Tag Archives: Volkswagen

Ryan Millen unstoppable at Gorman 2C, absolute battle for 2nd between Lockhart and Robinson.

2c_pr-Gorman_1stSporting a field of 26 competitors, with almost half of them in 2WD, the 2015 Gorman Rally in Lebec, California made for a great 2C event! The mileage of the rally doesn’t tell the full story, as the fastest competitors on one of their 3 mile stages can’t break the 3 minute mark. Tight and twisty with hundreds of corners in the hot August sun make this rally a challenge just to finish. At the after party we got to experience the friendship and comradery that defines the California Rally Series. 2C is supported by Team O’Neil Rally School and Streetwise Motorsports who believe that starting with 2WD is the best path to future success in the sport.

Ryan Millen and Co-Driver Christina Fate have been carefully and slowly turning up the pace in their Toyota RAV4 this season, and this weekend was their time to shine. “No problems – and we’re not going to have any,” was Ryan’s mantra when they checked into the finish of stage nine. Ryan’s desert racing experience was put to the test on these stages and the team responded with an unstoppable pace from the start. Setting the fastest 2WD time on every stage but one, they took home 1st in 2WD and $250 cash for the 2WD Challenge. Quite an impressive drive on these stages!

2c_pr-Gorman_2ndAndrew Lockhart’s sister and listed Co-Driver Robin Lockhart was unable to attend last minute, so Andrew asked Michel Hoche-Mong to hop into the Co-Driver’s seat. Michel has experience driving and finishing on the podium at this event in a Volkswagen Golf, so the pair hit the ground running. Almost immediately times were being traded with another Volkswagen Golf team of Bret Robinson and Brent Ellzey. Robinson took SS1, was slower on 7 & 9, but tied Lockhart on SS8. After the service break Lockhart was a bit faster on 10 – 12, but Robinson grabbed a few seconds on SS13 and even more on 14! Anything could happen going into the last stage and Andrew Lockhart dug deep to pull out the fastest 2WD time on the Gorman Rally Power Stage! At the end of it, Andrew Lockhart collected $150 for 2nd in 2C and Bret Robinson earned $75 for a hard fought 3rd place.

2c_pr-Gorman_3rd2c_pr-Gorman_4thA last minute entry from Driver Brent Lee and Co-Driver John Dillon brought a Ford Fiesta R2 out to Gorman for Dillon’s 150th rally! Some early engine gremlins kept the team out of it until SS8 & SS9 when they jumped back into the fray of times coming out of the 2nd place battle. Their perseverance allowed them to take over 4th place on SS12 and overcoming those issues earned them $25 for 4th in the 2WD Challenge. We look forward to seeing Brent Lee and John Dillon at future events!

2c_pr-Gorman_5thHaving the most fun of any 2C team out on the stages, Chrissie Beavis and new Co-Driver Erica Sacks were always smiling when they arrived at the finish controls. Driving their Volkswagen Jetta through all the tough and twisty stages, the team had a great event and a great attitude. With a 5th place finish in 2WD they received $15 on top of the champagne for winning the California Rally Series P-Stock class.

Both of our presenting sponsors are serious about 2WD as a starting point for rally. Team O’Neil in Dalton, NH offers classes in Ford Fiesta school cars and their curriculum focuses on starting with the skills and techniques of 2WD. Streetwise Motorsports in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA builds and supports 2WD rally cars and is ready to help you get started in 2C with their many years of technical experience. Looking to learn to drive at the limit in a 2WD car? Go to the Team O’Neil Rally School at http://www.teamoneil.com. Looking to build a 2WD car? Talk to Streetwise Motorsports at http://streetwiseparts.com.

Our next event is already going to see a huge field of competitors as the Prescott Rally is the 2015 NASA National Rally Championship event. This winner take all, East vs. West competition, will have the extra bonus of being a 2C event again this year. Let’s get more than 15 2WD cars on the start list so we can double the winnings! We’ll see you in Prescott, Arizona on October 2nd, or you can follow the action online with #2WDRally #USRally #PrescottRally @NASARallySport

Big 2C field to challenge the twisty Gorman Rally

Gorman is a rally that defines the toughness and spirit of Southern California rally competitors. If you’re from out of town, don’t call it “rough”. Gorman is the reason competitors from here are often successful all over the US. It’s a rally that teaches you what rocks and terrain to avoid. It shows you how hot your engine bay can really get, and how inadequate that rear skidplate you made out of 1/8″ steel is. Cap that all off with a legendary after party and you’ll never look at “just finishing” the same. Presented by Team O’Neil Rally School and Streetwise Motorsports: 2C the 2WD challenge makes this victory even sweeter with a cash prize for the top 5 2WD competitors.

Ryan Millen with co-driver Christina Fate will be taking the challenge for the first time in the RAV4. We’re not too worried as Ryan’s desert racing experience will really come into play here, but this will be a serious test for the new Toyota. Look for Ryan to pull off a solid finish and not take too much risk – the question is: Will this strategy be enough to land him in a top 2WD spot?

Markus and Alicia Saarinen will be looking for a bit of redemption at Gorman. Last year a mistake over a long crest landed them off the road, and literally ripped a wheel and strut off the tough little Mini Cooper. They will need to keep it clean here at Gorman to match their win in Idaho.

Bret Robinson is back to challenge 2C from his last outing in Prescott 2014 where he captured 3rd place cash in his VW Golf. This time with seasoned co-driver Brent Ellzey. These two have raced Gorman for years and will be prepared to challenge for the top spot. Also in a VW Golf: Andrew and Robin Lockhart are back to Gorman after not running the event for a few years. Look for this to be a great VW rivalry!
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Co-Driver Chrissie Beavis slides over to the drivers seat again, this time to compete with co-driver Erica Sacks – Erica, the first US competitors to enter the Gazelle Rally in a side-by-side quad. Both of them have completed the Gazelle. That rally being a nine-day, all-women, off-road rally across the Sahara Desert. This team will no doubt have an interesting perspective of the Gorman stages in their Volkswagen Jetta.

Long time competitors Larry and Lance Gross in their tough Toyota Corolla will be trading times with John Black and Lori Stone in their equally capable Ford Ranger. Look for Javier Olivares and Brock Heinz to be in that mix with their Ford Escort. Gorman first timer Andrew Cowan and Tim Brown will see if they have what it takes. Chris Palermo will be looking to improve his speed here at Gorman with a yet unnamed co-driver. For some RWD fun, Steven Egger & Christopher Chenoweth are back sliding around their 318i BMW. While Christian Arboleda & Oscar Arteta push a Suzuki Swift to the limit! Twelve 2C competitors make up the large field for Gorman 2015!

Watch for some great 2C competition. Follow live scores and text for the Gorman Rally at http://rallydata.com. On Twitter @GormanRally #GormanRally @NASARallySport #2WDRally and on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/NASARallySport. Looking to learn to drive at the limit in a 2WD car? Go to the Team O’Neil Rally School at http://www.teamoneil.com. Looking to build a 2WD car? Talk to Streetwise Motorsports at http://streetwiseparts.com.

Markus Saarinen pushes past Dave Clark on final stages to take 2C win at Idaho!

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Seventeen 2WD teams took to the stages at this year’s Idaho Rally for the 2WD Challenge. Set in Boise County, the roads converge on the small town of Placerville and made for a fantastic weekend of racing. Eleven special stages make up the two days of rallying that would test the competitors skill, machines, and perseverance. The 2WD Challenge is supported by Team O’Neil Rally School and Streetwise Motorsports who believe that starting with a 2WD in rally is the best path to future success in the sport.

Ramana Lagemann established quickly that he was the man to beat in a BMW M3. Setting the fastest 2WD times on all of Saturday, he and Co-Driver Chrissie Beavis settled into 5th overall gunning for the podium. A flat tire on Sunday barely slowed the pace of the M3 on SS7 and it wasn’t until a differential failure on stage 9 that wrote the end of the story for the BMW. Lagemann rejoined the rally for fun and super rally points, but you have to finish all the stages to win the 2WD Challenge.

2c_pr_2ndThe close battle for 2nd on Saturday then became the close battle for 1st on Sunday. On day one; Dave Clark in his RWD XR4Ti was 24 seconds ahead of Markus Saarinen in the FWD Mini Cooper and Ryan Millen in the FWD Toyota RAV4. The Merkur was reportedly having steering pump bracket issues and was on the verge of destroying itself, while Clark and Co-Driver Jennifer Daly were running out of decent tires. The team was still having fun though, setting off a shower of RWD gravel where spectators had setup a line of colorful plastic flamingos on the outside of a sweeping turn. Dave Clark scored well at Flamingo Bowling.

Markus Saarinen in the Mini Cooper started to catch the RAV4 of Millen on stage 4, and turned the attack all the way up on Sunday morning beating Clark on SS7. Clark responded with a win on SS9, and back into the last service the three teams learned that they would be fighting for the $500 prize with Lagemann out. Markus and Alicia Saarinen had 7 seconds to make up for 1st in 2C and they pushed to take the lead with 11 seconds on the final two stages! Sarrinen takes home the 2C win with $500, and Clark takes the 2nd place prize of $300.

2c_pr_3rdRyan Millen and Co-Driver Christina Fate were excited to debut their Toyota RAV4 at Idaho, and WE were excited to see where an experienced off-road racer, with a brand new navigator, in a brand new showroom stock RAV4 would end up on the standings. The team was right up with the pack on the first 3 stages and Millen settled into a rhythm to take 3rd in the 2WD Challenge at Idaho earning $150.

2c_pr_4thA back and forth battle emerged with some historic hardware from John Hill in his 1967 Ford Cortina and an experienced Irish Rally Champion John Coyne in a rented 1982 Toyota Corolla. The Cortina unfortunately stopped on SS8 with a mechanical issue after winning the first stage of Sunday. John Coyne and Co-Driver Doug Nagy were having a blast on the Idaho roads and happily accepted the $50 for a great weekend of rallying. Coyne was 4th in the 2WD Challenge.

Setting consistent stage times all weekend was what kept Erik Christiansen in his Volkswagen Golf ahead of James Rimmer in a Subaru BRZ. Other than crumpling a fender with a bump on Sunday, Christiansen had a smooth weekend with Co-Driver Amy Floyd. Not expecting to be in the top placement at this event, the team hung in there to grab $30 for 5th in 2C.

2c_pr_5th2C is here to get teams excited about running in 2WD and we were pumped to see Ryan McLaughlin & David Brown finish their first rally event with their Acura Integra. Ryan says: “We finished Rally Idaho with only two gears left in the transmission and even brought home some hardware. Happy to have made it across the finish, even though we had to come home on a trailer. Stage rally is the most intense motorsport on earth.” We couldn’t agree more! Both of our presenting sponsors are serious about 2WD as a starting point for rally. Team O’Neil in Dalton, NH offers classes in Ford Fiesta school cars and their curriculum focuses on starting with the skills and techniques of 2WD. Streetwise Motorsports in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA builds and supports 2WD rally cars and is ready to help you get started in 2C with their many years of technical experience.

Next up is the Gorman Rally in Southern California on August 22nd. This event typically lets 2WD cars shine with their tight and twisty stages. We’re excited about their new roads – and looking forward to the extra competition that 2C will bring. See you on the stages!