Mar 26

St Paddy’s Day in the 100 Acre Wood

By:Steve Gingras

The 100AW rally kicked off at the Steelville Park Expose under beautiful sunny skies and 50 degree temperatures. A little rain was predicted and that led a Police officer to innocently ask “If we were going to race in the Rain?” I answered “Of course we are! This isn’t NASCAR.” He looked slightly offended.

64 teams were primed and ready to tackle the fast, twisty and extremely fun roads of the Mark Twain National Forest. As most of the Rally America races have been in recent history, this was a very competitive event with 5 different stage winners and 4 lead changes. Late in the race the difference between 1st and 2nd was only 2.2 seconds.

Overall – Demons Be Gone!
The Burke family was well represented with the return of Joe Burke to the driver’s seat after an absence of 5 years. J Burke/Jankowski kicked it into high gear right from the start taking stage 1 and not looking back. They rang up an impressive string of stage wins and built a lead of 1:23 (M:SS). That is until the last stage of the night when a rear control arm broke and spun them sideways in a very narrow section, blocking the road completely. The car wouldn’t move and they had to wait for 20 or so teams to show up before they had enough muscle to move the car. Everyone received the time for Fetela/Jozwiak.

The first night ended with Fetela/Jozwiak leading by 14.5 seconds over Pritchard/Kaltak with Rooney/Vohs over a minute back. Steely/Osborn were learning AWD and only 40 seconds beyond. One surprise of the day was the speed of Ferreira/Simsek. They set 2 – 2nd fastest stage times and were 3rd on 2 others. They also had a flat that cost them about 3 minutes and damaged the car.

Day 2 started off with the traditional downtown park expose in Salem. With Super Rally now allowing teams to reenter with a large penalty, everyone was wondering if J Burke/Jankowski would be back. Sadly they were unable to repair the damage.

The battle was on. Prichard/Kaltak mounted new tires and were going for it. They would win 2 of the 3 stages before service and moved into the lead by 2.5 seconds. Fetela/Jozwiak would fight back and gain 3 tenths of a second on stage 11. The battle came to an end on Stage 12 as Pritchard/Kaltak would blow their motor and join the growing DNF list.

Fetela/Jozwiak would exercise the demons from their massive crash 2 years ago and take the victory by 3 minutes over Rooney/Vohs. Steely/Osborn were really enjoying their first race with AWD and brought the SP car home 3rd overall.

SP – Super on St. Paddy’s Day
Pritchard/Kaltak picked up where they had left off at LSPR. They won every stage on Friday and at the end of the first day they were 1.5 minutes ahead of Rooney/Vohs. Steely/Osborn were sitting in 3rd with Whitebread/Carr only 22 seconds behind them.

Even though Saturday started pretty much as it had on Friday, it would not end that way. At the first service Pritchard/Kaltak were not only leading the SP class, they were leading the entire rally. The tide started to turn on Stage 10 when Steely/Osborn won the stage overall. On Stage 12 Pritchard/Kaltak went spectating due to a blown head gasket.

With 5 stages to go and Rooney/Vohs were leading Steely/Osborn by less than a minute with Williams/Peterson in 3rd about 4 minutes back. AWD must agree with Steely/Osborn as they turned up the boost and won 3 of the next 5 stages. In the end, Rooney/Vohs would hold them off and win the SP Class by almost a minute. Williams/Peterson brought home the Fat Yellow Pig in 3rd place.

OL – Life is better on Gravel
The attrition started immediately with the rookie team of Barribeau/Rhudy. Their alternator wasn’t charging and they decided to not start the race and work on it instead. This decision would turn out to be a bad one. The first rule of Super Rally is that you must start the first stage. They were unable to Super Rally and were a DNF before the race even started, which is too bad as they won several stages on Saturday in the Regional. The winners of the Sno*Drift Rally – Brown/Brown made it a whole 1.2 miles into stage 1 before their motor let go and stranded them. Patel/Dobbins also lost their motor on Stage 2.

Enough bad news – on to the race. Usher/Langosch won the first stage by 2 seconds over Surdyke/Vickman with Johansen/Little in 3rd only 9 more seconds back. At the end of Friday Surdyke/Vickman held a 25 second lead over Usher/Langosch. Ellis/Sherwood had moved up to 3rd with Johansen/Little 32 seconds back in 4th.

Saturday started off with some bad news for Surdyke/Vickman. They were penalized 2 minutes for jumping the start of stage 3. Even though the official that reported the infraction said they only left about 1 second early the penalty is still 2 minutes. They had opened up a lead of about 25 second on day one. Could they overcome the minute and half deficit on the longer day 2?

Surdyke/Vickman, Usher/Langosch and Barribeau/Rhudy all traded stage wins on stages 8, 9 and 10. At the Huzzah Valley Service after Stage 10, Usher/Langosch had extended their lead to 1:46 (M:SS). At the second service Usher/Langosch had opened up the lead to over 2 minutes on Surdyke/Vickman. Johansen/Little were in 3rd about a minute back.

Johansen/Little bent their front suspension late in the race and dropped from 3rd all the way down to 5th. While they were dropping, the teams of Bialobrzeski/Mantopoulos and Pelizzari/Dunham were charging. They would both win one of the final stages. Pelizzari/Dunham won stage 16 and moved up to 4th for their best finish in the new car. After winning the final stage Bialobrzeski/Mantopoulus captured a well-earned 3rd place. The runner up spot went to Surdyke/Vickman after a long hard weekend. After rolling their car while leading at Sno*Drift Usher/Langosch had a comeback victory and won the class by over 2.5 minutes.

2WD – Who Else on St Patrick’s Day?
With all the excitement swirling around the OL class you might be surprised to learn that 2WD had the most entries with 23. There was also an answer to the never ending question of which is better for rally FWD vs RWD.

Burke/Brady took stage one in their RWD 1977 Ford Escort. Not to be outdone Nickelson/Ptacek would win the next 2 stages in their FWD 1987 VW Golf. At the first service Nickelson/Ptacek would be leading by 13.4 seconds over Burke/Brady. Hooper/Barbera in a RWD Lexus were in 3rd another 30 seconds back. By the end of the first night the Burke/Bradly would be leading Hooper/Barbera by a minute with Mason/Hutchings in 3rd about 3 minutes further back.

On Saturday Hooper/Barbera pressed hard and won a few stages but in the end the big powerful Lexus couldn’t reel in the light nimble Ford. Burke/Bradly win for the 2nd year in a row by a margin of almost 2 minutes. Who else could win on St. Patrick’s Day! A late surge by Morris/Nagy allowed them to edge out the local team of Mason/Hutchings by only 7.6 seconds and claim 3rd.

So what 2WD platform is better for Rally? At this year’s race the battle between Burke/Brady in RWD and Nickelson/Ptacek in FWD could be a good indicator. They traded stage times and the lead early on. Later, Nickelson/Ptacek had car problems and fell off the pace. Burke/Bradly would win 9 of the 11 stages that both teams competed on. I was always told that FWD cars are easy to drive fast but RWD cars can be driven faster. The data from this race certainly points to RWD as being faster. Would the results have been different if it rained or snowed? We will never know but in the end I believe it comes down to driver preference. I am sure the debate will continue for many years. At least until the Turbo Encabulator drive system is fully developed.

B Spectacular – If you’re a Rookie
This year’s B-Spec fielded features 3 of the same cars from last year but with all different crews. The Sonic was crewed by the veteran team of Doug Gekiere and Matthew Hoffman. Last year’s championship car was driven by 1st time driver Chris Sladek with John Sharps handling the co-driving duties. The dazzle Yaris was crewed by Bridgestone Winter Driving School Instructors Kubo Kordisch driving and Scott Anderson co-driving. This was Kubo’s first rally as a driver and Scott’s first rally ever.

As expected Gekiere/Hoffman jumped out to a lead on the first stage. By the first service the fast learning rookies had taken over 1st and 2nd. Sladek/Sharps were leading Kordisch/Anderson by about 20 seconds. Gekiere/Hoffman had a problem on stage 2 and lost about 2 minutes to the leaders. At the final MTC for Friday Sladek/Sharps had the lead by 53 seconds over Kordisch/Anderson. Gekiere/Hoffman had closed the gap to 1.5 minutes.

Kordisch/Anderson started day 2 with a string of stage wins to cut the lead of Sladek/Sharps down to a mere 3.7 seconds at the service after stage 10. Gekiere/Hoffman were about 2 minutes back in 3rd. That is as close as Kordich/Anderson would get as Sladek/Sharps would pull away from there to win their first race by 2 minutes. Kordich/Anderson brought home the Yaris in 2nd place. Gekiere/Hoffman make it back to the final MTC in 3rd.

The first time drivers had a great time and really enjoyed the competition. I hope we will see more of them in the future. Gekiere/Hoffman showed how fast the Sonic can be. I hope they will get the chance to develop it so they can show the upstarts how to drive.

Noteable Notes: Press On Regardless Awards
Patel/Dobbins and VanDamme/Proseus both had terminal engine issues on stage 2. Together with the help of Zach Williams they both located motors and changed them in Zach’s shop. Both teams worked thru the night to get the new engines installed and running. Both teams successfully finished the engine swaps and started the race on day 2. VanDamme/Proseus finished 14th in 2wd with their 1 Hour and 15 Minute Super Rally Penalty. The news wasn’t as good for the Patel/Dobbins team as they crashed out of the event 1.2 miles into the first stage on Saturday. That was a lot of work for 1 mile of fun.

Biggest Jump Award
This year was the first time that many teams were able to run the famous Cattle Guard Jump. 2 years ago Fetela/Jozwiak made the jump famous and last year the stage was red crossed due to a State Trooper needing to get down the road for a non-rally related incident. In their excitement several teams went too big and damaged their cars. Pepper and Davis in the Porsche On Regardless 944 damaged their water pump on landing causing the car to bleed to death. The jump also claimed Gill/Kremer this year but it’s not what you thought, they ran out of gas! This year’s winner of the High Jump Award goes to Nickelson/Pacek as they jumped their GOLF like a Tiger Woods Tee shot.

The best Sticker goes to Pepper/Davis – Porsche On Regardless
Of course I am biased but I don’t care. I was introduced to the POR in 1974 and I never got over it. For you youngsters the POR (Press On Regardless) was a WRC rally in Marquette, Michigan.

Once again the 100 Acre Wood Team put on an excellent event that leaves you just wanting more. Speaking of wanting more the Southern Ohio Forest Rally is right around Pooh’s Corner!

Mar 13

Exedy aboard for 2018 Rally in the 100 Acre Wood

Once again the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood welcomes back EXEDY USA as a branding sponsor of the 2018 event.  “One of our most consistent and valuable sponsors has again agreed to step up and be an additional sponsor of this year’s event.” said Curt Faigle, Chairman of the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. “EXEDY produces an exceptional product that probably half our field of 64 cars already use.  Having EXEDY return as a sponsor reinforces their support of Performance Rally, and lends additional credibility their level of performance during the harsh rally conditions.”

Based in Belleville, Michigan, EXEDY is the undisputed world leader in sports and performance racing clutches. EXEDY Globalparts Corporation (USA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the EXEDY Corporation of Japan. EXEDY (Japan) was founded in 1923 and its clutch manufacturing business and prominent brand name Daikin Clutch are known throughout the world for supplying quality powertrain products. Their pursuit of perfection and the assurance of safety underlie their famed quality and reliability. Their advanced engineering and patented innovations have also made them the leading OEM manufacturer in the world for Clutches and other powertrain components. For more information on EXEDY Globalparts Corporation, please visit http://www.exedyusa.com/.

Sanctioned by Rally America, the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood with it’s record 64 entries will cover almost 140 racing miles that will test rally teams from all across the country (and several foreign countries) on a variety of gravel road surfaces.  Set in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains, this rally contains some of the most scenic and technical rally roads on the Rally America calendar.  Each day will begin with a rally car show and opening ceremony.  The public is invited to join in the festivities, see the cars up close, pose for photos, get autographs, and meet the teams at the start of each day and at the service areas at Steelville City Park and the Dent county Commons on Friday and in Downtown Salem, Huzzah Valley Resort in Steelville and Dent County Commons on Saturday.  Teams will compete throughout each day, passing multiple spectator points, before returning to Salem Saturday night.  There is no admission charge for any of these events.

Spectator Guides are available at various community locations and online at the rally website, http://www.100aw.org. The guide will include detailed maps and directions to each spectator location and a full event schedule.

Mar 09

Spectator Guide

Rally in the 100 Acre Wood offers many opportunities for spectators to interact with the drivers & crew, watch the cars drive the stages, and see the crew make repairs to their cars in the service area. All spectator locations are free of charge and no tickets are needed.

Parking Information:
As always, parking is a problem on the forest’s narrow roads. Please do not double-park and block these roads. All cars must park on the same side of the road. We must keep one side of the road clear and open for traffic. This is used as an access route for emergency vehicles.

Please follow the marshal’s directions when parking your car and please respect the Spectator Control Marshals. They work very long hours to ensure your safety and viewing enjoyment.

Printed spectator maps will be available in the Salem & Steelville newspapers a few days before the rally. Or visit the Rally America information booth at the Parc Expose’ on Friday and Saturday to pick up your free copy of the spectator guide.

CLICK HERE FOR SPECTATOR GUIDE

Mar 09

100AW Sponsors

Rally in the 100 Acre Wood could not be the event it is today with 60 entries and hundreds of volunteers without our loyal supporters:

This year we want to especially thank our friends at Gorilla Off Road Company who have consistently found ways to support our workers.

Our good friends at Grellner Sales have again jumped at the chance to supply our awards/volunteer dinner with rallyists’ favorite beverage…beer!

And welcome aboard Echo Bluff State Park….whether this weekend or some other time you owe it to yourself to spend a day at Echo Bluff.

And ready in the background is are the medical professionals at Salem Memorial District Hospital….watching over all of us. Thank you so much.

Feb 13

2018 Merchandise PreSale

We decided to try something new this year. You can now order your 100 Acre Wood event merchandise ahead of time! We have created a new website at merchandise.100aw.org

There are 5 shirts to pick from:

  • Gildan 100% Cotton T-Shirt
    Color: Grey.
    Sizes: Small – 3XL (Standard Fit)
  • Bella+Canvas TriBlend T-Shirt
    Colors: Aqua Blue, Mint Green, Sunset Orange.
    Sizes: Small – 2XL (Modern Fit)
  • Bella+Canvas TriBlend Baseball Shirt
    Color: Grey/Blue.
    Sizes: Small – 2XL (Modern Fit)

Remember the 90’s? They’re back– in graphic t-shirt form! We created the 2018 Rally in the 100 Acre Wood t-shirt to keep you looking fine. This fly design has a fun pop art style rally car graphic with a six color screen print on the front and features NEON colors. Show off your wild side.

You won’t want to take off this T-Shirt, featuring a uniquely soft fabrication. This will quickly become our best-selling shirt of all time. Get it fast before they sell out.

Note: All presale orders will ship on March 11th

Jan 16

2018 Rally & Supplementary Regulations Online

Official 2018 Supplementary Regulations are now posted on the 100aw.org website for competitors to download. The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood route will be approximately 450 miles in length with approximately 139 miles of competitive stages. Both days are coefficient 3 rallies. A Parc Exposé will be held as part of the starting ceremonies for each day’s competition, starting Friday in Steelville at their city park and Saturday in downtown Salem. There will be two service locations during the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, the first on Friday at the Dent County Commons in Salem and the second on Saturday at the Huzzah Valley Resort east of Steelville.  We hope all competitors are excited about this year’s event and look forward to welcoming everyone to Missouri.