The first official announcement.

Greetings! You’ve probably heard or read that High Desert Trails (will possibly) be on the CRS calendar for 2009! Let me take this opportunity to give you some background and get you excited to come to our event. As some of you know the original High Desert Trails Rally started in and around Ridgecrest in 1974. Last year the name was resurrected by Ray and Donna Hocker when they ran the event as a small shakedown rally on the new Area 51.5 property.

Seeing an empty slot in the beginning of the CRS Championship, we (Kristopher Marciniak and Christine Marciniak) decided to help the rally community by organizing our first event. As most of you know, we’re no strangers to rally. We have competed in over 17 rallies, participated in three national USRC Championships, volunteered for events since 1999, and are both licensed amateur radio operators (KI6IUC & KI6IUE). We have a broad range of experience from rallies in the North East to the South West, but we won’t be alone. Ray Hocker will be there as a mentor and lend a hand as the NASA Safety Steward. Donna Hocker has pledged her expertise with registration and sponsorship. It wouldn’t be a CRS rally without Mike & Paula Gibeault in their respective capacities. All of us have helped run a rally at this facility.

Let’s talk about the Area 51.5 or the Plan B property. By now you’ve heard about the solar facility that may go up right next door and prevent the partners from further development. Dusty cars and parabolic mirrors will not work together. Let’s shed some light on our rally darkness. :p The permits for the solar facility are years out. The course has been cut and a commitment to maintain the property has been made by Mark Bullock and his partners. There is no reason why we can’t keep moving forward and run a bunch of events here every year. What we’ll do as organizers is look long term into getting roads around the area to extend and if necessary move the High Desert Trails Rally onto permitted roads in and around Ridgecrest. In the meantime we’re going to spend the necessary funds on grading and re-tooling the course to make it as fun as possible!

We want the High Desert Trails to be a great beginner rally that helps driver/co-driver team building. We want it to be a fun challenge for the experienced teams. I don’t want to give too much away – as we working on the details – but we would like to give a discount to those new drivers, co-drivers and riders that take the CRS Rally School two weeks before our event. YES – I’m talking to YOU RallyMoto guys and gals! Learn your timecard and rally procedures, then run a low pressure event on a closed 6 mile course two weeks later!

The goal right now is to run a one day event that counts as two Co-efficient (1)’s. Our budget will be tight – but I think if we forgo some of the glamorous national rally flair we can offer an inexpensive rally that everyone will have a blast at! That includes food and fun for our volunteers! Look for a LOT more to come!

– Kris

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