Announcing Two Days of Rally for 2018!

At this year’s California Rally Series Awards Banquet, High Desert Trails announced it was moving to a 2-day format! This is going to give us the ability to have more volunteer training time, a relaxed start and finish time,  and 1-pass familiarization reconnaissance. What won’t be relaxed is stage miles – we’re going to rally just as hard as we always do in the High Desert! We’ve got a preliminary schedule worked out and we’re finalizing all the details. Pages are updated – emails will be going out soon!

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10th Consecutive Running of HDTPR will be May 6th, 2017

Celebrating its 10th consecutive year, the modern High Desert Trails Performance Rally is now a must do event in Southern California. Since 1973 the roads Southwest of Ridgecrest have been home to the event, and takes competitors through fast and flowing valleys and tight and twisty forest sections in the beautiful high desert on county roads. Competitors tackle hundreds of miles with over 4,000 feet of elevation changes.

The High Desert Trails Rally is a performance time trial event. Rally Racing is a motorsport where a driver and navigator (co-driver) race down closed dirt roads, one car at a time, as fast as they can. The cars race against the clock, and not head-to-head. The racing sections are called Special Stages and closed to all non-rally traffic. The vehicles stay on the road and do not go “off-road” into the desert. When not racing on the closed stages, the cars transit with normal traffic.

Rally cars getting ready to start the forest stages at over 6K feet.

The cars are specially equipped production based models (Example: Volkswagen Golf, Dodge Neon, Subaru Impreza) and not buggies or tube chassis vehicles. They are all licensed, registered, and insured to drive on public roads. They have roll cages and safety features added along with heavy duty suspension and tires. We invite you to check them out on Friday night between 6:30PM – 7:30PM May 5th in Ridgecrest. Unfortunately this year, due to a change in the route caused by the winter rains, there will be no public spectating area. This means there will be no place you will be able to see the cars race without volunteering.

The rally utilizes hundreds of volunteers to help with communications, timing, and controls. Working a rally is a rewarding challenge that’s a lot of fun! This is the best way to see the event up close and get to interact with the drivers and co-drivers. Plan to spend a day outside, and plan to drive your vehicle over smooth dirt roads. We like to provide our workers with goodies like T-Shirts, lunch, waters, and giveaways. Your help is always appreciated by the competitors. Sign up HERE!

Approximately thirty teams will take the challenge of the High Desert Trails this year. This event kicks off the 2017 California Rally Series Championship. Supporting rally events all over the Southwest, the CRS is celebrating its 43rd season! More info – http://www.californiarallyseries.com

High Desert Trails is also proud to be sanctioned by NASA Rally Sport (NRS), an organization focused on competitor fun and providing support for rally organizers nationwide. Providing tools to the racers, organizers, and fans to increase their enjoyment of rally is one of the core missions of the organization. – http://nasarallysport.com

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What an adventure! High Desert Trails 2016

piloto---hdt2016---stage-4-

Ray Piloto & Brock Palmer blast through one of the dramatic landscapes at HDT. Picture by Mathew Mendoza

After a windy, rainy, and cold day – your top three AWD teams are:
#1 Chris O’Driscoll & Lori O’Driscoll (AWD Power Stage Winner!)
#2 Jason Copt & Cameron Meng
#3 John Coyne & Doug Nagy

In 2WD the top three teams are:
#1 Ray Piloto & Brock Palmer (2WD Power Stage Winner!)
#2 Javier Olivares & Brock Heinz
#3 Larry Gross & Lance Gross

2WD Ray Piloto grabbed the top time on the Power Stage and moved into 3rd overall!
We want to thank everyone for coming out and having an adventure with us in the high desert! Mark your calendars for the first Saturday of May 2017!

Posted in Competitor, Press Release, Rally | 1 Comment

High Desert Trails Performance Rally – Saturday May 7th, 2016

Kicking off its 9th consecutive run, the High Desert Trails Rally has been a part of rally in Southern California since 1973. On dirt roads Southwest of Ridgecrest and North of the Jawbone Canyon Station, the rally takes competitors through fast and flowing valleys and tight and twisty forest sections in the beautiful high desert on county roads. Competitors will tackle over 100 miles of racing flat out.

The High Desert Trails Rally is a performance time trial event. Rally Racing is a motorsport where a driver and navigator (co-driver) race down closed dirt roads, one car at a time, as fast as they can. The cars race against the clock, and not head-to-head. The racing sections are called Special Stages and closed to all non-rally traffic. The vehicles stay on the road and do not go “off-road” into the desert. When not racing on the closed stages, the cars transit with normal traffic.

HDT_PR_2016

Driver John Trucks & Navigator Chris Fine tackle a steep downhill section. Pic by Mathew Mendoza

The cars are specially equipped production based models (Example: Volkswagen Golf, Dodge Neon, Subaru Impreza) and not buggies or tube chassis vehicles. They are all licensed, registered, and insured to drive on public roads. They have roll cages and safety features added along with heavy duty suspension and tires. We invite you to check them out on Friday night between 6:30PM – 7:30PM May 6th in Ridgecrest. Unfortunately this year, due to a change in the route caused by the winter rains, there will be no public spectating area. This means there will be no place you will be able to see the cars race without volunteering.

The rally utilizes hundreds of volunteers to help with communications, timing, and controls. Working a rally is a rewarding challenge that’s a lot of fun! This is the best way to see the event up close and get to interact with the drivers and co-drivers. Plan to spend a day outside, and plan to drive your vehicle over smooth dirt roads. We like to provide our workers with goodies like T-Shirts, lunch, waters, and giveaways. Your help is always appreciated by the competitors. Sign up HERE!

Approximately thirty teams will take the challenge of the High Desert Trails this year. This event kicks off the 2016 California Rally Series Championship. Supporting rally events all over the Southwest, the CRS is celebrating its 42nd season! More info – http://www.californiarallyseries.com

High Desert Trails is also proud to be sanctioned by NASA Rally Sport (NRS), an organization focused on competitor fun and providing support for rally organizers nationwide. Providing tools to the racers, organizers, and fans to increase their enjoyment of rally is one of the core missions of the organization. – http://nasarallysport.com

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2016 Volunteer & Competitor Registration is OPEN!

HDT_promo_2We’re getting ready for the 2016 High Desert Trails Rally on Saturday, May 7th! The rally is based in Ridgecrest, CA with The SpringHill Suites Marriott as our host hotel. Hotel Info here!

Volunteer and Rally Competitor Registration is NOW OPEN through the NASA Rally Sport database and registration system. If you don’t already have a profile, please create one and register at: NASA Rally Sport

Volunteers: On the “Home” Tab, click the “Click here to begin volunteer sign up” link next to “High Desert Trails” of course! You’ll be asked a few questions and then you’ll manage your availability and other stats (t-shirt size, food restrictions, emergency contact) under the “Profile” Tab. Hams should make sure to list equipment and call-signs. You’ll also receive a confirmation email when you get signed up! We will be providing lunch and waters for registered volunteers. More Volunteer Info

Rally Competitors: On the “Sign up to Race” Tab, click the “High Desert Trails Rally” tab. You’ll be asked a few questions and then you’ll manage your information – under the Profile Tab. Car owners should make sure to list their vehicle info, and anyone on the team can enter crew members. Early Entry pricing is available until April 4th, 2016, but keep in mind that your entry is not complete until we have received payment. Stage notes and a complete NRS vinyl package, including numbers, are included with all entries. Competitor Details

The HDT RX will be held the same weekend, on Sunday, May 8th, also in Ridgecrest, CA. Rally volunteers and competitors will be offered a discounted (prepaid) entry rate. More details soon!

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HIGH DESERT TRAILS PERFORMANCE RALLY 2015

On Saturday May 2nd, the High Desert Trails Performance Rally kicked off the 41st annual California Rally Series Championship and the growing NASA Rally Sport Pacific Rally Cup. Twenty Nine teams took to the stages in the morning and the rally would test these teams for the next 10 hours! Fast and flowing roads with short sections of pavement, tight and twisty forest sections, and rapid elevation changes presented their challenge. Just a few hours from Los Angeles, this rally has grown to be one of the biggest in the Southwest.

Some late entries and early problems had the top spots changing constantly. Previous winners Bill Holmes & Sean Gallagher set a 2nd fastest time on Stage 1, lost their brakes on Stage 2, and were forced to retire the Ford Raptor. 2013 CRS Open Champion Tingwu (Rick) Song beat Holmes on Stage 1 and stayed in first position until damaging the rear control arm mount on SS4 on his Mitsubishi Evo. A big effort in service got Song back out for the next 4 stages only to have co-driver Yufeng Hao fall ill on SS8. Another late entry was international driver Hao Yuan with East Coast Co-Driver Ozgur Simsek in a Mitsubishi Evo. Setting top times early in the day, the Evo was struggling a bit with fuel, and then a flat and starting issues took them out on Stage 9. 2014 Pacific Rally Cup champions John Trucks & Chris Fine were in the mix until a big bump caused damage to their Subaru WRX STi wiring harness and they couldn’t continue after Stage 5.

One should never expect to land on the podium at their first event, but that’s exactly what Dave Forman & Brian Gladish did with their Subaru STi. Getting really lucky with an off on Stage 6 and sorting out some brake issues kept them “in it to win it” in 3rd as their live text reported. Last year’s overall winner Todd McAllister with experienced co-driver Piers O’Hanlon took a few stages to get warmed up together, but set a fastest time on Stage 4 and had a trouble free run all the way into 2nd place.

Josh Jacquot & Dave Coleman 1st Overall - Picture by Mathew Mendoza

Josh Jacquot & Dave Coleman 1st Overall – Picture by Mathew Mendoza

Coming back after a long rally hiatus, Josh Jacquot & Dave Coleman showed that they had what it would take to win in their Subaru Impreza, setting fastest on Stage 3 and staying in the hunt for the rest of the day. Wins on SS8 and SS9 solidified their outstanding effort and the only problem reported was the Co-Drivers head cold. Setting the fastest AWD time down the final Power Stage awarded them the overall win, and the prize from Streetwise Motorsports.

Another fast team that dropped out early was Brian Scott & Brent Ellzey in their gorgeous Datsun. A rear suspension part failed, they threaded some large trees on the second stage Sorrell Peak, and landed safely with minimal damage to the historic rally car. 2013 Power Stage winner Pete Pollard with Seri Traver were in the hotly contested 2WD field when a steering arm failed at speed and Pete was able to get the car safely to a stop without further damage on Stage 9.

Three teams battled all day for the top spot in 2WD. Bret Robinson and his new Co-Driver Scott Rhudy set top times on Stage 5-7 AND SS10, but losing time on Stage 4 and Stage 9 was what kept them in 3rd for the day in their Volkswagen Golf. Only seconds separated Chrissie Beavis & Matthew Johnson in 2nd in their VW Jetta who capitalized on their Stage 9 win.

Markus Saarinen & Alicia Saarinen 2WD winners! Photo by Motorsports Memories

Markus Saarinen & Alicia Saarinen 2WD winners! Photo by Motorsports Memories

Grabbing the top place in 2WD and setting the fastest time on the HDT Power Stage was a team who has racked up some serious experience over the last few years: Markus Saarinen & Alicia Saarinen in their Mini Cooper are very experienced with a 2014 CRS Championship and many rally wins, but first timers to High Desert Trails! The team had no problem without reconnaissance, and took to the stages like an alumni. Grabbing the top time on SS2 and SS11, the Saarinen’s were fast all day to take the win AND the 2WD Power Stage Pirelli Tire prize from Streetwise Motorsports

The next event is Rally Idaho for both the Pacific Rally Cup and California Rally Series Championship on June 13th-14th. We would like to thank all the volunteers and crews for making this such a successful event. The High Desert Trails Performance Rally returns May 7th, 2016!

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High Desert Trails 2015 in the books!

Josh Jacquot & Dave Coleman
Josh Jacquot & Dave Coleman through the iconic water splash on their way to victory!
Picture by Bill Rogers Motorsport Memories

After a serious day of rally, your top three teams are:
#1 Josh Jacquot & Dave Colman (AWD Power Stage Winner!)
#2 Todd McAllister & Piers O’Hanlon
#3 Dave Forman & Brian Gladish

In 2WD the top three teams are:
#1 Markus Saarinen & Alicia Saarinen (2WD Power Stage Winner!)
#2 Chrissie Beavis & Matthew Johnson
#3 Bret Robinson & Scott Rhudy

Setting a 15.42 – Josh Jacquot takes the AWD 2015 HDT Power Stage win! + $200 towards Pirelli Tires from Streetwise Motorsports

Setting a 15.25 and beating the AWD time set by Josh Jacquot – Markus Saarinen pulled out the 2WD 2015 HDT Power Stage win! + $200 towards Pirelli Tires from Streetwise Motorsports

We want to thank everyone for coming out and having a great day with us in the high desert! Mark your calendars for the first Saturday of May 2016!

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Rally HQ Update – Rooms available for Kings

springhillSpringHill Suites currently has 18 King Suite rooms left. Call them to reserve at (760) 446-1630 If you’re looking for Double Queen rooms, call the Hampton (directly across the street) at (760) 446-1968. Don’t forget to ask for the rally rate!

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