Santa Maria, CA - October 11, 2003. Twenty-four rally cars and thirty street cars met at Santa Maria Speedway for the Inaugural Perforce Software Rally Sprint & Rally Cross, sanctioned by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) as part...
Santa Maria, CA - October 11, 2003. Twenty-four rally cars and thirty street cars met at Santa Maria Speedway for the Inaugural Perforce Software Rally Sprint & Rally Cross, sanctioned by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) as part of the California Rally Series (CRS). This first time event ran from noon to nearly 11:00 p.m. and concluded the 2003 racing season for the track. (There are still several more CRS rallies on the calendar, however.)
The rally sprint covered a 1.5 mile dirt road course that used the 1/3-mile oval, the inner pit area and the outer pit area as part of the circuit. When darkness fell, only the grandstand lights were illuminated so the fans could see how rally drivers race at night. The rally cross for street cars, which requires only seat belts and a helmet, was run on a much shorter, and slower, course using the front straight of the oval and the inner pit area only.
Fast man of the day was Tony Chavez, of Santa Fe Springs, who's total time for two daylight and two night time runs was 10 minutes, 24.8 seconds. Chavez, driving a Mitsubishi Galant sponsored by Condor in the Open Four Wheel Drive division, beat out Carlos Narbais and Aaron Laeng for the win. Laeng is assistant crew chief for Chavez and drove Tony's car. The Galant is prepared by Laengworks of Hesperia, CA.
Other class winners were: Narbais, in CRS GT, Kevin Kraack (sponsored by the local Saturn dealership and MAAudio.com), Performance Stock, and Craig Hollingsworth, of Incline Village, NV, in a Group 2/5 VW Getta GLi. Narbais was the only competitor to take advantage of an organizer-provided option that allowed him to enter in two classes and thus get twice the seat time and it showed--he was dubbed "Wild Man" by the announcers for his dramatic power slides and incredible sideways driving style.
In the rally cross, current CRS points leader George Scott of Temecula won the Open Four Wheel Drive class with an overall fast time of 2 minutes, 8.5 seconds. Martti Silvola and Mike Croutcher placed second and third in the class.
David Platt, of San Luis Obispo, finished third overall and first in the Street Stock Four Wheel Drive division in a Subaru WRX sport wagon--and he won with three passengers in the car! Other class wins went to the Gravel Crew's Rodney Wills in Open Two Wheel Drive and Justin Smith in Street Stock Two Wheel Drive.
Bill Pinette, of Nipomo, was the only Mini Stock driver brave enough to bring his circle track Pinto, set up to turn left, out to run the rally sprint course. After four runs Pinette was only 4 minutes and 24 seconds slower than overall winner Chavez. Unlike the rally drivers, Pinette lacked navigator in the passenger seat (his Pinto doesn't have a passenger seat), so he had to drive the challenging 25-turn course from memory.
In addition to the Rally Sprint and Rally Cross, Perforce Software is a major sponsor of the Widget Rally Team. Widget codriver John Dillon organized the event at Santa Maria Speedway. Perforce is known worldwide as the Fast Software Configuration Management company for its premier line of software development tools. Visit www.Perforce.com for more information. For detailed results from the Rally Cross and Rally Sprint, visit www.WidgetRacing.com/sms .