The nations longest running rally school and rallyx program hits 17 years for 2014. California Rally Series rally school is a cheap way to get yourself familiarized with all aspects of rally. Rally driving, rally co-driving, rallyx, and team management are the topics that are taught by experienced instructors. People from all over California make the drive out to Ridgecrest to get themselves started in their future rallying career. The students enrolled in rally driving and rallyx gets hands on, one to one, training with drivers that knows what it takes to control a car on dirt, gravel, and tarmac. Whether your car is rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, or all wheel drive; there is an instructor for you. If you’re in Southern California or Northern California and want to see what rally is all about, than the CRS Rally School is meant for you! The school is held every year in February. Visit the California Rally Series Rally School’s official website for more information.

RallyX Race Report:

Sunday’s California Rally Series RallyX started bright and early on February 16, 2014. I arrived at the Dessert Empire Fairgrounds at 8am and picked a spot to where I will be staging. The course for the RallyX was spread out along the large dirt field and it was huge! The drivers meeting was held at 9am which gave basic info and instructions to everyone that was participating in the race. Once the drivers meeting was over, I volunteered to work for the first session of the 2WD class. I was assigned to do timing which was something that I’ve never done before. Super easy job and very critical for rallyx. Unlike autocross, rallyx is based on cumulative time rather than your fastest lap.
After volunteering, It was my turn to get my WheelsDirty! The run group was split with stock class going first than rally class going last. Once I heard that my car was clear to go, I revved my engine to 4000 RPM and slowly let the clutch out. Immediately after the first hairpin I was able to get into 2nd gear which I normally don’t do. The course was in pretty good shape for my first run. I was tied for 2nd place for this run.

During my second run the car had shut off not once, not twice, but three times! I would be coming in hard, getting the car to rotate around the corner and when I went to press the gas pedal, the car would not respond. I looked at my tachometer and it was at 0RPM. I tried to start my car but the starter would just spin, not catching the fly wheel. So I put the car into gear and released the clutch like in a jump start. The car started up but died another 2 times along the course. My time ended up being about +30 seconds than my previous lap. I ended up being second to last place for this run.

Before running my 3rd lap, I examined my engine bay for anything that was off or loose. I pulled up learning view on my laptop and it showed no bad signs. The two remaining runs were ran in reverse which definitely made the course a lot faster. I pulled off a clean run landing 2nd for this lap. However, during the last hairpin I chose a line that had a huge rut on the outside which caused my front passenger side wheel to slightly debead. One of the competitors lent me their air pump to get it back up and running. I pumped it back up to 40psi and waited about 30 minutes before checking pressure. The tire lost about 3 psi in that time frame. I decided to not completely repair the debead and run as is.

The last run was extremely rutted and definitely harder on my car. On one of the turns, both my front tires lifted off the ground, almost like a huge wheelie. I ended up losing my driver side fog light trim piece from the landing impact. Also, the water truck did not do a lap before this run so the course was very loose. I came out 4th place for this lap.

Overall, I placed 10th out of 17. Mechanical issues do happen but there isn’t much that I could have done. I was still able to finish the race which is what matters most. Super fun weekend and a great start to the 2014 RallyX season! Keep an eye out for updates, videos of my laps will be posted soon.