SCR24/2, PITTSBURGH PA, JUNE 18, 2011
I brought the old Forester out of hibernation after a rest following the WINTR SERIES, heading southwest through the woods, taking the long way on as many dirt roads as I could through northwest Pennsylvania, running the area that used to be the site of the old Happiness Is Sunrise Pro Rally. The roads are more fun in the Forester, celebrating its 100,000-mile birthday, than in my old Datsun (Nissan, for you kids) 510. Note to self: we gotta have a TSD in here.
Mark Johnson, up from GA to drive the Forester the way it should be driven, and defend our win in 2009 on the first SCR, a 24-hour trip to West Virgina by way of Ohio, Maryland and Virgina, then back to Pennsylvania. This year’s version was the first half of the original, trying the golf course method: run the same course, but have different checkpoint locations. This route deserves multiple runs, as it makes use of a bunch of fun little roads in the area.
Mark Johnson/Frank Beyer in a Subaru Forester in the SCR24/2 Rally
Rick Beattie, rally chair, and Justin Connors, the rallymaster, deserve a much better turnout than the five cars that showed up to justify their efforts. That’s a subject for another time, and what we missed in numbers, we made up in quality, if I do say so.
Bruce Gezon/Ron Ferris in the SCR24/2
The course uses a wide range of roads, from barely one-car wide paved stuff to twisty little ups-and-downs through the woods on dirt and crushed stone. We stopped for a trip up an observation tower at the highest spot in Pennsylvania, and, motored by kayakers floating and fishermen wading the rivers down through the valleys.
The following photo was taken by Mark Johnson from the top of the observation tower. Nice view!
View from the Highest Point in Pennsylvania
Dave Harkom/Daniel Harkom’s Saab
Five cars, 27 controls, all through this mix of roads and locations. 135 leg scores, and catch this: 127 of the scores were three or less. Folks, this was competition at the top. We should have opted to run different classes, but, you don’t get many chances to have a field of this quality very often and this was a great way to test our abilities. Fred Mappleback and Jack von Kaenel ruled the rally right from the start and consistently held off the rest of us for a deserving first place, befitting two of the best in contemporary rallying. I’m sorry that we couldn’t generate a better turnout for the Steel Cities crew, who did an admirable job through the night. This was a great test and deserves more support.
Dave Sellers/Janis Ford in a Chevy
Results (all cars Equipped):
1. Mappleback/von Kaenel 18
2. Harkcom/Harkcom 25
3. Gezon/Ferris 36
4. Johnson/Beyer 49
5. Sellers/Ford 69
Note: The car photos used in this report were taken by Rick Beattie. A picture of the Fred Mapplebeck/Jack von Kaenel’s entry will appear in the SCCA magazine “SportsCar”.