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Old 09-26-2007, 12:58 PM   #1
ricochet
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Default 2007 Rally Colorado Report



2007 Rally Colorado
Round 8 of the Rally America 2007 Championship
By Jeff Zurschmeide, Subiesport Magazine


Every event in the Rally America calendar has its own flavor and a generous helping of individual challenges and opportunities. From the frozen conditions at Sno*Drift to the torrential rains that characterize the Oregon Trail and Olympus rallies, no racing series offers more variety in weather, terrain, and obstacles than Rally.

At Rally Colorado, teams have to contend with higher altitudes than at any other event in the season. The turbocharged engines in the Open, Group N, and PGT cars gasp for breath as the teams drive towards the end of the season and the national championship title.

Wildlife is a potential hazard at any rally, but Rally Colorado runs through rangeland, so instead of a deer, you might just see a full-grown Hereford bull standing in the road in front of you. This is not an event for the faint of heart, even if the championship wasn’t hanging in the balance.

Coming into the event, Andrew Pinker and Robbie Durant still held a 1-point lead over Subaru Rally Team USA competitors Travis Pastrana and Christian Edstrom, with SRTUSA’s Ken Block and Alessandro Gelsomino close behind in third place. Farther down in the standings is the team of Tanner Foust and Chrissie Beavis. While they are mathematically out of the running for the championship, a top finish by Foust/Beavis over any of the contending teams could yet decide the final standings.

In most series, the championship has long been decided by this point in the season – but not in Rally America. None of the top teams could afford a crash or a failure in Colorado, yet every team had to go all out for the win to stay in this game. Combined with the extreme altitude and Colorado’s treacherous roads, this was a recipe for high plains drama.

The first day of the event featured ten stages, including one running of the 1-mile super special stage. Stage 4 was canceled, but of the nine stages that were run, Block/Gelsomino finished fastest on 5, with Foust/Beavis and Pastrana/Edstrom each claiming 2 stages.

Early in the rally, Pastrana/Edstrom started a trend by losing boost due to a dislodged turbo hose, and did not get the fault repaired until the transit leading from the canceled stage 4 to stage 5. Turning stage 4 to a transit likely saved the team’s podium finish, as they finished the third stage 29.2 seconds off the pace.

But troubles were not limited to the reigning champ – both Block/Gelsomino and Foust/Beavis had tire troubles on the second stage, though Foust/Beavis still won the stage. They performed a rapid tire change on the transit and went on to take advantage of Pastrana/Edstrom’s troubles by finishing a strong second to Block/Gelsomino on stage 3.

Halfway through day 1, Foust/Beavis led the rally by a scant 1.8 seconds, but their joy was short-lived. SRTUSA came roaring back and won 4 of the remaining 5 stages of the day, putting Block/Gelsomino into the rally lead overnight with a 26.8 second lead over Foust/Beavis.

Pastrana/Edstrom again ran into troubles on stage 7, leaving the road and taking a major excursion into a field. "That was the most fun I've ever had in a car in my whole life", Pastrana said, but the excursion cost him, as he finished the stage 28.7 seconds off of Block/Gelsomino’s winning time.

But then it was Foust/Beavis’s turn to experience turbo troubles, and they lost boost late in the day. Still, that did not stop them from taking the last stage of the day, with Pastrana/Edstrom coming in second at a 3.4-second differential.

In addition to the problems at the top of the field, a hard-fought battle was playing out in the Production GT class. Stephan Verdier and co-driver Scott Crouch won 4 of the day’s 9 completed stages, while the 2006 champion Matt Johnson and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey won 5 stages. The team of Patrick Moro and co-driver Mike Rossey were also giving a solid performance, but both they and Verdier/Crouch suffered turbo Y-pipe failures, leaving Johnson/Wimpey with a solid lead of over two minutes in the class at the end of the first day of competition.

Autumn moved in right on schedule, and Day 2 of Rally Colorado was drenched with cold rain – disturbing the roads so severely that by mid-day several stages had to be canceled, shortening the planned eight stages to five.

Of the five stages completed on Sunday, four were won by Foust/Beavis, and one by Pastrana/Edstrom, but it wasn’t enough to make up the deficit from the first day, and so at the end, Block and Gelsomino stood atop the podium for the second time this year, with Foust/Beavis in second place and Pastrana/Edstrom in third. The points differential placed Block/Gelsomino even with Pastrana/Edstrom at 113 points going into the last event of the season, and Pinker/Durant just behind with 112 points.

PGT honors went to Johnson and Wimpey, with Moro/Rossey in second place, Nathan Conley and Brandye Monks in third, and Verdier/Crouch in fourth place, despite winning the class in 8 of the 14 completed stages. Moro/Rossey lead the championship points by 17 points, and it seems likely that they will take the championship if they compete at next month’s Lake Superior Rally. Will Corry and Rebecca Greek took the FIA Group N honors in a 2002 Impreza STI.

As expected, the championship now comes down to a three way race between Block/Gelsomino, Pastrana/Edstrom, and Pinker/Durant. Foust/Beavis may still play kingmakers, however, by racing themselves to the podium and displacing a championship contender.

The Lake Superior Rally will be held near Houghton, Michigan on October 26-27, and it is the final round of the 2007 Rally America national championship series. Any of the three top teams could take the championship – and in the end, an entire season of racing across North America may come down to just a few seconds on the road.

Now, isn’t that ten times better than any other racing series on the planet? Of course it is, and that’s why Rally Racing is the greatest motor sport on Earth.

More pics:
http://mag.subiesport.com/index.php?...=128&Itemid=57
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Last edited by ricochet; 09-26-2007 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:19 AM   #2
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Thank you for the Rally America coverage. I hope to make it to LSPR.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:22 AM   #3
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what hood is that on the gold rockstar sti rally car?
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Old 09-27-2007, 08:43 AM   #4
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Why no mention of group 2 and 5?
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:51 AM   #5
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Crap, I wish I'd heard of this! But I doing something else anyway last weekend.

Man, Steamboat springs was only about 4 hours away,too.
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Old 09-27-2007, 12:07 PM   #6
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I had Martin drive me from fort collins to steamboat on thursday, you coulda hitched a ride.
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Old 09-27-2007, 03:08 PM   #7
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Woot! I'll be at LSPR this year, I've gone for the past 4 years! It's awesome!!!
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:29 PM   #8
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Cool Groups 2 and 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protege Menace View Post
Why no mention of group 2 and 5?
Because I was writing for a Subaru publication.

But you're right - the G2 and G5 drivers are great, and so
here's how they ended up:

First in Group 5 was the 2002 Ford Focus of Kyle Sarasin
and John Nordlie, who finished the rally just 9 minutes and
58 seconds behind Block/Gelsomino, followed by the
2005 Dodge SRT-4 of Cary Kendall and Scott Friberg.

In Group 2, Christopher Duplessis and incomparable co-driver Kim DeMotte piloted their 1990 VW GTI to the win, and Michel Hoche-Mong and my Oregon homegirl Tracy Manspeaker came in second in a 1985 VW GTI.
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Old 09-28-2007, 05:04 PM   #9
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Old 09-30-2007, 11:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2.5 Blue Roo View Post
what hood is that on the gold rockstar sti rally car?
Stock STI hood with vent modifications and Seibon carbon cooler scoop... The bumper is a one-off (sorta speak) custom; you'll have to special order that
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Old 09-30-2007, 11:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tanner foust View Post
Stock STI hood with vent modifications and Seibon carbon cooler scoop... The bumper is a one-off (sorta speak) custom; you'll have to special order that

One-off.
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:20 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umscooby View Post
One-off.


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Old 10-12-2007, 12:25 PM   #13
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Question driving in Colorado

I just moved to Colorado with my 2003 WRX from Utah and want to meet some sub fans and fidn out where I can take my car for some dirt riding??

can anyone help me find that ??

mrb
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