oo=[][]=oo
'04 Mazda 6s wagon (family fun)

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Mike Kamm
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Re: Vermont Winter Challenge Rally, Feb. 16, 2013

Post by Mike Kamm » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:47 pm

Dave_G wrote:When the dust all settled at the end of the rally, we found we had managed to finish 8th overall, and 1st in stock class (no computers).
Nice result Dave! I completely agree with your praise and excitement for this event. I didn't think I was going to be able to run this event this year because my navigator Steve Clare moved to VA last year. Boy was I stoked when he agreed to drive all the way back up here for a weekend of winter motorsports, which included running with me at last night's event, and then AMEC ice racing in his WRX wagon today.

Image
Steve with our time card at a time control checkpoint. This was our 5th Winter Challenge rally as a team but our first without 4WD. With this year's road conditions, we definitely did not need the extra drive wheels. The FWD '91 SE-R was a blast.

Image

We took a more laid back approach this year and put fun in front of sweating the details of time calculations and trying to 'win'. We skipped the 1st leg of the rally [daylight section] and went for the traditional night sections from 6:00pm to 1:00am. We ran in the 'A' class and [luckily] were first car on the road again this year. The SE-R performed flawlessly on my [nine year old - but mint] set of studded Hakka 2's. It eagerly ate up the brisk and slippery sections of the rally without putting a foot wrong. Even though we arrived to about every checkpoint early, :wink: we still finished 15th out of 30. These are some of the best roads I have ever been on. Good times for sure!

Image

Chris Regan's BMW 325iX at a pause in the action. This was at about 12:30 am, during the final leg of the rally.

Thanks again to Steve Clare on his excellent navigational work, and of course to John Buffum and the checkpoint workers and volunteers who make it all possible. Yup, looking forward to next year as well. :mrgreen:
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