Competitors – Early entry for 2014

We just wanted to announce to the competitors looking to enter the 2014 event: This year the early entry deadline is March 30th (YES – that’s two weeks from this post). We realize that’s a little tight, but please understand that it supports the rally immensely. One of the things we did to help, is move the full refund date forward to April 14th, 2014. (less a $50 fee)

You’ll help the rally by putting up some cash. You have a month (from today) to get things sorted, and if it doesn’t work out, you’re only out fifty bucks. 😐 The alternative is pay the regular entry at $850 in April, which is a bump for our HDT alumni. 🙁

Most of you know that we are competitor organizers. Just like you, we want the most stages for the money, and this year the High Desert Trails package is no exception:

  • A coefficient (3),(2) event means 100+ miles of stages
  • More mileage means night stages – bring your lights!
  • That’s not more of the same stages, we’re adding new roads.
  • Fast and flowing + Tight and twisty + Power stage
  • A compact single day event with no recce` and nearby service
  • The stage notes are included (as always)
  • Vinyl backers, headers, and numbers
  • Awards dinner tickets for the team

With the stage configuration this year, we’ll be able to run more than 30 cars – your friends are signing up right now – come and join us for a great day of rally in the high desert! 😀

– Kris & Christine


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California Rally Series 2014 Championship

May 3rd – High Desert Trails Rally – Ridgecrest, CA
June 21st-22nd – Idaho Rally – Boise, ID
July 26th-27th – Mendocino Rally – Mendocino, CA
August 23rd – Gorman Ridge Rally – Frazier Park, CA
October 3rd-4th – Prescott Rally – Prescott, AZ

We are round 1 of the California Rally Series Championship and are thrilled to be a part of the 40 year history of the series! Visit for more information.

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Saturday, May 4th marked the 40th anniversary of the High Desert Trails Performance Rally based out of Ridgecrest, California. Crews headed out early for a great day of rally on 70+ miles of stages in and around the scenic Kelso Valley in the southern tip of the Sequoia National Forest. In 1973 the High Desert Trails Rally used some of these same roads for the inaugural event. What began as an all night car rally with miles of average speed and timed sections has grown into what the sport is today: Highly modified production cars with driver and co-driver racing as fast as they can against the clock on closed dirt roads. As part of the NASA National Rally Championship (NNRC) drivers could instantly qualify by setting the fastest time down the last stage, the HDT Power Stage.

Jon Burke and Tom Morningstar
Jon Burke and Tom Morningstar – Top 4WD

Right from the start, Jon Burke and Tom Morningstar made sure every stage counted in their Subaru Impreza. Jon clearly wanted to wipe away problems of the past and launch into the 2013 California Rally Series Championship with renewed confidence after a series of DNF’s plagued the team last year. Jon backed off slightly for stage 6 (The HDT Power Stage) and still won it all for Open 4WD. Driving a Mitsubishi Evo prepared by Laengworks Racing, Vartan Samuelian and Laurence Babahekian were quick all day, but could just not match the pace of the Subaru and ended up securing second overall and 2nd in Open 4WD with a series of 2nd and 3rd place times throughout the day. Proving that this rally is not just about top speed, the 2WD Honda Civic driven by Pete Pollard and Marie Boyd came in 3rd overall, set the fastest time on the Power Stage, and won it for 2WD and CRS-2. Burke, Morningstar, Pollard, and Boyd celebrated with champagne and a $100 cash for each team at the finish line for the fastest 2WD and fastest 4WD rally car down this years 14 mile long Power Stage.

There must be something about the Power Stage that makes the 2WD guys go to maximum attack. Sarkis Mazmanian and Michael Mazmanian set the second fastest time on SS6 in their Acura Integra, beating all the Open 4WD cars for a 1st in CRS Performance Stock. A close battle all day with the 3rd fastest time down the Power Stage was the VW Golf GTI driven by Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas. A mere 22 seconds separated them from Mazmanian for a 2nd place in class. Second in CRS-2 with a solid drive in a VW Golf went to Erik Christiansen and Amy Floyd. Marvin Ronquillo and John Burke set an identical time on the last stage as Chavez and claimed 3rd in Open 4WD. They shook off any rust from their rally sabbatical. Also back from a break, Jeff Rados and Guido Hamacher struggled with brake problems on their Ford Ranger. They will settle for top points in CRS-5, but were looking for a much better position overall.

Pete Pollard and Marie Boyd – Top 2WD

Survival was the name of the game this year in the new California Rally Series Open Light class. Michael Carnes and Reza Yazdani were the first ones out, having engine problems on their Audi. They were followed soon after by Michael McCanna and David Moss who misjudged a crest on SS3 and flew into a ditch pushing their left front tire into the A-Pillar. Having problems on the first stage, Ray Piloto and Tyler deal got stuck and received a 45 minute time for SS1. Never thinking that their rally was over, the team set great times on the remaining stages and a 5th fastest time on the Power Stage to bring home 1st in CRS Open Light! It’s never over until it’s over, and as we say in rally: Press On Regardless!

Supporting the event in a big way this year, Streetwise Motorsports helps the High Desert Trails Performance Rally give competitors a great day of competition. Streetwise offers rally car preparation rental, service, and parts including Bilstein Motorsports Struts. With over twenty years of experience, they know what it takes to win rallies and championships! Check them out at

Teams are off to Rally Idaho for the next event in the California Rally Series Championship on June 7th-9th. We would like to thank all the volunteers and crews for making this such a successful event! See you next year!

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High Desert Trails 2013!

John Burke & Tom Morningstar

1st – Jon Burke / Tom Morningstar – Open 4wd, NNRC AWD
2nd – Vartan Samuelian / Laurence Babahekian – Open 4wd, NNRC AWD
3rd – Pete Pollard / Marie Boyd – CRS-2, NNRC 2WD

More results here

We want to thank all of the volunteers and competitors that came out and made this event a great sucess! We’ll have more press, pictures, video, facebook, and more posted over the next week.

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2013 HDT Power Stage!

Want to see what 13 minutes on the 14 mile Power Stage looks like? Here’s Pete Pollard & Marie Boyd at Maximum Attack! Winners of the 2013 2WD High Desert Trails Power Stage!

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Scores – Results – Updates 2013

High Desert Trails Live Scores and Updates 2013

Keep in mind there is less then ZERO cellular reception in the rally area – this includes the service area. has setup a relay so that the news and scores can get out to the internet!

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This weekend 21 teams will race on roads that were first scouted for competition like this 40 years ago. Just Southwest of Ridgecrest, California, the beautiful roads of Kern County stretch for miles up into the Sequoia National Forest. Competitors love the fast flowing stages and the challenge that this compact, regional event offers. May 4th, 2013 marks HDT’s 40th Anniversary and the very first west coast NASA Rally Sport National Rally Championship (NNRC) qualifying event, along with the first event of the California Rally Series (CRS) Championship for 2013.

Jon Burke has not had the best of luck at HDT, but this year he’s out to change that in a big way. Jon and his Co-driver Tom Morningstar are the top seeded team with their Subaru WRX. They have the experience and the drive to bring home the win, but it won’t be easy. Fighting for that top spot will be Vartan Samuelian and Laurence Babahekian in the equally capable Mitsubishi Evo. Scott Crouch (pictured) returns to HDT, this year with his daughter Elizabeth as Co-Driver, to try again after his engine problems in 2012 with the Subaru Impreza WRX. Don’t be surprised to see a Honda Civic driven by Pete Pollard and Marie Boyd also mixing times with the AWD turbo cars.


Other wildcards this year are two teams that haven’t been on the stages for some time, but should absolutely not be taken for granted. Coincidentally, both teams won their respective class in the 2006 California Rally Series Championship! Marvin Ronquillo and John Burke return to rallying in their Subaru Impreza WRX, along with Jeff Rados and Guido Hamacher who have chosen High Desert Trails for their return in their Ford Ranger.

Other teams to watch come from the new CRS Open Light class: Ray Piloto and Tyler Deal, Michael McCanna and David Moss will both campaign Subaru Imprezas for their first time at HDT. Michael Carnes are Reza Yazdani are back with their tried and tested Audi 4000CS in this new class.

The stages will be a little more technical this year and this just might give the edge to the 2WD teams. Tony Chavez and Raquel Salas will be pushing their VW Golf hard against some other familliar VW’s: Erik Christiansen and Amy Floyd will start their 4th HDT in their yellow Golf GTI, along with Bret and Doug Robinson, who are sure to push their speed factor in their freshly prepared Volkswagen. Speaking of freshly prepared: Chris and Victora Rosner have some new engine modifications to test on our stages. Look for a Pink Geo Metro to blur some photographs this weekend!

One of the reasons to push for a top time is the High Desert Trails Power Stage! This is an as fast as it goes, flat out, race for cash – on the 14 mile long final stage of HDT. This year drivers in both 2WD and 4WD are also eligible to instantly qualify for the NNRC final event if they win the Power Stage. Will drivers go for championship points in the CRS, taking it easy and cruising to the finish, or go flat out to win the High Desert Trails Power Stage?

Stages are set and the cars are ready to make history at the 2013 High Desert Trails!

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Rally this weekend!

This is the first stage “Gold Rush” from the 2012 High Desert Trails! Hang on for a wild ride from Jon Burke and Zachary Dickinson. This year Jon is back with Tom Morningstar looking for a strong finish!

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