Posts regarding the Road Rally (TSD) participants.
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Looking east on Bishop Lake Rd at end of odo calibration, awaiting time to start out.
'Twas a dark and stormy day. Well, dreary anyway, when starting. But it did get plenty dark plenty early later on.
Seventeen teams came out to compete in the 2017 running of Pavement Ends. Organizers John Kytasty, Adam Spieszny and Piotr Roszczenko worked hard to put on an engaging and entertaining TSD rally that traversed 170 miles of fine back roads, much of which was unpaved, through Livingston, Washtenaw, Ingham and Jackson counties. The morning preceding the 2:01 FCO (first car out) start was foggy, rainy and misty, with pretty lousy visibility. But by rally start time visibility was improved, albeit in still very overcast and very damp conditions. Concerns about sloppy and degraded road conditions because of the rain turned out to be unfounded. While wet, the roads were, almost without exception, solid and held up during the running. Competitors were treated to a little seasonal humor during the last section of the rally, with a heavy, wet snow coming down hard through several portions of the route. 'Tis November in Michigan, one must concede.
Alas, the last two legs of section 2 had to be thrown, as it was discovered that a tree was down and completely blocking McClure Rd, which, along with Cassidy Rd, is a traditional, entertaining component of rallies in the area, and both were sadly missed by most of the drivers.
Equipped class competitors struggled. David Stone and Rob Moran received the Fickle Finger of Fate when they discovered after successfully completing the odo calibration that their Timewise 798A began accumulating mileage only intermittently. Running without a reliable computer in equipped class is mighty tough. Despite the equipment failure they pressed on, and wound up finishing with just 62 points - pretty remarkable given the circumstances. David Sellers and Janis Ford, regular competitors who come up from Columbus OH to run Detroit events, struggled with an uncertain clock problem early on. However, they still ran a strong event, finishing with just 20 points over 16 controls. My wife Laurie and I had an unusual, for us, rally, as we ran very cleanly with almost no errors or issues. Back at the finish we found ourselves the winners in equipped class and overall, with just 10 points.
Limited class entries have diminished over the past couple of years. The Usher brothers have had changes in their lives, and are not running regularly anymore. Likewise, Brian and Kevin Line, always strong limited class participants, have pretty much dropped away as other parts of life have grabbed them. Ken Wiedbusch dug deep into his pockets and sprang for a Timewise 798A, moving him and son Dennis up into equipped class. That pretty much leaves Press On Regardless rallymaster Bruce Fisher and accomplice Tom Woodside to represent limited class. Which they did, pulling out a score of 102.
Stock class saw a two way battle between veterans Jennifer Glass and Brian Thorpe and relative newcomers Ryan Vindua and Tristan Koivisto. Ryan and Tristan ran a fine event, beating out Jennifer and Brian by only 8 points with a score of 84. Great job!
Pavement Ends had a terrific novice turnout - fully 9 of the 17 entries were novice teams! Chandra Koganti and Rick Vendlinski missed second place in novice by only a single point to Steve Riddell and Sean Riddell, 456 vs 455! Folks who rally regularly with us will recognize Steve by the delightful blue Triumph TR6 he brought to POR and ran with in Clare Color Tour. But newcomers Levi Godin and John Houghton stole the win with a very respectable 338 points, averaging just a little over 12 seconds off per control. Pretty stinkin' good, methinks. Well done.
In addition to thanks to the organizers, big tip o' the hat to Mary Shiloff, the world's best registrar and scorekeeper; Dan Harkcom for the safety pre-check (and controls too!), Ken Wiedbusch who does a terrific job of managing all of the needed equipment, and to all the other workers who volunteered to come out and work controls so we could play in cars!
Click here to view complete leg-by-leg scores and final results.