I love motor sports! From go-karts to Formula One, it’s all very exciting. I need to be involved in car events and I have tried many types of competitions, from Formula Ford racing to autocross to rallies. It can be very expensive to run some of these events, so now, I concentrate on winning Monte Carlo Rallies. They are affordable and expose you to amazing scenery.
I’ve been running TSD sports car rallies since 1965. My first one was an SCCA National Championship Event in Houston, Texas when I was a senior in high school. It was a tremendously difficult event and we were lost most of the time. It hooked me on this form of motor sports, because it combined driving skill with navigational skill. In the Air Force, I ran Time Speed Distance Rallies in Oklahoma City, Oxford (England), and Denver.
After moving to Los Angeles, I discovered the “Into the Night” Rally Team and learned about Monte Carlo Rallies. These are much more fun! Gone, were the complicated math and the difficult rules. Instead, we had simple timing and maps to follow. That means you can drive whatever speed you’re comfortable with! The magnificent scenery of Southern California made this a prime hobby of sports car nuts like me, who love motor sports, but don’t really want to bang up their car on a race track.
The ITN Team is putting on a short event, perfect for first timers called, “Two Lane Blacktop”, on September 12. It will start in Santa Clarita and take us on a fascinating tour of great canyon roads and river valleys. We will cruise over mountains, through forests and see some very interesting historical sites.
The people who run these events are fun-loving characters. They help each other out and share a lot of information with newcomers to make the events more exciting. Many of them tell amazing stories of rallies from all over the United States. They bring out all kinds of cars, too.
Subaru’s are very popular and we see lots of Japanese cars including Honda’s (S2000), Toyota’s, Mitsubishi’s (Evo) and Nissan’s (350Z). We see teams in Jaguar’s, Mercedes’ and BMW’s. PT Cruisers have won events and so have teams in pickup’s and SUV’s. One time, a team ran in a Rolls Royce. One of our strongest teams runs in a Toyota Matrix. Sometimes, we see some really fast Pro-rally cars, muscle cars and exotic sports cars compete, too. We will be bringing out the Cobra. You see, the car is really not important, navigating and driving skill is!
You don’t need much equipment to compete. A good wristwatch will do for timing and a clipboard to hold maps. You want to be sure your tires are in good shape and that there is air in the spare (I don't have a spare, just two cans of flat fixer). I usually check all the car’s fluids, too. I have to be more concerned about my own condition than the car’s. At 62, I try to do some exercise twice a week and eat right so that I have the stamina to run the longer events. My navigator is almost my age and he sometimes drives when I need a break.
A navigator who can read maps and help follow the course is very important for Monte Carlo Rallies. I have seen single drivers win events, but it is pretty difficult. You can bring a girlfriend, wife, son or daughter and have some bounding time and this can really add to the fun. The simple problem solving challenges of Monte Carlo Rallies can provide an excellent team building experience with whomever you run with. After you try one, you may come to love them as much as I do! Hope to see you on Saturday, September 12. Please write me if you have any questions and check http://carzero.freeservers.com/ to learn more.