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> Rally-x Vs. Stage Rally, Looking for local thoughts on the subject, please.
DR1665
post Oct 4 2006, 11:42 AM
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I haven't visited this forum in about four months and, since I've only spectated a couple times (Talon has never been up to snuff), most of you don't even know who I am, but I'd really appreciate hearing your thoughts on a couple questions, if you would be so kind.

I'm in the process of de-tuning my Talon to become a daily driver, while focusing on building my Galant VR4 into a rally car. As such, I have been frequenting the North American rally forums, learning, networking, etc.. I'm finding that the number of stage rally events is declining, costs are increasing, and drama abounds. In my opinion, we need more rally exposure in the US. More exposure means making rally, in some form, more affordable and accessible.

The following questions have to do with grass roots rally, much like autoX.

Would you be interested in spectating or participating in a rally event, were it within an hour or two of you?


Which would you be more inclined to participate in, were it affordable? Spectating, Rally-X, Stage Rally (like WRC)


Forget, for a moment, what you may know about rally entry fees. We all know a freebie is a dream come true, but what would be the most that you would ever pay to run in a rally-X? To run in a weekend-long stage rally? To spectate at either?

Finally, what would you think if a rally car showed up to an autoX event?


It is my belief that the only way to grow rally in America is by exposing more people to it and the only way to do that is to make it more accessible. I am trying to gain valuable insight from other automotive enthusiasts who know about grass roots motorsports.

(And I hate being such a lurker. No sooner did I get my glass issues fixed on the Talon, then the head gasket went. Oil, oil everywhere. Then I bought another project car and... *sigh* You might know what it's like.)

Thank you, sincerely for your responses.


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Ben Clement
post Oct 4 2006, 12:43 PM
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QUOTE (DR1665 @ Oct 4 2006, 11:42 AM) *
Would you be interested in spectating or participating in a rally event, were it within an hour or two of you?
Yes.
QUOTE (DR1665 @ Oct 4 2006, 11:42 AM) *
Which would you be more inclined to participate in, were it affordable? Spectating, Rally-X, Stage Rally (like WRC)
Probably rally-x. I honestly don't know anything about preparing a car for rallyx vs stage rally, but the impression I get is that the cost/time/effort involved in stage rally is a lot higher. If that's not the case, well fantastic. tongue.gif

QUOTE (DR1665 @ Oct 4 2006, 11:42 AM) *
Forget, for a moment, what you may know about rally entry fees. We all know a freebie is a dream come true, but what would be the most that you would ever pay to run in a rally-X? To run in a weekend-long stage rally? To spectate at either?
Easy enough, I know nothing about entry fees. I'd probably pay $50-60 for a rallyx on a decently-groomed course with plenty of runs, and enough other people in the event to have some competition. Stage rally, I don't know, maybe $200 for the weekend. I'm sure that's probably too low. I might pay $10 to spectate at a stage rally if there were a good number of fast cars there. There's no way I'd pay money to spectate at a rallyx.

QUOTE (DR1665 @ Oct 4 2006, 11:42 AM) *
Finally, what would you think if a rally car showed up to an autoX event?
I'd think:
- this guy's going to get screwed on pax
- I hope he has some real tires
laugh.gif
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DR1665
post Oct 4 2006, 12:48 PM
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Thanks, Ben. I appreciate it.


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phoenixR34
post Oct 4 2006, 07:57 PM
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Interesting you should ask this, I was just thinking about rally stuff today. It's weird how a lot of people are big fans of rally. Most people enjoy watching it, talk about "someday" doing it, and often consider it the ultimate form of motorsports. Yet, no one does it. The Prescott Forest Rally is this weekend, but I doubt many people outside of Prescott will make the drive to go. And sad as it is, rallys with amateur drivers in their own cars are more fun to watch than the Pro Rally events we had back in 2000-2002. I'm sure this weekend will be a genuine display of real cars, real racers and people having fun which is what amateur rally is all about.

They had a rallycross at PIR back in May. It wasn't very expensive, in the $20-$50 range if I remember correctly. Still, just about all the entrants had rally cars and/or came from out of state. Bottom line is that rallying is really hard on a car regardless - rally-x or stage rally. Most people don't mind taking their cars on a roadcourse, but in the dirt? Jumping it? Not many have a dedicated car they can really thrash on.

There is no comparing to a stage rally. It's A LOT different than doing a rallycross. It takes an entire operation and a staff of people, not to mention a lot of money. It's like comparing a 12-hour endurance race to an autocross. I think a lot of people would prefer to do a stage rally, but is it realistic to do one?

FWIW, I took my rally car to a few Solo2 events. People looked at it for a second, then lost interest because it wasn't a Solo2 car. lol. If I remember correctly I even beat Ben at one of them. wink.gif

Would I do another stage rally or rally cross? Hell yeah... *if* I had a car. No way would I take my car out there however. That seems to be the common thought. And it's strange again as there are literally hundreds of miles of perfect, maintained roads in Arizona to go practice on for free.


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DR1665
post Oct 4 2006, 10:19 PM
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QUOTE (phoenixR34 @ Oct 4 2006, 07:57 PM) *
The Prescott Forest Rally is this weekend, but I doubt many people outside of Prescott will make the drive to go.

Kudos to you, sir, for knowing that. Actually, there are quite a few people from the Phoenix area participating this year. Personally, I'm team manager for the rallynotes.com p-stock Neon. My local rally mentor, Mustafa Samli, is going as well. It's going to be a good time. We have two car loads of volunteer crew driving up from Phoenix Friday morning and there are two more volunteers coming in from SoCal tomorrow night. It's going to be one helluva time.

I appreciate everyone's thoughts on this subject. As far as I see it, the only way rally will ever get very big in America is if more people are exposed to it. Just as everyone here, within their first minutes at an autoX thought to themselves, "This is awesome! I want to do this!" Automotive enthusiasts who experience rally first hand are likely to want more to do with it. My goal with posting these questions on close to a dozen forums today is to find out what the non-rally participant who is into motorsports thinks about the sport. If the rally community can get a good idea of what the general automotive public feels rally is worth (technically and financially) perhaps the rally community can come up with some new ideas that will bring the rally experience to more people.

Your comments are greatly appreciated.


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Mike Whitehouse
post Oct 5 2006, 01:20 AM
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Brian,
I love rallying! When I lived in Germany, I noticed that there were a bunch of ADAC stage rallies held on the little farm roads. These roads are visible from the normal b routes so people see them and get routed to spectator areas if they are interested. Much more visible than in the US.

In the US, the problem is liability. People are so sue happy that insurance is expensive. Property owners don’t want to let their land be used for motor sports due to this liability problem.

Sure, I would go watch a rally. I still watch the WRC events despite Speed channels bad taste replacing it with thrashcar.

Stage rallying requires a level of effort more in line with club racing than that of a SOLO autocross event. Even a rallycross requires more car preparation than an autocross. The advantage that an autocross has is that most cars that are safe on the street can be safely run in an autocross. This is probably not true of most, if not all, rallycrosses.

To continue the parallel to autocrossing, the normal regional autocross is probably $20-25. I expect that this would be a good place to start for a local rallycross. Just as autocrossing, this varies from place to place depending on what the club has to pay for the site.

I having no idea what insurance would cost for a stage rally. I guess I would expect them to cost about the same as a good high end track day.

Yes, I have seen US rally cars and drivers run autocrosses. Generally speaking, despite driving well, they end up towards the bottom of the results. Autocrossers are people so some of us treated the rally driver well and tried to be helpful while others treated him as a joke or worse. Since almost all US rallies are on dirt or gravel, the car setup is so different that a well setup rally car is: first not very good for an autocross and second built to a different rule set that throws them into some higher prepared or modified class. I would welcome a rally driver at any autocross.

In Europe where rallies are also held on paved road, they usually have specially set up cars to deal with this type of event. On Speed, they had a section where Nicky Grist ran through a list of changes made to the car to deal with the different event surfaces.

In the early 1970’s, I ran an autocross on a dirt fair grounds parking lot. The surface was dirt but actually pretty smooth so it was about like a running on a very good dirt road. It was very well packed so it didn’t rut up very much during the day. I would run one again but the few rallycross courses I have seen I would not enter in a street car that I wanted to drive home.

While on the topic of those thrilling days of yester-year, autocross courses were much tighter and the gates narrower, than they are now. On those type courses, different driving techniques were often used that are also used in rally driving. For example, using the E-brake to create oversteer and dancing the car to use the weight transfer to reduce understeer.

I don’t know if any of this helps you or not but good luck with your rally program.


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DR1665
post Oct 5 2006, 09:10 AM
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Thank you, Mike. Very insightful and I appreciate it. It sometimes bugs me that I lived in Europe (Heidelberg, Germany) for close to four years in the early nineties and was completely unaware of rally at that time. I made it to the 91 Frankfurt International Auto Show, but never an actual race event. sad.gif Hindsight...

I realize that a rally car would face some disadvantages on a paved autoX course, but I think we might all agree that seat time, regardless of track surface, is always a good thing. Given the way rally drivers are accustomed to performing all manner of repairs in under 15 minutes during service, an afternoon autoX might provide a good chance to sort a few bugs. I'd also go so far as to say that, by bringing the rally car out, haters aside, it would bring valuable exposure to local rally enthusiasts. IMO, that exposure, that chance to network with other motorsport enthusiasts about rally, is critical.

Nobody will want to check out rally if they don't even know it's near them, right?


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spike.spiegel
post Oct 5 2006, 09:17 PM
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Wow, a rally thread on a Solo forum! Maybe rally really is catching on in the U.S...smile.gif

I'm from Tucson and will be competing in the Prescott rallly this weekend in my 1990 Subaru Legacy. Come say hi!

I co-own the car with a friend of mine and this will be our third rally. We also participated in the rally-x at PIR a few months ago. I think Brady really hit the nail on the head--people generally aren't going to do any rally event on a daily driver. I would drive an hour or two to spectate a stage rally or rally-x, but that's it. I really doubt that non rally-enthusiasts would do even that. Maybe if the rally events were set up in conjunction with other events, people might "accidentally" catch on (which is how the PIR event approached it, I think).

As Brady said, there is no comparing rally-x to stage rally. Rally-x is quite a bit like Solo, except your car gets really dirty and possibly broken. Stage rally is a 12 hour endurance race, sometimes with back-to-back(-to-back?) days. Some teams can certainly spend 50-100k on a car, and several more thousand per event for event fees, servicing fees, tires, parts, hotel, gas, e.t.c. We try and do it as cheaply as possible--generally we get people to volunteer to service, sometimes we camp out, re-use tires, e.t.c. The costs we can't avoid are gas and event fees which alone are generally $400-600 per [single day] event.

There can be, of course, large start-up costs, depending on what kind of vehicle you choose to rally. We got our (almost) turn-key rally car for about $3k--we might have put another $1k into it to get it completely prepared to compete, but that's not bad at all when split two ways. If you decide to build up your own car, or buy a car that will be more competitive, you could easily spend as much as you wanted. But, if anyone else has an interest in stage rally, it can be done for reasonable cost (though still quite a bit more than Solo).

I'm still pretty much a rally newbie, but I'm really enjoying it so far. Rally-x really didn't do it for me--stage rally is where its at. It would be great to see more Tucson/Phx soloists out there one of these days!


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BWeikert
post Oct 5 2006, 10:16 PM
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I'd love to do Rally, of any type, but for me the prohibitive factor is the car. I don't own a rally car, or any car that I would even consider doing a rally with, and I not only can't afford to buy a car for something that is extremely rare around here, but I don't have a place to keep one (no garage space) even if I did have the money to drop on the car.


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geren
post Oct 6 2006, 07:16 PM
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Bill Barfoot and the local subaru club (AZScooby represent!) were able to hold a few rallyX in 2001/2002. Several of us that autox also attended them. It was a lot of fun, but we were never able to attract enough entries for the venue owners (primarily Canyon Raceway, I think) to be interested in having us, much less water down the course for us.

I don't recall them costing much more than an autoX, but it all depends on the course conditions and the distance.

Ron (#522) probably will have something to add, as he was also involved and also ran a few in Vegas.

And Brady, I always thought the car looked bad-a$$...
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Inigo Montoya
post Oct 7 2006, 10:48 PM
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I would also say that the folks over at azawd.org would have some interesting thoughts to contribute. I have my legacy, but could not bear to take it any further than maybe a rallycross, to me puttin it on pavement give me much less of a chance of really screwing things us, especially a DD. However, if given the chance I would not hesitate at doing some stage rally.


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LP
post Oct 9 2006, 04:41 PM
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It's not local but, Las Vegas Rally Events are not that far away.


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DR1665
post Oct 9 2006, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE (LP @ Oct 9 2006, 04:41 PM) *
It's not local but, Las Vegas Rally Events are not that far away.

Yeah. Too bad it seems like every event they try to put on gets cancelled...

LVRSCCA schedule. tongue.gif

It was cool to meat Zack at service in Prescott. I didn't get the name of his crew chief, but I was a bit reassured about my lack of spares for future rally when I noticed they just parked the car and relaxed for each service session. Haha. The Legacy must be a tank! I only hope my Galant holds up so well. It's a Mitsubishi, so I know it won't, but hope springs eternal, right?

Thank you all very much for your comments on this subject. I appreciate it.


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spike.spiegel
post Oct 10 2006, 10:33 PM
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QUOTE (DR1665 @ Oct 9 2006, 04:47 PM) *
QUOTE (LP @ Oct 9 2006, 04:41 PM) *

It's not local but, Las Vegas Rally Events are not that far away.

Yeah. Too bad it seems like every event they try to put on gets cancelled...

LVRSCCA schedule. tongue.gif

It was cool to meat Zack at service in Prescott. I didn't get the name of his crew chief, but I was a bit reassured about my lack of spares for future rally when I noticed they just parked the car and relaxed for each service session. Haha. The Legacy must be a tank! I only hope my Galant holds up so well. It's a Mitsubishi, so I know it won't, but hope springs eternal, right?

Thank you all very much for your comments on this subject. I appreciate it.


It was cool meeting you too Brian! We had a great time competing against the Neon until it ran into mechanical difficulties at the end. I was totally impressed to see your team of 8(?) accomplishing so much at the last service--checking and swapping out a brake, swapping a strut, fixing urethane, e.t.c. all in ~40 minutes.

Our Subaru has really been a tank so far, plus I think we've been incredibly lucky. We haven't had to stop on stage for three complete events, and had only one flat tire, which came at a service.

The first rally we did was Treeline, which was incredibly rough th entire way. I was totally in shock after the rally was over and the car was in one piece. The Prescott roads were exactly the opposite--smooth and straight instead of rough and twisty. Good luck with your car, can't wait to see some more cars out there.


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DR1665
post Oct 11 2006, 08:34 AM
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Thanks, Zack. Actually, we had to replace both rear struts and springs, going from a set of sweet, custom Bilsteins to the old reliable, KYB GR2s with SRT4 springs. He managed to destroy no fewer than three wheels this weekend and every service had at least someone re-attaching the rear skid plates. If we hadn't had so many crew members, it would have been a nightmare, but all went very smoothly, imo.

Will you be making it out to Laughlin? I know there's the International Rally, but there is also rally-x, auto-x, and a car show, so it should be a good time. Rally on!


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#522
post Oct 12 2006, 10:01 AM
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You know Mustafa? I met that guy at a QT by my house and ended up talking to him for like 20 mins about Rally!

As Geren said, we did have a short run of about 8 events maybe? We had a rally-x at PFR in 01. I ran that event with my Impreza with the cardboard temporary plate still on it. That's what I wanted to do with the car before I even bought it. The ones up in vegas (when they don't get cancelled) are the best. If anyone is willing to drive up and never have your car be clean again, do it. It's worth it. I went up for the event that coincided with the SW Subaru/SEMA meets. Good stuff.

IF the series here had been able to continue, I would still be doing it. I can't speak for other makes, but my Subaru with stock everything handled rally-x quite well, the suspension is tough and the alignment stayed true until I started messing with it for Solo.

My car now a days is not as tough, being lower than stock, has less travel, and is setup for track and auto-x, so I'm not sure if I'd be able to run it much. If the surface was at least as good as a dirt road—packed, no ruts and no jumps—I'd give it a shot.

Have fun in Laughlin!


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DR1665
post Oct 12 2006, 10:06 AM
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QUOTE (#522 @ Oct 12 2006, 10:01 AM) *
You know Mustafa? I met that guy at a QT by my house and ended up talking to him for like 20 mins about Rally!

Yes I do. He is my mentor. And now we both have dead Galants. Apparently he lost his oil cooler fan at Prescott and boiled his oil. (His WRC-spec cooler faces straight down behind a headlight, so the fan is critical for airflow.)

He's a bit on the crazy side, but he's a good guy and he makes one heck of a mean "Group B Margarita."


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Brandon Smith
post Oct 23 2006, 09:43 PM
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QUOTE (phoenixR34 @ Oct 4 2006, 07:57 PM) *
FWIW, I took my rally car to a few Solo2 events. People looked at it for a second, then lost interest because it wasn't a Solo2 car. lol. If I remember correctly I even beat Ben at one of them. wink.gif


Hey, lookie here!

Video of Brady's RX7 at the autocross


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DR1665
post Oct 24 2006, 09:01 AM
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Haha! Very cool! Can't say I've ever seen that car before.

Anyone here going to check out Laughlin in a couple weeks?


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phoenixR34
post Oct 24 2006, 09:15 AM
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QUOTE (DR1665 @ Oct 24 2006, 09:01 AM) *
Haha! Very cool! Can't say I've ever seen that car before.

Anyone here going to check out Laughlin in a couple weeks?


I sold it a long time ago.. December 2001 if I remember correctly. Some guy in SoCal has it and runs the CRS.. Bill something or other, forgot his name.


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Brady Dohrmann
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