Monday, August 8, 2011

The Gorman Ridge Rally-Round #4 of the 2011 USRC -PREVIEW

LEBEC, Calif. (Aug. 5, 2011) - The Gorman Ridge Rally, presented by Subaru
Western Region, is the fourth event in the 2011 United States Rally
Championship. Taking place Saturday, Aug. 27, the rally celebrates its 21st
Gorman is also the sixth event in the California Rally Series.
As traditional forest stage rallies slowly began to fade into obscurity in
many parts of the U.S., Gorman's flexibility in venue continues to provide
both a challenging and exciting course inside the Hungry Valley State
Vehicular Recreation Area in Lebec, Calif. The event's headquarters will be
at the Holiday Inn Express in Lebec.
Building on the success and good feedback from last year's event the course
will once again use the new stages from 2010. The route is all dirt road
surfaces, which are generally smooth and hard packed with occasional rough
or sandy spots. There are always a fair number of washouts and waterbars.
For many years Gorman drivers navigated the roads inside the Angeles
National Forest, until the event's permit application renewal was denied.
Organizer Ray Hocker hopes the rally can return to the forest roads in the
near future.

"We are really happy with the relationship we've built through the many
years with the staff and administration at Hungry Valley," Hocker said. "We
were a good forest user and had a perfect safety record for over 30 years.
Every year we did thousands of dollars of road upkeep and repair on the
forest roads."

Topping off the entry list is Mitchell Williams of Denver, Colo. He is
currently the leader in the USRC's All-Wheel-Drive Championship standings
for the Pacific Division, leading with 360 points after his victory at the
Idaho Rally in June, driving a Subaru Impreza STi. Rebecca Greek, also of
Denver, will co-drive for Gorman as his Checkpoint Racing teammate, Alix
Hakala, will be on vacation.
"Rebecca is a very seasoned co-driver. She's done a ton of events around the
West Coast and typically runs with Todd Morberly," Williams said. "She's a
good friend of mine and I'm looking forward to competing with her. We've
been racing side by side for years now so I know she's good."
Greek navigated for the youngest driver in this year's Pike's Peak
International Hill Climb, Savannah Rickli, 17, in this year's Pikes Peak.
The women finished with an impressive seventh place in the Time Attack 2WD
class in a MINI Cooper S, competing against some of the best in the sport
such as Rod Millen and Jeff Zwart.

With the Subaru WRX STi well represented, the competition looks fierce in
the Open AWD entries for this year's Gorman Ridge Rally. Coming back strong
after disappointing DNFs are the teams of Jon Burke, San Francisco, Calif.,
and Tucker Heiner, Mountain View, Calif. The Up Two Mountains Rally team is
back after attrition took them out on Stage 4 at the North Nevada Rally.
Doug Chernis, Mesa, Ariz., and Craig Macnair, Phoenix, Ariz., are raring to
go after their DNF at High Desert Trails. Chernis owns RaceTechnik, a race
car shop in Arizona and has assisted motor sports competitors across the
board gain victory- now it's his turn.

In the USRC Open 2WD class, hot contenders to watch are the team of Bill
Holmes, Malibu, Calif., and Sean Gallagher, Santa Ana, Calif., points
leaders in the CRS Group 5 class, in a Ford F-150 Raptor. Last year's
overall winners at Gorman, the team took the overall win at this year's
High Desert Trails rally and lead the standings in the CRS-5 class.
Condor Rally Sport has three Volkswagen Golfs entered in the USRC Production
2WD class. This team, based in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., shows rally is
truly a family affair. Tony Chavez and his wife, Raquel Salas, are joined
by Chavez' daughter Sandra who is co-driving for her boyfriend Rene de la
Trinidad. Al Chavez, Tony's brother, is driving the third car.
Tony Chavez's motor sports career began in his native Peru, road racing in
the 1970s, and after moving to the U.S., began his rally experience in 1991.
Sandra Chavez started co-driving for her father at age 14 in Mexican
rallies. Once she was old enough to compete in the States, she joined her
father for a few events. Al Chavez will also show some Peruvian flair as he
was a successful go-kart and road racer. He too competed in U.S. rally in
the early '90s in a Datsun 510.
Tony Chavez credits his wife, a sociologist and professor, for the success
of building a three-car team. The couple won their class at High Desert
Trails in April.
"Rallying for us as a couple has allowed us to bond in a completely
different environment," Chavez said. "She enjoys rallying, enjoys the
friendly atmosphere, the fact that many women are involved and that it can
be a family sport."
Gorman Ridge Rally is infamous for its barbecue. This year it will be during
the rally's mid-point and provided by the Boy Scouts. Post-event beer is
provided by Karl Strauss Brewing Company.
The event also features live scoring, presented by, available
through the event's website at
Further information about the Gorman Ridge Rally is available on the Web at