2022 Rally School

by | Mar 10, 2022 | Rally

The Redwood Region hosted the Zone 7 Rally School on February 12th and, by all measurements, it was very successful.

The classroom at Sonoma State University could hold 60 students, but we limited entries to 50 to allow some social distancing and to avoid possible COVID restrictions for large (>50) indoor groups. We had 45 entries including people from Alameda, Alamo, Berkeley, Brentwood, Carmichael, Castro Valley, Crockett, Folsom, Livermore, and Sacramento.

The event was open to non-PCA members, and the attendees included a couple gentlemen from the Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association who hope to develop a rally program for their organization. Good for them!

The classroom presentation included an overview of rallies in the United States, including stage rallies and gimmick rallies, but the emphasis was clearly on time-speed-distance, TSD, rallies. You could drive a TSD by simply following, and enjoying, the route at speeds approximating the assigned speeds, but most rallyists include some math in their strategy.

Rally math is not complicated. The formula is Time = Distance / Speed. With distance in miles, and speed in miles per hour, the resulting time is in hours. The students learned how to convert hours to minutes, and fractions of minutes to seconds by multiplying by 60. The program included several practice problems which coincidentally, covered the first half of the practice rally that followed the classroom presentation.

Twenty-five cars participated in the practice rally, which covered 25 miles around Sonoma Mountain and finished at the Bear Republic Brewing Company in Rohnert Park.

Trophies were presented to the top three cars. First place went to Ernesto Dal Bo driving solo in his 2019 Cayman S with a score of 155. To put that in perspective, he hit seven checkpoints over the 52-minute course with a total error of slightly over two and a half minutes, and an average error of about 22 seconds per checkpoint, and he did that without a navigator!

Will and Azalaïs Flanders had a score of 235 and drove home with the second-place trophy. Third place went to Michael and Theresa Mansfield in their 2001 911 Turbo with a score of 269. Oh-so-close were Peter and Sofia Guagenti with a score of 282, just 13 seconds short of the podium.

Donald Nohai and Ann Marie Trione got a zero on the first scored checkpoint, while Christopher King-Hall, driving solo, zeroed CP4. Ernesto Dal Bo got a 2 on CP8, Jerry and Renee Wachtel got a 3 on CP 2, Bradley Call and Tom Morstein-Marx got a 4 on CP 3, and Michael and Teresa Mansfield got a 5 on CP 2. Congratulations to all.

The next event on the Redwood Region Rally Schedule is the Two Lake Rally on March 26th. This TSD rally starts and finishes in Napa and covers about 100 miles of paved roads, with a short break midway. Twelve GPS checkpoints will determine who takes home the hardware. The entry fee is $25 per car for PCA members and $30 per car for non-members. Registration is open and, yes, the route does indeed pass by two lakes. I hope you can join us.

Not into TSD rallies? No problem. Save Saturday April 23rd for the Wine Pairing Rally, our next gimmick rally. The Rallymaster is Craig Steele, the mastermind behind the Picture Perfect Rally. Join us for a tasteful tour through Sonoma County wine country seeking to pair the perfect food with an assortment of great wines. Does anyone know what wine pairs with Nutter Butter cookies? Do kumquats pair well with merlot?

On May 21st, we return to TSD rallies with an event rallymastered by Jerry Wachtel. Jerry and Renee Wachtel are experienced rallyists, having participated in both our rally schools, der Trockenbach Rallye, Devil’s Gulch, Oktoberfest (taking second place) and the Picture Perfect rally.

Jim Robison

Jim Robison


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