In one week the mountains Southwest of Ridgecrest will come alive with the sounds of rally cars. Saturday, May 3rd – Teams will embark on a rally challenge that will test their skill, stamina, and determination. The amazing course this year takes competitors from an 1,800ft valley floor to a 7,000ft tree covered peak. Special Stages are made up from 35 unique miles of everything Southern California has to offer: fast and flowing open sections, tight and twisty tree lined routes, dramatic elevations changes, water splashes, and even a little tarmac.

Jon Burke and Tom MorningstarDefending their 2013 win, Jon Burke and Tom Morningstar (pictured) are back for a consecutive title. The overall is going to be heavily challenged by 10 open class teams. Specifically: Hakan Okcuoglu is an experienced racer with lots of stage miles under his belt driving a battle tested Eagle Talon; and John Trucks a newcomer that showed a lot of speed at the Prescott Rally last year with his Subaru Impreza. Two of the open class competitors are international this year with Rui Huang driving a Mitsubishi Evo 10 and Hong Bin Duan piloting a Subaru Impreza.

2014_HDT_chavez_smOver in the 2WD category, four Volkswagen Golfs from the 1980’s prove that you don’t need turbos or extra drive-train to be a contender. Watch for these grassroots competitors to be on the podium at the end of the day – Not just the 2WD podium, the OVERALL podium! With 1/10th the budget – if you want to get into Stage Rally, the most sustainable and affordable method is an older 2WD car. Tony Chavez (pictured), Bret Robinson, Eddie Fiorelli and Erik Christiansen will put some of the more expensive hardware to shame.

Contingency prizes for the overall 2WD and overall 4WD will be on offer from Ralli Candi, a new shop open in Rancho Cucamonga. $200 await BOTH the top 2WD and top 4WD finisher at the High Desert Trails Performance Rally! The top three competitors from both groups qualify for the NASA National Rally Championship and everyone will be looking to get a big start on their California Rally Series points.

The last stage of the rally kicks up the excitement by reversing the order and sends out the fastest teams last. No one knows for sure who’s won it until the last racer crosses the finish line on a gorgeous 16 mile downhill stage. 2WD and 4WD Power Stage Winners get $200 towards new Pirelli Tires from Streetwise Motorsports. Do you save your equipment and go for championship points? Do you push for the rally win? Or do you put it all on the line for the Power Stage?

It all starts Friday night at Jim Charlon Ford in downtown Ridgecrest. The cars will be on display from 6:30PM to 7:30PM and there are spectator opportunities on Saturday afternoon. Sunday includes a rallycross at the fairgrounds. We’re looking forward to running an outstanding event – see you on the stages!

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HDT is a 100+ mile Stage Rally 2.5 hours from LA

hdt_2014-entryMexico? Argentina? Spain? How about Kern County California. Rally is close to you! The High Desert Trails Performance Rally is Saturday, May 3rd 2014. Thirteen stages, over 100 miles of competitive – flat out – sideways in the woods – rally racing. You can spectate at it, you can volunteer for it, or you can enter it!

The rally has run on roads Southwest of Ridgecrest, CA for 3 consecutive years now. The event is part of the California Rally Series. Real rally cars, anti-lag, glowing rotors, foot to the floor – a Real Rally you have to check out! Stick around on Sunday for a rallycross at the fairgrounds!

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Local radio groups step up to help with new stage!

radio_checkAll over the country rallies utilize ham radio operators to keep our events safe and running smoothly. Spots along the entire course are all manned by folks with a radio and an FCC license. HDT utilizes over 60 amateur radio volunteers to keep track of our racers! This year we’ve got some help from a handful of local clubs and we’re excited to have them! We’ll have members from: Sierra Amateur Radio Club, Sequoia Amateur Radio GroupAntelope Valley Amateur Radio ClubSouthern Sierra ARSSanta Clarita Amateur Radio ClubKern County Central Valley Amateur Radio Club, South Orange Amateur Radio Association – Thank you from KI6IUC & KI6IUE!

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2014 Power Stage Winners get $200 towards new Pirelli Tires

pollard_splashswmslogoGot your eye on the 2014 High Desert Trails Power Stage? Of course you have to finish over 110 stage miles first, and then keep it together for the final 16 miles stage. Where 2WD cars have been known to surprise AWD monsters and rivalries in every class are settled.

Besides the champagne and bragging rights, Streetwise is going to kick in $200 to replace the worn out tires you just shredded in your quest. Both 4WD and 2WD HDT Power Stage winners will receive a voucher for $200 off a set of 4 Pirelli Tires from Streetwise Motorsports.

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High Desert Trails Performance Rally May 3rd, 2014

First run in 1973, the High Desert Trails Rally has been a yearly event since 2008. 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. For this year’s event, more stages have been added, and the 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.

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 2nd at Jim Charlon Ford, 269 South China Lake Boulevard. Spectator info here!

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 available here.

Thirty teams will take the challenge of the High Desert Trails this year. This event kicks off the 2014 California Rally Series Championship. Supporting rally events all over the Southwest, the CRS is celebrating its 40th season! More info – California Rally Series

Join us for some fun on the roads of the high desert!

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Sixty second promo video from our new stage!

Yes, video is sped up 2X, but you’re still excited about a stage in the woods. 😀

The High Desert Trails course setup team was hard at work yesterday. We verified dozens of GPS coordinates, started work on the stage notes, and captured some video. We also met with a handful of land owners in the area, and planned out each and every mile of the 2014 route. Look for maps and info to be posted soon!

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Rebooting the storied High Desert Trails (HDT) Rally in 2009, organizers Kristopher & Christine Marciniak considered their years of experience as rally competitors, distilling a simple plan for organizing their own rally – make it better every year, and give competitors a reason to keep coming back. And that’s exactly what they’ve done. Every year since, they’ve made HDT better, giving teams new reasons to return to Ridgecrest, California on the first weekend of May.

One of the fastest growing events in the country, HDT’14 is bigger and better than ever. New forest stages have been added, pushing total competitive miles beyond 100 and making this a coefficient (3),(2) event. The Joshua Trees and Pinyon Pines come in close to the doors at times on these new stages, making already fast roads feel even faster. Familiar stages have been split up, rearranged, and combined to deliver fresh challenges that don’t end when the sun goes down. That’s right. We’re racing in the dark this year!

A wide variety of fast, flowing roads criss-crossing high desert vistas and tight, twisty hill climbs and descents will keep teams on their toes, leading up to the Power Stage, HDT’s version of a drag race. Teams are reverse sorted and sent out in rapid succession on the final stage of the race. Not only will the fastest 2WD & 4WD teams enjoy champagne spray and bragging rights, they’ll also instantly qualify for a spot to contest the title of National Champion.

The action doesn’t end there, either. HDT continues on Sunday at the Empire Fairgrounds, where HDT began over 40 years ago, with a rallycross event! Volunteers will be cashing in big discounts for helping out the rally if they sign up to compete, tossing their daily drivers around on dirt, while rally competitors who want more seat time take fans and family on quick ride-alongs! Check out Rallycross for details.

Streetwise Motorsports is back for the sixth consecutive year, pleased to support HDT. Streetwise offers rally car preparation, rental, service, and parts – including Bilstein Motorsports Struts. With over 20 years experience racing, they know what it takes to win rallies and championships!

HDT is the first round of the 2014 California Rally Series (CRS) Championship. The premier rally series in the American southwest, and one of the biggest regional competition bodies in the country, CRS has built a solid reputation for exciting, well-run events within a consistently meaningful championship.

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.

It all begins Friday night, May 2nd, 2014, at Jim Charlon Ford in Ridgecrest @ 6:30PM. Join us!
Kristopher & Christine Marciniak
High Desert Trails Rally Organizers

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2014 Supplemental Regs and Documents Now Available


Version 1 of the High Desert Trails Rally Supplemental Regulations are now available.
HDT Supps 2014 v1.pdf
Stage Schedule: HDT Stage Schedule 2014.pdf
General Schedule: HDT General Schedule 2014.pdf

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