2011 Monte Shelton NW Classic Rally: Final Results

As is tradition, Sunday morning brings the Awards Brunch, where we find out how we placed, both overall and in class.

Unlike yesterday’s buffet, this one is a sit-down thing where food is brought out, much to Dad’s dismay. (Nothing pleases Dad more than a breakfast buffet!) We did get some good news however: Next year’s NW Classic Rally will take place in my new/adopted hometown of Bend, Oregon. That makes travel and accommodations easy!

Next year the NW Classic will be in central Oregon!

We eat our scrambled eggs and chat with our table-mates about last night guest presentations concerning other forms of rallying. I forgot to mention but we hear from other rally participants about their adventures doing all-out stage rallying, insane frozen Alaskan long-distance endurance rallying, and a particularly humorous telling of running the La Carrera Panamerica. Eventually the moment(s) we’ve all been waiting for arrives and rally chairman Reid Trummel takes to the lectern. After thanking the volunteers and sponsors, without which the event would not exist, he turns to the results…

Reid Trummel speaks before the awards.

They read the results in reverse order. We know we did pretty good, so we wait patiently. We did not however expect to do as well as we apparently did…

We hear the bronze (finishing between 21st & 50th), silver (finishing between 11th & 20th) and on into the top ten finishers. When #8 is announced to be the Second Place Finisher in the Vintage Class, we’re astounded to know that we’ve won the class, as we are the last remaining un-annouced Vintage Class participant.

Reid calls off the seventh, sixth, fifth, and fourth place finishers, all in Standard Class.

I know there is no possible way that we could finish this well, running Vintage Class and basically winging it without a calculator or speed tables. Sure enough Third Overall is announced and a photo of our car is up on the screen…

My screenshot as we accepted our award.

Reid praises our accomplishment, finishing this high in the overall standings in Vintage class, as Dad & I stand to accept our trophies. As we’re having our pictures taken I turn around and snap off the shot above, showing how we fared.

I’m beaming because I’m so proud of my Dad, who is really the whole reason we’re here. He’s the car guy who raised me around sports cars and rallying. The guy who stirred my passion for this stuff again 30-some years after we had stopped doing car stuff. My father, who in his first serious TSD event (This rally back in 1998, which he did with my little sister) finished dead last. He kept at it, and now at 76 years old, is finally getting it right. 😉

I just drove where and how fast he told me.

Our trophy atop the Mercedes.

It feels great to arrive home. We bask in the glow of victory, sunset, and a nice round of drinks on the deck.

2011 Monte Shelton NW Classic Rally: Day One. (For real this time!)

The Start of the 2011 NW Classic.

I’ve always felt that my father & I could win this rally – this, even though we’ve finished:
18th with 563 penalty points in 2007,
9th with 240 penalty points in 2008,
19th with 1151 penalty points in 2009.

Plus years of similar results in similar TSD rallies. Why do I think we can win? Because when we’re “on” we are really good. It is only when we go off-course that we kill our chances. For example, in the 2009 event, we did better on day two than any other car save the overall winner. We stayed on-course and dad kept us on-time. We racked up only 53 of our penalty points out of our total of 1151 on the rally’s second day. If we could put TWO of those days together, we could win. Course-following is a shared responsibility and I feel like I’ve honed my course-following abilities quite a bit since we started running TSDs a decade ago. I can make the required observations and more importantly, the descending order route decisions (onto/toward, protection, centerline, straightest) on the fly far better than I ever could. I know that Dad’s navigation skills have improved as well. We’re good at what we do, we just have to be CONSISTENT (for once!)

I come to this event mentally prepared to do as well as possible. You dear reader will suffer for this a bit, as I’ve left most of my camera equipment behind. I’ll only shoot pics when I have the time, and forego photography for concentration on consistent performance of my driving duties. Sorry!

This year the NW Classic divided into two classes. Not based on car, but on rallying style. Standard Class cars were running under the same rules all of us lived by in the past (non-programmable calculators, speed tables, slide rules, rally clocks, etc allowed.) This year they added a “Vintage Class” which was limited to only original-equipment odometer & speedometers, and non-programmable stop watches or clocks. NO calculators or speed tables allowed. Dad wants to run in Vintage, as we’ve always been “seat of the pants” rallyists anyway. He’s used a calculator before, but he feels like he can do just as well without a calculator. I’m just the driver, so I’m OK with whatever he wants to do.

Continue reading “2011 Monte Shelton NW Classic Rally: Day One. (For real this time!)”

2011 Monte Shelton Northwest Classic, Arrival and Scrutineering.

The Start-Finish banner.

On Thursday afternoon Dad & I drive up to Portland from Bend for the rally check in and scrutineering for the 2011 Monte Shelton NW Classic. Unlike past years we are not in “the 65E” – my 1965 E-type Jaguar. As I was prepping the car for the rally I discovered a failed u-joint in the rear axle, which had trashed my tires pretty bad. I’ve been so busy at work that time to work on the Jaguar has been severely limited – so the backup car was brought to bear: “The Cruise Missile”, otherwise known as my parent’s 1979 Mercedes-Benz 450sl. Nowhere near as visceral as the Jaguar, the 450sl does make long-distance driving a joy, so our trip through the Cascades and down to the confluence of the Columbia & Willamette Rivers is relaxing and enjoyable. We cross the Columbia on I-205 and take SR 14 into downtown Vancouver, Washington, where we’ll spend the night. We check-in to our hotel, grab some self-service gasoline, and head south to Monte Shelton Jaguar in Downtown Portland for the evening’s events.

Rally Cars Awaiting Scrutineering

We’re directed to a spot where our car’s vitals are checked: turn signals, horn, battery secured, etc. The Benz passes with flying colors (unlike the Jaguar where I hand-signal in time with the turn signals and keep a marine safety horn around just in case!) We then have to go sign disclaimers/waivers/our lives away before securing our car number, which this year is 28. I find an orange cone behind the Benz and place it on the roof like a dunce cap, and wander off to shoot photos.

Dad puts the sticker on the passenger side

Of course, there is a array of Alfas, and a passel of Porsches, and a few unique machines as well…

Continue reading “2011 Monte Shelton Northwest Classic, Arrival and Scrutineering.”

Update from the NW Classic Rally

I fixed my image editing issues from last night, but the hotel bandwidth is seriously lacking tonight – so here is a brief update from the event:

Two Full Days of TSD Rallying completed. 20 TSD Stages. Total accumulated penalty time is 02:04 (two minutes, four seconds)… we’ll find out in the morning where that lands us in the class and overall standings.

Dad & I feel this is our best outing since the 2004 Forza Amelia.

2011 Monte Shelton NW Classic Rally, part one.

[this may be a temp entry, as I’m having some minor software issues that prevent me from editing images. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, raw, unedited images can be viewed over on Facebook, or for those not FB-inclined at my usual image dumping grounds here.]

Dad & I are running the 2011 NW Classic again this year, after missing it last year. My folks drove over to central Oregon from Colorado earlier in the week, and yesterday Dad & I drove over the mountains to Portland for scrutineering and check-in. This morning the rally departed downtown Portland and wandered south, eventually arriving at Salishan, south of Lincoln City on the coast.

Dad & I chose to run in the “Vintage” class, which means no calculators. We still can use clocks, but Dad wanted to try doing the “seat of the pants” thing, as that is how we rally once he’s screwed up the calculations anyway. Our pant seats must be finely calibrated, at least according to the results:

Nine Regularity, and One Monte Carlo Segment (with two Regularities NOT SCORED due to road conditions.
1. 00:01
2. 00:23
3. Not Scored
4. Not Scored
5. 00:04
6. 00:06
7. 00:00 (yeah!)
8. 00:05
9. 00:05
10: 00:04 (Monte)

Total Score: 00:52

In a field of 62 cars total that places us 4th overall.

In our class, we’re in 1st, with 41 seconds between us and the second place finisher. I’m really happy with that result, especially considering that the first day, usually the first morning, of the Monte is what always kills us! Now we have to hang in there for another long day of rallying tomorrow (easier said than done!) Stay tuned…