Gorman Ridge Rally 2012 highlights!

September 12th, 2012 by

Our highlights of Gorman Ridge Rally 2012:

Our favorite stage at Gorman Ridge; Took the stage win on this one!

Trying not to fall off any cliffs Pikes Peak style at Gorman Ridge Rally:

This is what it looks like carving up mountain passes at night…in the dust… Thanks to Marra Estep co-driving, we were saved from impending demise waiting for us on the other side of the drop-offs!

Gorman Ridge Rally 2012 recap

September 12th, 2012 by

Gettin’ it done!

This rally was all about getting my head back in the game. With rny rallysprint behind me, i concentrated on the desert trails, and mountain passes that make up Gorman Ridge. Wow what a difference from forests on the east coast! On the desert trails, we got into a groove blasting down the faster corners.

Gorman Ridge had some of the tightest, gnarliest roads i’ve ever experienced. This was quite the contrast to the flat-out, open, desert roads I had stereotyped for desert rallies. The elevation changes were amazing. Just imagine powering up a 45 degree increasing incline…except the top is a completely blind turn where going too fast would result in literally jumping off the side of a mountain.

As we went through recce for the Powerline and Wheatfield stages, I quickly realized that Gorman’s mountain passes were no joke. These were the kind of stages where an off would mean rolling down the side of a mountain, Pike’s Peak style . I wanted to stop driving multiple times just to take the time to appreciate the view.

…and lift off…

First third of the rally, we were neck and neck with the experienced team of Bill Holmes and Sean Gallagher in a completely ridonculous SVT Raptor! To give you an idea of the spread, neither Holmes, Hoche-Mong, or I were more than, on average, 6 seconds apart from each other.

But as the rally progressed, we knew we needed a solid finish at Gorman to line us up for the United States Rally Championship. We dialed it back a bit, focusing on a consistent pace.

Unfortunately, around stage 12, it was looking like we might have dialed it back too much, as the team of Psara/Fahring overtook us for 3rd in an open class AWD car. That set us up quite nicely for a battle on the last three night stages. All three of the stages involved carving up the side of a mountain, at night; short technical turns with huge drop-offs – my favorite!

Despite being at a significant power disadvantage, we were able to pilot our Production AWD evo and best Psara/Fahring on two of the last 3 stages. This allowed us to finish first out of all AWD entries!

Photo credit: castleislandphotography.com

Special thanks to Laengworks Racing for helping us to make this happen! Thanks to Unlimited Signs for supporting our Vinyl needs!

Like what you see? Hit the like button our our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/blackboxrally



Black Box rally team finishes 1st in AWD at 2012 Gorman Ridge rally

August 28th, 2012 by

Just a small update until i get a chance to do a full write-up later this week.

We did it. With Laengworks Racing’s help, we finished 1st in Production AWD class and 3rd overall. It was a great start for our first west coast rally. This was a fantastically organized rally; the live updates/media updates were a real treat.

Special thanks to all the volunteers that worked the event. Thanks to all the Gorman competitors for welcoming us and helping us feel at home 🙂

We have some nice pictures from the event; As a teaser – wide-open desert roads, awesome; Powerline/Wheatfield; holy jumps batman, and carving up mountain passes where a mistake meant rolling down the side of a cliff Pike’s Peak style?! Wow!

An example of what did not happen at Gorman Ridge rally.

Black Box rally team readies for Gorman Ridge rally

August 21st, 2012 by

On August 25th 2012, Black Box rally team will be participating in the California Rally Series by carving up the 120 combined miles of gravel roads at the Gorman Ridge rally in Lebec, CA.  This will be the team’s first west coast rally.

At the beginning of the month, it was announced that Rally Delaware was cancelled, leaving the team with no rally action for the month of August. “We had folks on the team that had already taken time off, excited to get back rallying since the Rally NY RallySprint. We weren’t prepared to end our rally season yet, especially on a down note, and I noticed Gorman Ridge was being run the same weekend. It was a long shot (no pun intended), but I immediately picked up the phone to see what we could make happen” Driver Alvin Fong said.

One of those calls was to Aaron Laeng at Laengworks. Laengworks, located in Hesperia, CA had a couple rally-prepared evos ready to go. Aaron Laeng recalled:

“When we got the call from Alvin asking if we had a car to rent for Gorman, the answer was an easy YES. Within 24 hours of the first phone call we had made the deal. We look forward to working with Alvin & the Black Box rally team”

Alvin Fong also had this to say:

“Laengworks was extremely accommodating and went out of their way to put together a package to help support all our rally needs. The odds were looking pretty dismal, trying to get the logistics of shipping a car, tools, spares; it was a nightmare. After talking to Aaron, all we have to do now is basically show up and go racing :)”

In addition to rally rentals and race support services, Laengworks also provides full race preparation, fabrication, and performance modification services. You can find more information about Laengworks here: Facebook – Laengworks

New to the team for this rally is Marra Estep, who will be co-driving. As the 2009 and 2010 USRC Champion Co-Driver, Marra will be bringing her expert experience to help the team through the event. Marra exclaimed:

“I was so excited when I got the message from Alvin. I definitely need to thank Aaron at Laengworks for making this happen.  I am looking forward to helping out the team and introducing the East Coaster to our West Coat stages.”

Alvin Fong went on to say: “I still can’t believe this is happening. Just a few weeks ago, our rally season looked like it had come to a premature end. I have to thank the rally organizers, Laengworks, our crew, and all our supporters out there for pushing us to get back up on our feet, and helping us to overcome all the challenges to make it out to the event!”

If you are in the Los Angeles area, come out to Gorman Ridge rally to check out Black Box and all the rest of the rally teams. Otherwise, live results can be checked here: http://www.gormanridgerally.com. As always, we’ll post updates throughout the event on facebook: www.facebook.com/blackboxrally.