Photos From The 2015 Perce Neige Rally

Lewis Myers of Shelburne, Ontario is a stage rally participant who often gets involved in servicing Subaru cars.  On February 7 Lewis attended the Perce Neige Rally in Maniwaki, Quebec where he was part of the crew servicing the winning Subaru Canada car driven by Antoine L’Estage/Alan Ockwell.   Lewis forwarded to me several photos that he was able to take while at the rally.

Subaru Service Area

Subaru Service & Display Area

The Subaru Canada rally car was prepared by Rocket Rally Racing which is the shop in British Columbia run by Patrick Richard.  In addition to the winning L’Estage/Ockwell car, Rocket Rally Racing also prepared a car for David Nickel/Leanne Junnila.  This car is shown below.

Rocket Built Car

A Subaru Prepared By Rocket Rally For David Nickel/Leanne Junnila

Lewis noted that it was nice to be able to use the shop at the Maniwaki High School to do some final preparation.  The warmth of the shop was as appreciated as much as the mechanical facilities.

Preping Car In High School

Using The Maniwaki High School Workshop To Ready The Car

LeStage Ockwell PN 2015

Final Preparations Underway

Former Canadian Rally Champion had a tough rally with his Mitsubishi Evo VI going off the road which caused him to DNF.

Frank Sprongl Off

Frank Sprongl/Brian Maxwell’s Rally Ended In The Ditch

The final results of the Perce Neige Rally, the first event in the Canadian Rally Championship, can be seen by clicking on the following file: 2015 Perce Neige Results


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Cape Codders Oldtimers’ Rally – April 11, 2015

This week I got a message from Gerry Goulet about the Cape Codders Oldtimers’ Rally.  This rally has a long history in various formats, but it has evolved into an event where competitors are asked to answer questions about objects and locations on Cape Cod with the goal of correctly answering these questions while accumulating the least amount of distance traveled in the car.

This year the Cape Codders Old Timers’ rally will be held on Saturday April 11, 2015 starting and ending in Eastham, Massachusetts.  The following are the details of the rally as provided by the rallymaster, Gerry Goulet.

This “scavenger hunt” of Cape Cod is a low-pressure event. You will be supplied with a map and clues to locations all over the Cape. The object is to determine from the clues where these locations are on the map, plan the shortest route to those locations, once at the location, answer the question(s), and do so driving the fewest miles possible. Each two person team chooses its own pace. The distance traveled will be at least 100 miles. Above all it is hoped that you will have  FUN and maybe learn some things about the Cape.

Registration:    At the Four Points by Sheraton, 3800 State Highway, Eastham, MA.  Friday night 7 PM – 9 PM and Saturday 7:30 AM -9:30 AM.

If you could register Friday night, Saturday morning’s lines will move along more quickly. On Saturday morning, after completing check-in/registration and the odometer check, you will receive your map and clues, at which point you can begin the rally.

Start:  The parking lot of the Sheraton Four Points, 3800 State Highway, Eastham, MA.

Entry Fee:    $ 35.00 for SCCA members and past Old Timers’ Rally participants, if received by April 4, 2015. (Note: NO entries the day of the rally).   $ 50.00 for non-SCCA members, non-past participants, and all late entries. Please allow enough time for us to receive entries no later than April 9th  as we will not have access to postal mail after that date. Also no electronic entries, signatures are required.

Lodging:       Rooms for both Friday and Saturday nights are being held at the Sheraton Four Points 3800 State Highway, Eastham, MA 02642, 508-255-5000 until March 25, 2015. The rate is $82.00 per night (plus taxes), when you mention the Old Timers’ Rally. The rate for rooms requested after March 25 will be their usual rate » $132 per night (plus taxes) → Note new location and cut off date ←

For more Information E-Mail:

Banquet:      Will be held at the Sheraton Four Points, 3800 State Highway, Eastham, MA.  

Dinner will be Tossed Garden Salad, Rolls and Butter, Chef’s vegetable, rice pilaf or roasted potatoes, cranberry stuffed chicken breast, baked scrod with bread crumbs and lemon, sliced top round with mushroom gravy, cookies and brownies, coffee and tea. Cash bar.

Click on the following file for the entry form: Cape Codders Courageous 2015 Entry Form

While this rally is located close to where I live, I have never competed in this rally, but last year I volunteered to work at the finish control.  This year I have a conflict and will not be able to attend.  This rally has a great following, so be sure to get your entry in as the field is limited to 40 cars.

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The 2015 Frost Heaves Rally Will Be Held On March 14, 2015

One of the Rites of Spring in the rallying community in the northeast USA is the Frost Heaves rally.  In 2014 the Frost Heaves rally was voted “Rally of the Year” in the New England Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) by competitor voting.  The Frost Heaves rally with its early March scheduling is always a crapshoot with respect to the weather.  It could be very spring like, but also I have memories of being a control worker in this rally and having to deal with an 8-inch snow storm during the rally.  You have to be ready for anything.

IMG_4070The Rally Will Start and End At The 104 Diner

The Frost Heaves rally will be held on Saturday, March 14th.  The rally will begin and end in New Hampton, NH at the 104 Diner at 752 Route 104.  Rallymaster Scott Beliveau reports that this rally will challenge teams to follow tulip instructions as they explore approximately 140 miles of central New Hampshire back roads.  Expert teams will be challenged to stay on course and on time.  Novices are welcome and should have no problem following the tulip instructions.   This rally may not be suitable for all cars, especially lowered cars.  Paved and unpaved roads are used, but hopefully the competitors will not be able to tell any difference.  Mud and frost heaves may further add to the challenge of the rally.  No summer tires allowed; winter rated tires strongly suggested.

IMG_4094Be Ready For All Road Conditions

For additional information contact the rallymaster, Scott Beliveau via email at  the following address:  Scott can be reached by telephone at 603.455.2791

Click this file for the entry form: 2015 Frost Heave Entry form

Click this file for the General Instructions: 2015-Frost-Heaves-Generals


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Save The Date: Northeast Rally Club Spring Rally To Be On May 15 – 17, 2015

On the weekend I got a message from Bob Bryan, President of the The Northeast Rally Club about their 2015 spring rally.  This year it will be held from May 15 to 17 in Millville, New Jersey.

Mercedes-Benz 560SL 1988 (2)

The 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL That Harald von Langsdorff & I Used To Win The SOP Class In The Northeast Rally Club’s Spring Rally In 2009

In the next couple of weeks I should have more details about the rally and information will be available on the Northeast Rally Club website:

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A 1936 Ford Rally Car

Recently I was looking at the website for Rally Preparation Services Limited which is one of the top rally preparation shops for endurance rallies in the UK.  They had prepared a Datsun 240Z for the Historique Monte Carlo Rallye that I was interested in.  While looking at some of the rally projects that Rally Preparation Services has been working on, I noticed a 1936 Ford five-window coupe that they were working up for the Road To Mandalay which is currently underway.

This car, which is show below, is currently owned by Jim and Tanya Clarke of the UK, but the Florida license plate on the car below suggests that the car originally came from the USA.

1936 Ford Rally car (2)

Jim Clarke/Tanya Clarke’s 1936 Ford Coupe At Rally Preparation Services Limited’s Shop

The 1936 Fords, especially the coupes have always been popular because of their attractive styling.  Also the famous Ford flathead V8 engine delivered good power for its time and with the V8 exhaust there is a rumbling sound that is always pleasant.

Ford Coupe 1936 (1)

Standard 1936 Five-Window Coupe

In 1936 the Fords were powered by a 221 cubic inch (about 3.6 liters) V8 engine that produced 85 horsepower at 3,800 rpm.  The vents along the hood were important as Ford was having some overheating problems with their cars.  The 1936 Fords also had an increased cooling system capacity and slightly larger front grille than the 1935 models in an attempt to improve the engine cooling.

Ford Coupe 1936 (4)

Despite The Large Trunk The Rear Wheel Is Mounted Outside

The interior of the Ford Coupe is not spacious but the trunk space provides room for the rally competitors to store tools, parts, and luggage needed for long distance rallies.  The flat dashboard provides a good surface for mounting navigation equipment and any other needed supplemental guages.

Ford Coupe 1936 (5)

Simple Interior With A Floor-Mounted Three-Speed Transmission

It is interesting that the rear window can be opened up which when combined with a front windshield that can be opened and the door windows provides for a well ventilated interior.

Ford Coupe 1936 (8)

Opening Rear Window Helps To Cool The Car’s Interior

The Ford model lineup for 1936 included a surprising number of model variants.  I have included a listing of the models, the 1936 prices, and production numbers.  As can be seen from the production numbers the five-window coupe was one of the most popular configurations of the 1936 Ford.

Ford 1936 Model Lineup

Ford’s Model Lineup For 1936

My favorite style of the 1936 Ford is the three-window coupe which I have shown below.  These cars are often called “business” coupes, as they were quite popular with the traveling salesmen that crisscrossed the country during those days showing customers their wares.  I am surprised that the three-window coupe was not the lowest priced model, but it appears that the three-window coupe only came in Deluxe trim.  The rear fender skirts shown on the coupe below were an option.

Ford 1936 3 window

The 1936 Three-Window Coupe Is Particularly Attractive

The picture below shows the Clarke 1936 Ford ready to participate in the Road To Mandalay Rally after some improvements by Rally Preparation Services.  It appears to be a very rugged car ready for the rough roads of southeast Asia.

1936 Ford Rally Car

The Jim Clarke/Tanya Clarke 1936 Ford Ready For The Road To Mandalay

As I noted, the Road to Mandalay rally is currently underway. For information about that rally check out the website for the Endurance Rally Association at

To see some of the other cars that Rally Preparation Services are working on check out their website at


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19 Capitales Historico Rally Overview

As I mentioned briefly before, I am working with one of the teams that will be competing in this year’s 19 Capitales Historico rally that will be held in early March in Uruguay.  As part of that work, I have prepared a detailed report outlining how the rally works with respect to the competition aspects and I have provided some suggested techniques, ideas, and also loaned equipment that should provide the team with the opportunity to improve their scores.

The following are some extracts from my report that perhaps some rally competitors will find interesting as this rally competition style, while common in South America, is not common in North America.

The 19 Capitales Historico rally is a time-speed-distance rally that takes place over a five-day period throughout the country of Uruguay.  It is called the 19 Capitales Historico rally as the rally route goes through the capital cities of all 19 provinces of Uruguay and the “Historico” part comes from the limitation that the cars can not be newer than 1981.

The other major limitation in this rally is that the competitors are essentially limited to using the standard odometer that came with the car, but there is no limit on the clocks used or the calculation methodology.  The times to the control points are measured and scored to 1/100 second.  In order to run near the front of the field, the teams need to have an average error from perfect time in the range of 0.10 to 0.20 seconds.

To illustrate some of the issues facing the rally competitors, I have copied some of the pages from the 2014 Day One Route Book.  On these copies I have added some notes in red font to help explain the meaning of the instructions in the Route Book.

Day 1 2014 Route Book Cover

Day 1 Route Book Cover From The 2014 19 Capitales Historico Rally

As would be expected the route book is written in Spanish, but as the instructions are illustrated with “tulip” diagrams, the route instructions are not too difficult to follow.

The route instructions provide the target average speeds, a total distance traveled, and a target time.  The rally is generally made up of a series of “transit zones” and time control zones.  While the general location of the time controls is provided, the exact location of the time control is not provided.

The key times provided in the Route Book are based on a rally time which has at its origin each competitor’s out time.  This rally time is used throughout the day.

In the transit sections, the competitors are given the approximate distance to an instruction (to a truncated 1/10 kilometer) and the target rally time (to a truncated minute) to that route instruction.  These two pieces of information keep the rally competitors and the overall rally moving at the proper speed.  This is illustrated in the following page from the Route Book, along with some notes in red font that I have added.

Book Sample 2.1

Setting The Rally Time And Timing In A Transit Zone

The competitors follow the route in a transit zone and the transit zone will end at the beginning of a Control Leg.  The competitors are provided with the target rally time that they are to start the Control leg.  The competitors are also told to reset their trip odometer to 0.0 at the beginning of the Control Leg.  An example of this is shown in the following page from the Route Book.

Book Sample 5.1

Roue Instructions And Timing During A Control Leg

The rally competitors are provided with a speed and times to pass specific locations.  Usually near the end of the Control Leg, there will be a specific Control Zone location where the general location of the timing line will be placed.  In the page below, note that this Control Zone starts at route distance 11.775 kilometers at rally time 7:27:04.27.

Book Sample 6.1

Route And Timing Instructions In a Control Zone

The page from the Route Book shown below shows that the Control Zone ends at the route instruction at approximate distance 30.7.  At that point the competitors are on a transit again to get to the start of the next Control Leg at approximate distance 53.8 at rally time 7:59:00.  This pattern continues throughout the rally.

Book Sample 7.1

Route Instructions Showing the End Of One Control Zone And A Transit To The Start Of The Next Control Leg

This brief review presents a general view of the competition aspects of the 19 Capitales Historico.  Remember that the competitor’s time at the timing lines are measured to the 1/100 second, so precision driving and navigation/timing are needed to do well.

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I Will Be Returning To The Baden Classic In 2015

I am pleased that Harald von Langsdorff has asked me to be his navigator again for the Baden Classic rally.  This will be the fifth time that I will be able to take part in this event.  It would have been the sixth time, but the first time that Harald asked me to navigate for him in this rally, the great volcanic ash cloud from Iceland shut down flights into Germany so I had to stay at home and miss the rally.


The rally will be held over two days in April in the Black Forest area of Germany with some possible rally distance in France as well.  I have always enjoyed the route and all of the places where the rally stops are interesting.


Break In The Action In 2014

Harald will be driving his white 1958 Mercedes-Benz 220S cabriolet that is shown above in the picture taken during a morning break in 2014.  The rally will be held a couple of weeks earlier than it was last year, so I hope that the weather once again allows us to compete with the top down.

Harald & I have usually finished near the top of our class, but this year the allowable years in our class has extended from before 1965 cars to before 1971 cars.  This will increase the car count in our class and the newer cars added to the class will have good performance in the test sections.  Our car is one of, if not the oldest car competing in the rally.


This Rally Attracts Some Interesting Cars

I will have a little more about this rally as the date of the rally nears.  For more information you can check out the event website at

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