WCRA website promoting Stage and TSD Rally Sport in British Columbia

Presents
The Heart of Darkness Rally
Round 2 of the BC Rally Championship
April 21-22, 2001

Final Results &
Section details -
1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

Photos - Page 1, Page 2

Click for 90Kb Sup Regs PDF file,
Click for 24Kb Entry Form pdf file

Hope, BC - The all-night driving challenge, the 2001 Specialty Subaru Heart of Darkness Rally presented by Nokian Tyres, was won recently by driver John Fouse, of Anchorage, Alaska, and navigator Dennis Wende of Coquitlam, British Columbia. Success at this event marked the championship-winning team's return to top form since their last win at the 2000 Gold Digger Rally.

On the night of Saturday, April 21st, twenty-two competitors turned up to challenge the overnight road rally course. As in previous years, a healthy field of novices (10 out of 22 entrants!)  helped to insure tough competition in this class.

During the first section, Shylock Hill, the car 21 team of Habgood and Harron in a nicley tuned and lowered Ford Focus found their vehicle apparently balking at the prospect of leaving the pavement. After a quick check under the hood for loose vacuum lines, and several start attempts, the pair finally seemed to sort things out. However, the novice team picked up quite a few extra points for their troubles. Everyone else made it through cleanly over this short stretch of challenging road.

At the start of the second section the group assembled outside a tunnel before revisiting a familiar road through Kane Valley. While navigators furiously crunched the numbers for the route ahead, drivers mingled at the roadside sharing tips for staying alert throughout the night. However, all this roadside socializing seemed to catch car 1 and car 2  in a rare lapse of attention, as both crews left the start well beyond their minutes. Despite a valiant driving effort, the car 1 team of Lima and Rapson in their Subaru Legacy paid a dear price for this oversight, picking up 66 points at the first control. The rest of the field managed to stay focused and appeared to make their assigned start times without any apparent brain fade.

A short transit down through Aspen Grove brought everyone to the start of Kentucky-Alleyne and a chance to sample a relatively smooth tarmac TSD section.  The competitors held station through this regularity and all teams made it through easily. Meanwhile, the control crews worked their magic, leap-frogging ahead of the advancing competitors to get into position for the next leg.

After completing another trip through Aspen Grove, everyone assembled for the start of the evening's longest and most challenging section: the Brookmere TSD. All the crews successfully passed the first control, but then things got really interesting...first car 19, one of four Subaru Imprezas, decided to call it a night and headed off for home. Then one of the more "experienced" vehicles, car 22, an ex-performance rally VW Rabbit, decided to relieve itself of one of its wheels when three studs broke. And finally, car 21, the lowered Ford Focus, managed to stuff it in what must have been the only snow bank left in these dry and barren hills. A short rendezvous with a control crew saw everyone getting the help they needed and things quickly resumed...at least for the competitors.

While all this was going on amongst the rallyists, the control crews were having their own share of troubles. First, rally organizer Bill Westhead found himself stranded at the roadside with a dead battery, and then the sweep truck decided to let loose a coolant plug into its engine, creating a mess of the top end. Needless to say that by this time everyone was ready for a  much-deserved middle of the night break in Merritt.

Leg 2 began with a return to Comstock, sight of last year's Totem Rally traffic jam. Despite the driving challenges of Brookmere, this section proved to be the deciding factor of the event. At about 13 km into the section, many sleepy crews appeared to miss two instructions that came up quickly. The result was a reshuffling of the top 10, richly rewarding the teams able to stay alert and on their game. The final two sections and transit back down the Coquihalla to the Chilliwack finish proved relatively uneventful, particularly in light of what had happened earlier.

At the finish it was John Fouse and Dennis Wende with 9 points in the lead, followed by Ian Basford and Marcel Chichak of Edmonton, AB with 74 (also 1st calculator), and Peter Ryce and Paul Haym of North Vancouver, BC with 130. First historic was Bob Chandler and Mark Clemmens of Seattle, WA in a Datsun 240Z, and first novice was of David Ellis and Judd Gallagher of Portland, OR with 172 points.

Thanks to all of the volunteers who made the event possible, and to all of the teams who made the long night's journey into day! The next event in the BC TSD Rally Championship is on July 21st, the Gold Digger Rally .  For more information, please see rallybc.com or contact Bill Westhead (604) 258-2758, [email protected]

WCRA Heart of Darkness Awards
Presented by Rally Masters Bill Westhead (R) and Martin Wilson (L)
Calculator Class

Ian Basford (R) and Marcel Chickak (L)

Historic Class

Bob Chandler (R) and Mark Clemmens (L)

Novice Class

David Ellis and Judd Gallagher

Overall and Unlimited Class

John Fouse (L) and Dennis Wende (R)

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