Black Box featured on unitedstatesrallychampionship.com

November 14th, 2012 by

Photo credit: Christopher Meegan

USRC officially announced Black Box rally team’s Production AWD Championship win for the 2012 season! Congratulations to Marra Estep for her third USRC championship title, Ryan Gates/Ryan Hegel for an amazing initial rally season, and Michel Hoche-Mong for his 2wd campaign this year!

Thanks again to all our family, friends, and fans for coming out to support us at the rallies.

United States Rally Championship, Inc. honored the United States Rally Champions for the 2012 Championship season that concluded a month ago with the final round at Prescott, Arizona…

The second place in AWD goes to Alvin Fong who also won the AWD Production Cup title. Alvin went through the season with three different codrivers but ended the season with Billy Machin with whom he started in 2011. Fong and Machin burst onto the rallying scene in 2011 when they placed narrowly second at their first rally ever – the 2011 International Rally New York. The third place in AWD belongs to Ryan Gates.

Mara Estep is the 2012 United States Rally Champion – Codriver in the AWD Championship. This is the third Championship title for Mara. She won the same title in 2009 and 2010.

Alvin Fong is the winner of the AWD Production Cup Driver title. Paul Willemsen is second and Ryan Gates is third.

Among the AWD Production Cup Codrivers, the title goes to Ryan Hagel with Amber Stacy second and Kathryn Hansen third.

http://www.usrallychampionship.com

Thanks to Christopher Meegan for the amazing shot of us at the RNY RallySprint!

Prescott Rally 2012 highlights!

October 25th, 2012 by

Billy once again put together an excellent compilation of the 2012 Prescott Rally:

Also want to thank Micah Schisel for sending us some external shots of us:


Again, thanks to all the organizers and volunteers that helped make this rally happen, and the spectators at areas A, B, and F for giving us a reason to drift the car around :)

Black Box rally team featured in Gearbox Magazine!

October 25th, 2012 by

Gearbox Magazine publishes an article on Black Box rally team! Among the article features:

  • how we got into stage rally
  • how to make it to the stage this time next year
  • what it took to make our rally dreams a reality.

Enjoy!

Gearbox Magazine: Q&A with 2012 USRC Champion Alvin Fong

Black Box rally team wins USRC Championship Production AWD Cup

October 3rd, 2012 by

Well we did it. With our 1st in Production AWD class/3rd overall finish at Prescott, we clinched the United States Rally Championship Production AWD Cup. Our performance also secured 2nd in the Overall USRC Championship, an impressive feat for an underpowered production class car in a predominantly open class field! A more in-depth recap will be posted later this week. Until then, check out pictures from the 2012 Prescott Rally!

Parc Expose:

Day 1:

Day 2:

Black Box rally team to contend United States Rally Championship in Prescott, AZ

September 21st, 2012 by

(Black Box rally team on their way to taking the overall AWD win at Gorman Ridge Rally)

Black Box driver Alvin Fong is looking to contend the 2012 United States Rally Championship with a solid finish at the upcoming Prescott Rally. Fong and co-driver Billy Machin will challenge the predominantly Open AWD class field of championship contenders in a Laengworks’ Production AWD Evo rally car. A Production AWD car is essentially a stock car with minimal modifications for safety. Despite having significantly less power than their open class competitors, Fong is optimistic about the event: “I think we showed at Gorman Ridge that we could be competitive in a Production class car when we took first in AWD Overall. Especially for Prescott, with the stakes so high, you can be sure that we’re going to drive flat out!”.

Although the team had an almost 200 point lead in the United States Rally Championship going into Prescott, the cancellation of Rally Delaware and International Rally New York caused the organizers to enact a provision in the rules to level the playing field for the final round at Prescott.

This caused the points from one of Black Box rally team’s events, to be dropped. The new standings reflect a 3-way tie for first amongst Black Box rally team, Joseph Burke, and Byron Garth. Undettered, Co-driver Billy Machin said: “Never before has MANKIND been privy to such an event; the coming forth of the fury of THE FONG in this distinguished week’s end will be one of great tribulation, honor, and GLORY. We will wage war with the dirt! We will be as the wind: flowing over the golden sand with constant and persistent subtle force. We will go forth in a stampede of unbridled determination. Fear will not inhibit us. COURAGE will be our counselor. Valor will be our vanguard. We shall SUCCEED.”

This is Black Box rally team’s first full season of stage rally. The team’s first rally was International Rally New York last October 2011, where the duo finished 1st in class and 2nd overall. Since then, the team has taken many class wins in addition to overall AWD wins at this year’s Hyperfest, Gorman Ridge, and Black River Stages.

Prescott rally will take place September 28-29, starting out of Tim’s Subaru in Prescott, AZ. 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the Prescott Rally, a rally known for some of the fastest and longest stage roads and largest elevation changes in US rally. The event consists of approximately 120 miles over 10 stages, and takes place over two days.

You can follow the results of the rally here: http://www.prescottrally.com

Black Box rally team will also be posting live updates on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blackboxrally and twitter: http://twitter.com/blackboxrally.

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.

Rally NY USA 2012 Highlights

May 8th, 2012 by

Billy  helped put together this sweet highlight reel of us at Rally NY USA 2012!

We caught up with Amber after the event, and this is what she had to say:

“Still feeling a bit overwhelmed by the entire Rally New York adventure.  It was an experience to finally be on the other side after being a spectator for many years.  Met a lot of wonderful people and am simply amazed at how friendly and helpful everyone is.  It’s an honor to finally be a part of the rally community.

See you all at the next event!”