We put the Hurt on Dirt

Posts tagged “rally

#742 – Crane Rally Crew wins the Norton Championship!!

After an epic season of rallying, the Crane Rally Crew got enough points to win the inaugural Joshua A. Norton Rally Championship. The championship consisted of  “five rallies in four states, in six months” and as the only team to run all 5 events, we had a certain advantage. That’s not to say we were dragging our feet out there, aside from a mechanical DNF from 2nd place at the Oregon Trail rally, we finished the rest of the events on the Gp2 podium. While we were at it, we claimed fastest 2wd stage times at Reno, Mendocino, and the Mt. Hood rallies.

We’d like to thank:

Jim Robinson for organizing the Championship.

SafeDrives for the 30% off coupon.

and of course the other competitors, the volunteers and the organizers, who allow us to race.

Our next, and last event of the year is the Big White Winter Rally on Dec 2nd in Kelowna BC. See you there!

Pre-Big White Winter Rally

The early entry deadline for the Big White Winter Rally is November 21st, so I put in our entry Today!

My problem last year was a lack of preparation. This year I’m trying to get everything together ahead of time. How am I doing so far?

I’d like to thank Sean Medcroft for some wiring insparation, and Robert Gobright for some Van help.

The Purple Panda is already wining – they put their entry in last week.

For Sale!

Here is a list of stuff that I’m trying to get rid of. And here is the gallery of stuff.

16.5″ wheels from the old box van

exhaust off of an AE86 GTS Corolla

wheels for a Corolla

interior from a Corolla

Suspension parts for a Corolla

wheels for a volvo

file cabinets

Scrap Metal

2011 Mt Hood Rally – 3rd Gp2

The Crane Rally Crew gets passed in the dark for third after leading
the 2wd cars at the Mt Hood Rally in Oregon.

Every rally is special, but the Mt Hood Rally carried extra
significance for the Crane Rally Crew this year. We were excited
because of the unveiling of the new rally transporter, tentatively
named Van VanLandingvan, and the debut of the PurplePanda’s new heart,
a 20 valve motor for car 206. There was also a certain trepidation,
due to the team’s recent performances at Oregon events. We needed to
eliminate the curse of DNFs from the Oregon Trail Rally this spring,
and have a solid finish for our championship hopes. The Norton
Championship had me in the lead but a tough competitor from
California, George Doganis would be racing here. The Pacific Northwest
Rally Championship was also going to be interesting, because Dave
Henderson (Hendo), the solid leader was no longer racing in our class.
There was a small chance of catching him with a good finish here, and
at the Big White rally in December.

The 2 wheel drive competition was amazing. Charles Buren from
Safe Drives organized a prize fund to encourage some extra effort
from the 2wd teams. Over $1000 of cash and prizes were on the line
(details here). 13 teams were working for cash, and after the second
stage, 4 of them were separated by only 6 seconds. Dave Clark was
driving Henderson’s old car, on loan from AllWheelsDriven, and
going very quick for his first time in a FWD car. The old red SAAB 96
of Garth Ankeny was also in the fight on the tighter stages. Before
the final stage, after 40 minutes, and ~30mi of racing, that spread
was just 15 seconds, with yours truly leading.

The Mt Hood Rally ran on just 3 roads, to make 7 stages, so every mile
counted. Gilhouley proved to be the decider on this event, it was run
3 times. 17 road, the second and 5th stage would prove to be my
highpoint, setting the fastest time on both runs. Unfortunately, Fir
Mountain, the longest stage of the event was canceled on the first
running because of motorcycles loose on course. On the second running,
the course was blocked by the Subaru Legacy of Chris Caylor, who had a
big roll, meaning every competitor behind the wreck (all the 2wd
teams) got the same time.

With the pressure on, and the light fading, we sped through Gilhouley
for the last time. Believe me when I say we went as fast as we could.
Or you could believe the ContourGPS camera, which caught us making an
exciting save halfway through the stage. We crossed the line with a
time 16 seconds behind both Honda teams, Brian Gottlieb, and George
Doganis, who tied for fastest 2wd time.  George took the win, his 3rd
against me, and Brian, jumped from 4th to 2nd, beating me by only 1

We were thrilled to lead such a strong field, with so much on the
line. Thanks to the organizers, and volunteers who put on such a great
event. Another thanks to the strong Group 2 field for such a tight
race. And thanks to our teammate Dustin in the PurplePanda, for a
mechanical DNF halfway through the first stage – the Oregon curse has
passed on. His engine was strong, and pace was quickly catching up to
the new power.

The Last event of 2011 is coming up! – and I still need a WIN!
See you all at the Big White Winter Rally on Dec. 3 in Kelowna B.C.

Results: Maintained by RallyData.com

Event page: www.MtHoodRally.com

Contour Videos:  Contour.com/users/acrane 

Youtubes from the Contour GPS camera: http://www.youtube.com/user/a0adcran


Rumbles the box van died on the way back from California. {see post below}
It took two full months of shopping with some suprises and
disappointments, but we now have a replacement.

Here are a couple of names I’ve come up with, we’ll let you know when
something sticks;

Adri-Van Newey
the Iron Giant
Tommi Makki-Van
Sebast-Van Loeb
Calamity Van
Van VanLandingvan
Count Van Vanstien
Van Damage
Vani-kahna II
Eskaflowne` Kong
The transporter
Turbo Two

The new van should be the last I’ll need, so I’m aiming to perfect the form with this one.
Expect to see Aero and handling mods,
Along with specifics for rally service.
And eventually, some sweet graphics too.

Mendocino Rally 2011

Who wants to hear about Mendocino Rally?
It was a brand new event with some fun road*s.
*there was only one road

It was also the only event I’ve ever driven that gave me a blister.

That’s right, the road has so many tight turns that the thumb and heel of my left hand had real live blisters by the time we collected our trophies.

It was so twisty that my puny radiator fan (at only 9.5volts – thanks Sean) couldn’t get enough air to cool the motor.  We overflowed the system on almost every stage.  Average speeds were slow.  There was some fun technical driving going on.  We set the fastest 2wd time on the first stage, and the last stage, but everywhere between I was keeping an eye on the temp gauge.

Back to the trophies, we finished 2nd in class.  Again, we were behind George, and again the Mosers were very quick but broke down.  This time we were also 3rd over all.

Lucas Oil sent us home with $75 and a case their best gear oil.

Since I made this swing down south, we’re looking good for the Emperor Norton rally Championship – we’re in 1st! Had we not broken down in Oregon, I’d feel a bit better.  Henderson is fast on his home roads, at the final championship event, Mt. Hood Rally.

Now for the bad news, followed by some “rally thanks”

The Bad News is that Rumbles the box van is dead (long live rumbles).  Climbing out of lake Shasta on I-5 on our way to Seattle, he overheated, and died.
The Funeral procession (tow truck-van, and rally car) went directly to the wrecking yard.  A final resting place with a view of Mt. Shasta. – I’m looking for a new van now.

The other bad-ish news, when I hit record for the incar video, I had my Contour GPS set to photo mode.  The results are on YouTube.  On the last stage, there is a nifty warp speed effect, that turned out pretty neat.

Rally Thanks goes to Sean M. my co-driver, the organizers, volunteers, and Portland Friends.


Things are looking good for the end of the year, there are still some events to do: Wild West Rally, Pacific Forrest Rally, Mt. Hood Rally, and Big White Rally.


It’s been a month since Crane Rally Crew completed the North Nevada
Rally, which means it’s time for another rally.

Nevada had some great challenging roads, and good 2wd competition.  At
the awards presentation Jim Robbinson, the organizer for the Mednocino
Red Tail Rally [http://mendocinorally.com] invited competitors to race
on BETTER roads, with MORE cars!  We worked it out, and due to some
fun logistics, our name was on the entry list within the week.

Once again Reigning Co-Driver, Britta, will be sitting (not really,
she’s got important stuff planned) out the event.  I’m looking forward
to having Sean Medcroft as co-driver.  He’s a seasoned driver,(he’s
already written off a rugged, RWD, Merkur Xr4ti Gp5 car, at a
MaxAttack! event), a brilliant mechanic, and a complete unknown in the
Right Seat.  He’s coming with the blessings and motion sickness
patches of his co-driver Jenne.

The car is ready for the new twisty California roads, despite being
locked in a van for the past month in Reno.  The reliability of
Patches couldn’t even be dented by driving like this:
http://goo.gl/kRwE7 at NNR.  Our plan is to unload it, dust it off,
and hit the stages. After Califonia, it’ll finally get back to it’s
home in Seattle, where I can lavish all kinds of attention on it
before Wild West.

Here is a list of the states we’ve raced in this season,

After this weekend, Crane Rally Crew can add California to the list.
All we need is a Canadian event to round out the Pacific Perfecto.