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Old 04-26-2007, 12:49 PM   #1
ricochet
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Default Oregon Trail Rally 2007



Oregon Trail Rally
By Jeff Zurschmeide, Subiesport Magazine

The Oregon Trail Rally takes its name from the historic route that pioneers traveled to reach the west coast in the 1840s. Hundreds of wagon trains set out to travel the Oregon Trail over the years, but many of them never made it to the end.

That's a fitting legacy for this year's Oregon Trail Rally, because basic survival was the name of the game at the third round of the 2007 Rally America National Championship series. Victory went to those who made it to the end of the trail - of the 45 cars lined up for the start of the National rally, only 22 made it to the finish. Including the regional-only competitors, a total of 76 cars entered the rally, and just 44 made it to the end.

Entrants at this year's Oregon Trail were racing not only for Rally America series points, but also for a coveted grid position at this Summer's X Games. Additionally, Oregon Trail was round 1 of the new Max Attack Triple Crown Rally Series, offering 2WD competitors a chance to win substantial cash purses. (www.max-attack.com)

The action and the buzz started before the rally even began. Series contender Andrew Comrie-Picard suffered an engine failure in his Mitsubishi Evo on the practice stage, and then lost his backup engine on the Thursday press stage while giving demonstration rides. Unable to secure another engine, the young Canadian had no choice but to withdraw from the event, although he did push his car across the starting line of Stage 1 to be counted as a starter.

The Oregon Trail Rally begins each year with special spectator stages held at Portland International Raceway, near the city center. These short stages are mixed tarmac, gravel, and sod and so they pose a special challenge to the teams. Combined times for the 6 stages held at the race track are under 15 minutes, so there's not much that can be won there, but the entire rally may be lost to a single mistake. The rally was thrown wide open when series leader and defending champions Travis Pastrana & Christian Edstrom suffered a catastrophic engine failure in their Subaru WRX STI as they won the very first stage. Leading teams Lauchlin O'Sullivan & Scott Putnam (Mitsubishi) and George Plsek & Jeffrey Burmeister (Mitsubishi) were also taken out with mechanical trouble on the first stages.

With Pastrana and Comrie-Picard sidelined, the event was thrown wide open. Of the five remaining stages on the first evening, three went to Subaru Rally Team USA partners Ken Block & Alex Gelsomino, with WRC veteran Ramana Lagemann & Mark Williams (Mitsubishi) and the privateer team of Matt Iorio & Ole Holter (Subaru) winning one stage each. Interestingly, privateers Tanner Foust & Christine Beavis (Subaru) were a close second on each of the first four stages, then third and fourth place on the final two stages of the evening. 2006 Oregon Trail winners Andrew Pinker & Patrick Walsh (Subaru), WRC veteran and past Oregon Trail winner Patrick Richard & Martin Headland (Subaru) and veteran rallyists Paul Choiniere & Jeffrey Becker (Hyundai) were also close to the top of the standings. From the start, it was clear that the Oregon Trail Rally would be hard-fought and anyone might win.

On Saturday, the rally moved into the mountains of the Oregon Coast Range. While Friday had been uncharacteristically clear and dry, the forecast called for rain all day Saturday and for once the weatherman was exactly right. Saturday's stages were a mix of familiar and new roads, and with two of the toughest contenders out of the picture, every team stepped up their effort and raced for the win. The consequences were hard.

Block/Gelsomino started Saturday leading the event, but Pinker/Walsh came on strong, winning Stage 7 and whittling Block's lead to just 0.9 seconds. "Cowboy" Kenny Bartram and Dennis Hotson (Subaru) crashed on Stage 7 and were done for the weekend. Foust/Beavis won Stage 8, followed by Pinker/Walsh, with Block/Gelsomino in third.

Pinker/Walsh were back on top for the treacherous Stage 9, followed by Lagemann/Williams and Block/Gelsomino, but the stage was marred by a series of four rollovers down the field. A red cross ended the stage when the father and son team of Joshua Milos & Michael Milos rolled their Group 5 GMC Sonoma pickup. Fortunately, injuries were minor and the event safety program worked perfectly. Also out by the end of Stage 9 were the teams of Richard/Headland (Subaru), defending PGT champion Matt Johnson & Jeremy Wimpey (Subaru), Ralph Kosmides/John Dillon (Subaru), Mike Goodwin/Debbie Wenzara (Subaru), Lagemann/Williams (Mitsubishi), Dimiters/Ockwell (Subaru), and several others.

By the end of Stage 10, Pinker/Walsh had taken the lead and opened up a prodigious 38 second gap on Block/Gelsomino. "These roads ... are similar to the roads in New Zealand. I think we will run strong here," Pinker said. Block/Gelsomino came roaring back to win Stage 11 by 6.4 seconds over Pinker/Walsh, and then Foust/Beavis claimed the last stage of the day by 9 seconds over Pinker/Walsh.

Rain persisted throughout the day Saturday, causing a run on anti-fog solution at the local auto parts store at the service area in tiny Vernonia, Oregon. The roads were a mixture of newer gravel and the renowned Oregon clay, making for a slick surface over most stage miles.

At the end of the soggy second day of competition, Pinker/Walsh held the lead by almost 40 seconds over Block/Gelsomino and 75 seconds over the third place team of Foust/Beavis. With Johnson/Wimpey out of the pictures, Stephan Verdier & Scott Crouch (Subaru) led the Production GT class over competitors Norm LeBlanc & Keith Morison (Subaru), Patrick Moro & Mike Rossey (Subaru), and local favorites Jamie Thomas & Matt Gauger (Subaru).

Sunday dawned a bit brighter, but with rain squalls still passing through. The teams faced a dash to the finish line with just four stages totaling 30 miles on the last day of competition. The first and third stages were a 5 mile stretch of road covered in fresh gravel, and the second and fourth stages comprised a 10 mile climb-and-drop over a ridge. Only one service interval was allowed for teams on this day - there was no room for mistakes.

Block/Gelsomino came out swinging, winning the first stage on Sunday, but Pinker/Walsh were just 1.9 seconds behind, and Foust/Beavis just 8 seconds out in third. Stage 14 showed just how tight the competition could be, with Foust/Beavis and Pinker/Walsh tied for the top stage score, and Block Gelsomino 13 seconds off the fast time. Stage 15 had Foust/Beavis in first, followed by Block/Gelsomino 3 seconds later, and then Pinker/Walsh a scant 1.6 seconds out in third. Foust/Beavis continued their surge to the end, winning the final stage of the rally by 9 seconds over Block/Gelsomino and 2 more seconds over Pinker/Walsh, but it wasn't enough to overcome Saturday's lead.

When the scores were totaled, it was Pinker/Walsh in first, Block/Gelsomino in second place at +0.46.1, and Foust/Beavis at +01.04.5. Verdier/Crouch won PGT honors, and Group N went to Wyeth Gubelman and Nathalie Richard (Subaru). In 12th position overall, Group 5 was won by Andrew Havas and Francois Morin, driving a 1988 Honda Civic, and the Group 2 victory went to Michel Hoche-Mong and Sameer Parekh in a 1985 VW GTI.

As he walked to the stage to claim his Oregon-shaped trophies at the celebratory banquet, Pinker exclaimed "I'm thinking of moving here!" The crowd, mostly composed of local rallyists and rally workers, cheered the idea.

At the top of the results Subaru was the dominant marque. Only the Hyundai Tiburon of Choiniere/Becker in the fourth position kept the top 10 from being a Subaru sweep. But in the 2WD classes, it was a different story. $8,000 in prize money was awarded to 2WD competitors registered for the Max Attack series, with checks handed out to 6 different marques. Prize money went to Havas/Morin (Honda), Sarasin/Johansson (Ford), Burmeister/Shindle (Mazda), Hoche-Mong/Parekh (VW), Buren/Buren (Subaru), and Thompson/Secor (Dodge).

After all the cars have been repaired, the Rally America series will return to the Pacific Northwest on May 19-20 at the Olympus Rally in Washington State. TV coverage of the Oregon Trail Rally will appear on ESPN2 on May 31 at 6 PM and on Driving Sports TV in the Portland Area in late May as well (see local listing for more info).
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Last edited by ricochet; 04-26-2007 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:19 PM   #2
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Victory went to those who made it to the end of the trail - of the 45 cars lined up for the start of the National rally, only 22 made it to the finish.

YOU HAVE DIED OF DYSENTRY.
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:05 PM   #3
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YOU HAVE DIED OF DYSENTRY.
Wow, that's a flashback. (And probably completely random to anyone under 32 years old )
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:14 PM   #4
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Wow, that's a flashback. (And probably completely random to anyone under 32 years old )
Are you sure they weren't all out hunting buffalo instead of racing? That was the best part of Oregon Trail anyways....
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Old 04-26-2007, 02:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricochet View Post
At the top of the results Subaru was the dominant marque. Only the Hyundai Tiburon of Choiniere/Becker in the fourth position kept the top 10 from being a Subaru sweep. But in the 2WD classes, it was a different story. $8,000 in prize money was awarded to 2WD competitors registered for the Max Attack series, with checks handed out to 6 different marques. Prize money went to Havas/Morin (Honda), Sarasin/Johansson (Ford), Burmeister/Shindle (Mazda), Hoche-Mong/Parekh (VW), Buren/Buren (Subaru), and Thompson/Secor (Dodge).
http://www.specialstage.com/view.asp?StoryID=908

A copy of our Press Release:

Author: Safe Drives Rally Team
Photos by:Wayne Flynn/www.pdxsports.com

The Safe Drives Rally Team (SDRT), a team with over five seasons of performance rally car racing experience participated in the national portion as well as the three regional events of the 2007 Oregon Trail Rally race based in Hillsboro, Oregon. The team was a last minute addition to the national event having just obtained sponsorship in the days leading up to the event weekend.

The MaxAttack! Triple Crown Rally Series prompted the SDRT to switch their entry from Regional only to a Dual entry. Driver and Team Principal Charles Buren stated, "When MaxAttack! Triple Crown Rally Series announced the cash prize for two-wheel-drive national-entered cars at Oregon Trail Rally, I polished up my sponsorship proposal. I started sending off e-mails and with less than twenty days before the event we had a few outstanding companies that stepped up to help us join the national."

SDRT now boasts sponsorship from Autopower Industries, Racetech North America, Performance Race Engineering in Portland, Oregon, and Safe Drives. "Without the support of these sponsors this team would be running the regional events only" said Buren at the Sunday awards banquet, "Without the MaxAttack! program we would not have entered the national portion of the event."

At the end of a grueling three day rally weekend where 51% of the nationally entered starters did not finish, SDRT came away with some solid results. In the three regional events the team finished in first in the Group 5 (G5) class all three days. With the regional rally win, it gives the SDRT an early lead in the Rally America Northwest Regional Rally Championship for the G5 class. In the national rally the SDRT finished 4th in G5 behind the top tier of two-wheel-drive rally cars.

At the end of the event driver Charles Buren stated, "I think we did excellent against the other nationally prepared two-wheel-drive cars." Reports from the team on Saturday were that they were stuck behind a slower car for over half a stage, as well as an overly fogged windscreen slowing them down on two stages later in the day. On Sunday the team was dealt a small blow with turbo failure on the last stage of the day. This caused the car to run low on power on the long steep uphill sections. The team still managed to pull off a finish.

Co-Driver and wife to Charles, Teresa Buren, had this to say about the weekend: "Overall we had a good event this weekend. Charles has really grown as a driver over these last five-and-a-half seasons. He was able to overcome a few car obstacles and stick to smart strategy and finish. Without the additional support of our service crew and sponsors we would have had a very difficult time making it to our very first national finish!"

So how did the team do against the top two-wheel-drive rally car teams in the USA? They were the fifth fastest two-wheel-drive car out of ten finishers. That was good enough to win $1000 from the MaxAttack! Triple Crown Rally Series!

The next event for SDRT is at the 2007 Olympus Rally taking place in the mountains and valleys of Washington State May 19th and 20th. The team just signed Certified Safety Manufacturing as a major sponsor for the 2007 Olympus Rally.

SDRT is sponsored by:
Safe Drives (
safedrives.com)
Autopower Industries (
autopowerindustries.com)
Racetech North America (
racetechseatsna.com)
Performance Race Engineering (
preracing.com)
Starting with 2007 Olympus Rally, Certified Safety Mfg. (
certifiedsafety.com)

For information on MaxAttack! Triple Crown Rally Series, check
max-attack.com
For information on Rally America, check rally-america.com
For the Oregon Trail Rally's site, go to oregontrailrally.com
For the Olympus Rally website, go to olympusrally.com

Best regards,

Charles Buren
safedrives.com
877-739-1713 Toll Free
cburen at safedrives.com
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:57 PM   #6
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Wow, that's a flashback. (And probably completely random to anyone under 32 years old )

i'm 24 and know what he ment
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:59 PM   #7
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After all the cars have been repaired, the Rally America series will return to the Pacific Northwest on May 19-20 at the Mount Olympus Rally in Washington State.
The event is titled "Olympus International Rally" or "Olympus Rally":
http://www.olympusrally.com/
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:09 PM   #8
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The damn squirrels were always the hardest to get, the buffalo was were it was at.

<--- 20 years old
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by boundy3 View Post
The damn squirrels were always the hardest to get, the buffalo was were it was at.

<--- 20 years old
I stand corrected, apparently schools took longer than expected to replace their "educational games"

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Old 04-26-2007, 06:48 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ANZAC_1915 View Post
The event is titled "Olympus International Rally" or "Olympus Rally":
http://www.olympusrally.com/
Good catch, Glen. It's been edited.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:35 PM   #11
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ooh yeah, plenty of days in elementary/middle school playin the good old Oregon Trail, since some teachers preceived it as educational.

Also one teacher thought SimCity was an educational game as well. Ahh the good days in public school!
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:03 PM   #12
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i know what it was and I'm 17! I hated those damn squirrels.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:16 PM   #13
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the best was putting dirty words on the headstones
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:45 PM   #14
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I stand corrected, apparently schools took longer than expected to replace their "educational games"

Win!

I had to always help my fellow elementary students for the raft ending.

-paK +2
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Old 04-27-2007, 11:24 AM   #15
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YOU HAVE DIED OF DYSENTRY.
should have been a doctor
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Old 04-27-2007, 01:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ricochet View Post
Wow, that's a flashback. (And probably completely random to anyone under 32 years old )
Thats not true, i played that game from 1st - 4th grade.. haha. im 23!
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Old 04-27-2007, 01:54 PM   #17
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YOU HAVE DIED OF DYSENTRY.
ROFL QUOTE OF THE CENTURY!
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:51 PM   #18
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:06 PM   #19
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dude im only 21 and i still played Oregon trail when i was in grade school
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Old 05-02-2007, 06:52 PM   #20
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I would like to see one addition to this rally. IIRC, the end of the trail is in Seaside. I really want to see some smokey doughnuts at the turnaround there.
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Old 05-06-2007, 12:55 PM   #21
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iwish i could get sponsored by jack daniels
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Old 06-18-2007, 01:01 PM   #22
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i am 27, and i think i still have that game on big floppy disc format in basement!
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelikewhoa View Post
Thats not true, i played that game from 1st - 4th grade.. haha. im 23!
sadly, that's how out dated our public schools are
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