Team Crashes While Leading in Oregon Slippery Downhill Corner Puts Car on Its Roof Hillsboro, OR. A slippery downhill section on the Reeher's Camp stage of the 2007 Oregon Trail Rally, a national/regional event sanctioned by Rally-America,...
Team Crashes While Leading in Oregon
Slippery Downhill Corner Puts Car on Its Roof
Hillsboro, OR. A slippery downhill section on the Reeher's Camp stage of the 2007 Oregon Trail Rally, a national/regional event sanctioned by Rally-America, caught out driver Ralph Kosmides, Newport Beach, CA, and codriver John Dillon, Thousand Oaks, CA. They were leading the concurrent "Oregon or Bust" regional rally by over 25 seconds when they clipped a bank and rolled their Ruby's Diner Subaru onto its roof. The crew was unhurt, although it took over a minute for them to crawl out of the car.
"We tapped the side of a hill with the right rear corner, which unsettled the car," reported Kosmides. "I really thought I'd regained control when suddenly it jerked right, which rolled us up a steep bank before flipping us over like a turtle."
Kosmides, the 2002 U.S. national Group N champion, and Dillon, the 2004 U.S. national Open champion, were unscathed by the accident, and hope to return to competion in four weeks for the Olympus Rally in Washington state. Crew chief Steve McNaughton commented, "The damage doesn't look too bad--it's mostly cosmetic. We'll have to change Ralph's door and a bit of glass [the windshield shattered] and maybe the roof, but mechanically it's still sound. See how the fenders are still straight," he said, pointing to the front of the car. "The Perforce Software stickers aren't even wrinkled!"
Doug Nagy of Streetwise Motorsports, who preps the car between events added, "Any time you can drive the car onto the trailer, it's a good thing. The Oregon Trail sweep and rescue team tipped the car back onto its wheels and towed it ten miles to the end of the stage, so we had an easy time loading it up." The rest of the crew, Pete Morris and and Rob Marssdorf, waited for Kosmides and Dillon at the finish in a rental car so they'd have a place to get warm and dry while waiting for Nagy and McNaughton to arrive with the trailer.
"We were out in the rain for a couple of hours after we rolled," said Dillon, "so we were delighted to see Pete and Rob sitting there with a nice toasty place for us to dry out." He added, "This was Ralph's first rollover in ten years, and my first since 2000 when I codrove for Anton [Musev], who flipped our Audi at the Gorman Ridge Rally while I was on my honeymoon with Donna. I'll be perfectly happy to wait another seven years for the next one!"