2007 SEASON CHAMPIONSHIPS:
RALLY AMERICA Northwest Region
Championship, Open Class and Overall
SEMA Show Las Vegas October 2007
Primitive Team of Ben Trujillo and Paul Eklund (along with
Kyle Heacock and Scott Huhn of Black Sun Racing Services)
SCCA RallyCross National Finals Hastings, Nebraska October 2007
made the 3300 mile round trip journey to MPH (Motorsports
Park Hastings) to not only compete in the RallyCross
but to also design one of the courses. He had trouble
with the car (a sweet gold, turbo charged Forester) so it
did not run up to parbut he finished 6th on the day and 3rd in the overall
championship. His course was challenging, and made
more so by the soft
soil that was not compacted as anticipated. But
everyone stayed on their wheels with a few on-the-fly course
Primitive Wins Mt Hood Rally!! Hood
River, OR. Oct. 13th, 2007
Exiting the R3 [down], the car accelerated hard as we crossed the 150 yards of straight away to the "ST/Cr 150 [! JMP maybe]" call. The gravel hammered away at the bottom of the car with the Subaru AWD system and STi active differential working to get power to the forest road. Approaching the crest in fifth gear the boost began to climb as the engines' revs approached the sweet spot; as the crest came nearer the crowd of spectators became visible behind the trees - fists pumping and faces showing their screams of approval; the gravel began to roar as it tore at the underbody protection on the Primitive WRX/STi. The crest passed under the car, Paul kept the throttle pinned to the floor and the road fell away - the right front of the car lifting with the increasing engine torque. The gravel noise was replaced by silence and the fans screams became audible as we raced through the sky, the previously invisible road opening fully to view in front and below us. The car settled back onto the road and the 150 yards quickly passed as we slid sideways through the next L6> into [brake] L5 [dn] combination - the cacophony of the gravel mixed with the slapping of roadside brush pulling at the car returned as Paul settled back into the rhythm of piloting the rally car across special stage 5 of this past weekends Mt Hood Rally. We finished the 12.95 miles stage over a half a minute better than any of the other 22 entrants with a time of 15 minutes 39 seconds. As we transited to the next stage, Paul turned and with a severely sadistic grin said "THAT was a bit spooky, huh?" Um yeah, Paul - now stop smiling so much was my only thought. It was just as spooky the second time through as well [we ran a 15:21 on that pass]..
The 'maybe' portion of the notes was a bit unnecessary in hindsight - it was a given that we'd be in the air over that crest - it's only a matter of how much and how well you'll land [and assuming you've done all your prep right you are reducing the risk even more]. There was no surprise to either of us other than how hard ones stomach resists as gravity pulls hard to get you back to the road. Mt. Hood this year became the first northwest event to allow competitors to 'recce' the stages and create their own course notes. We have done this in Canada in the past with marginal results; we improved somewhat this time around and were pleased to have been able to give it another try [of course, we also found we have many areas that need improvement]. In essence, the organizers allow you to drive the stages at 30 mph twice; you write notes about the corners the first time through and check them the second pass. It can be a bit tricky translating the severity of a corner taken at 30 mph relative to rally speed. You end up with a better guide to the road that way - as long as you still use it as a guide.
As usual, a few cars found some trees - including a nicely prepared BMW 2002 [all smiles, no pain] - a couple ran into some mechanical difficulties, one lost her hood pins on stage [with obvious results] and another actually neglected to note the road between the Flying Finish and the time control resulting a deep over the edge journey after completing the stage. For Primitive - we had a great event. Well driven, clean and tidy, no risks. The Subaru did not balk once; we filled the log book with our 45th event [and passed the 17k mile mark on the ODO for the once new 2002 chassis!]; we resolved the shifting woes between the events and had no issues there; the weather played into our hands and made for some exceptional sites of Mt Hood - however, fleeting they may have been at speed; our PIAA lights turned the night into day for that last few night stages [yep, that's right - rally happens in the dark too! We not only run the racing pod lights with custom Primitive rings but utilize PIAA aftermarket lamps as replacements for OEM for increased output with no increased draw - check with Paul you subie owners!].
After the ten stages with nearly 78 special stage miles, Primitive came out on top by over 3 minutes and 30 seconds finishing first in class and first overall as well as setting 9 top stage times. After some time corrections, second overall went to the PGT entry of Tabor/Poirier [2002 Subaru WRX]. Mager/Dumaoal [1991 Subaru Legacy Sport] finished 3rd after putting together a great follow-up performance to their Wild West [click link for AWESOME high-res photos including a series with a Subaru wagon battling an off-road embankment] showing, even though Miller was suffering from the flu all day. Fourth, a classically prepared 1983 Audi UR Quattro piloted by Victor Bartosek, was only 5 seconds behind [that with a 36 second road penalty for being late to a time control]. The G2 guys had the most fun and shared the largest entry with 10 of the 2-wheel drive small displacement cars [honda's and VW rabbits/golfs make up this class] vying for top honors.
The weather was super, the people were fantastic, the night stages were unique for modern US rally and the colors around Hood River were blinding. It was a great end to the 2007 Primitive Rally season! We appear to be in a great position to take top Northwest Regional honors with Rally America again this year and will be tight for the Pacific Northwest Championship again as well!
The 2008 season of national events has been announced on the RA website so take a look and mark an event or two on your calendars to volunteer, spectate or otherwise experience! Primitive will most likely be at the local Oregon and Washington ones among the rest of the regionals we run!
As per normal don't forget our friends at:
PIAA [Portland headquartered!]
We also need to THANK our intrepid volunteer crew folks who have helped us through the season:
And all the other volunteers that make rally safe[r] and fun!! THANK YOU for the great season and have a great series of holidays!
More exceptional rally event photos: http://kylefunsten.com/rally/
J e f f P r i c e
Wild West Rally Pomeroy, WA
Primitive storms Pomeroy!!
By Jeff Price
Like the front blowing in across the grain fields of eastern
Not fearing the new roads or
impending weather, 23 competitors converged on the town
to battle for supremacy of the gravel tracks among the
wheat stubble fields. Smooth roads with wide vistas of
Primitive Subaru WRX/STi
and preparing for technical scrutineering Friday
evening, the crew was met with colder than anticipated
temps and higher then typical winds, throw in some
horizontal rain and it looked to be an interesting rally
weekend. Coming off the first run of the Press Stage
Paul dejectedly admitted that the shifting gremlin from
The Saturday start order was published and had the Primitive crew in the number one starting position - leaving us to sweep the wide graveled roads and set the tracks for all those down the start order. Sometimes an impediment, we knew this would insure we had no dust issues if the roads dried as the contest progressed.
Leg 1 started Saturday with cool temps, clouds and wind but cleared and turned beautiful - and the roads north of Pomeroy were perfect. Not wet but not dusty. We negotiated the first stage at an easy pace - not knowing exactly what the roads were going to hand us. The Primitive Subaru managed a third fastest time; it was all good from that point. Gaining confidence with each stage and realizing the rumors were true - these roads were glorious - we continued to set a rally finishing pace. At the first service break after three gravel stages, we had gained the overall lead.
Helped along the way by some carnage [two competitors met the end of their rally within 2 miles of the start of the first stage at a tricky intersection - the crumpled hood of the Wild Irish Motorsport Team was donated to the local Up & Up Bar and Grill as a momento], some mechanical failures and excessive dust on the last stage slowing the following competitors [the ever-present breezes had died when the sun settled allowing dust to hang in the canyons and draws], the screaming yellow Primitive STi forged through the remaining 7 special stages to take the Leg 1 win by 2 minutes and 21 seconds on the 66 miles of farm and ranchland roads.
Leg II [6 special stages at 36 miles due to a shortened stage] started with a chill in the air and some thin clouds tracing across the skies - wind and rain was forecast to arrive at the first service break but it did not materialize until we pulled into the final time control of the event. That perfect timing meant the special stages of the day went off without a hitch. Several of the previous days withdrawals were able to re-enter for the second day meaning 18 crews were present to test the ridge roads south of historic Pomeroy. Treated again to fast and flowing stage roads the Primitive Team added 5 more stage wins and ended the event having set 14 of 16 top stage times and taking the overall win for the weekend.
driven much less seen before. Such was the reaction of the majority of the local residents who were all new to the rally game and gave up their time and effort to support the event - it was a friendly and exciting introduction!
Next event is the
Mt Hood Rally in
Don't forget our friends at:
Finally, the Rally World
lost one of their best a few weeks ago - 1995 World
Colin McRae and his
5-year old son were killed when the helicopter he was
piloting went down on his home estate in
Cascade Friday Niter TSD Rally Series
Portland, OR July 20th
Paul and navigator Vicki Vohs tried their best in the Unlimited Class, but made a big navigational error and finished dead last in class and almost DFL. Can't win them all... But just wait for the Triple Threat Rally Weekend in August!
SCCA Regional RallyCross
Hillsboro, OR June 24th
Paul took a hard fought 3rd in the Modified AWD class and leads the series championship, just ahead of Primitive Rally School instructor Scott Kovalik.
No Alibi Rally
Shelton, WA May18-20th
The race started at the capitol city of Olympia, continuing on through Shelton and on into the Olympic Peninsula. The Skookum Stage II was particularly treacherous, with a tricky downhill approach to an acute left turn up-hill. Many of the top teams missed the corner and had to back out.
"Crushing May Flowers" SCCA National/Divisional RallyCross
Hillsboro, OR May 5-6th
This SCCA event makes its first appearance in the Northwest. After traveling to Thunderhill Raceway last year to contest the San Francisco Region's National event (took second in SA driving a bone stock white 2002 Subaru TS wagon behind a prepped STi), the team was eager to compete in a National event closer to home and worked hard to make sure the RallyCross happened. Special thanks to Ben Bradley, Ben Trujillo, the HALES and the TABORS for getting this event off-the-ground and a good success. It was a 2-day format with 2 practice laps and 5 timed laps on Saturday's long course and 4 timed laps on Sunday's shorter course (but combined with a REGIONAL event. THIS LINK will take you to a GPS image of Sunday's course (it goes counter clockwise). Also see a neat satellite image of the field where the events occur CLICK HERE.
Oregon Trail Rally
Portland, OR April 20-22th
This Rally-America event winds through the forests outside of Portland. The course if brutal, only 46 of the 75 starters finished, with the rest falling victim to the demanding course and to mechanical problems. The sometimes wet weather left the roads very slippery, but the Primitive Rally team of Paul Eklund and co-driver Jeff Price managed to avoid the perils and finished first in the Regional Rally and 11th in the overall standings.
Read the details in Jeff Price's report.
ARIZONA 1000 Rally (brisk gravel TSD)
Sedona, AZ April 1-6th
The Primitive Rally team of Paul Eklund and Vicki Vohs won 3 out of 5
legs of this 5-day SCCA touring rally that crossed Arizona from
Fountain Hills to Payson to Pine to Cottonwood to Jerome to Crown King
to Williams and ended in Sedona. Despite a rocky first day getting
used to the rally computer and busy nature of the run/work format of
this brisk gravel Time-Speed-Distance rally, they quickly became a
force to be reckoned with driving their Subaru Tribeca with precision
to checkpoint after checkpoint. Their efforts garnered them 2nd
overall just behind the reigning National Champion team of Fred
Mapplebeck and Jack von Kaenel in an Audi Quattro. The rally had 22 to
37 hidden way points EACH DAY along the scenic route, often hidden in
ravines, behind bushes or after a tight corner. Timing was to the
100th of a minute, so teams needed to stay EXACTLY on-time each step
of the way. On the 3rd day, the Primitive Team scored a 29 meaning
they averaged less than 1 point per checkpoint (i.e. they were LESS
than a second off the perfect time to each of the 35 hidden
checkpoints throughout that day).
The Subaru performed beautifully throughout the event with a smooth ride and precise handling on the often unpaved roads.
Teams came from across the US to compete in this classic rally which began as the "MG Car Club 1000" in 1953 in New York and celebrated its 51st running this year, moved to its new home in Arizona. There are 3 classes (Equipped, Limited, and Seat-of-the-Pants). Driving hundreds of miles each day and staying on time is a challenge, dealing with the rocky, twisty nature of the roads, tire slippage and even heat of the day -- all of these factors can cause deviations in odometer readings. Navigators work hard to take readings and make adjustments to keep their drivers on time. They have to deal with sandy river bottoms, river crossings, rocks, steep hills and occasional wildlife while not going too fast or too slow. While challenging, it is a safe and rewarding activity for car enthusiasts and adventurers of all kinds. Find out more at these links:
Results page : http://www.retiredaz.4t.com/rally/1000.htm#Results
AZ 1000 Rally General Info and Complete History: http://www.retiredaz.4t.com/rally/1000.htm
Tombstone Tour Rallies
Tucson, AZ March 2-4, 2007
R.Dale Kraushaar and Paul Eklund soaked up a little Southern Arizona sun in this thinly-populated event, but went home with little else than a deepening tan.
DOO WOP 2007
Jeff Price and Paul have worked very hard all winter to freshen the car for the 2007 season. They struggled with some late nights in the last weeks to get the new turbo system into the car and functioning properly. Dyno charts looked good, but with zero time on the car, they headed up to the rally. Wet and blustery conditions met them and they struggled to have the confidence to let it all hang out. The following video shows how tricky it could be just 5 miles into the rally. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5trPo2M4CM
Luckily as can be seen, the team kept the car on the road, had only a few minor issues (replaced and bled brakes and fought a balky Fuel Pressure Regulator) and finished 3rd in class each day. The hightlight was a record setting 3:06 on the 4 mile long, paved Blue Slough stage showing the car has potential to be a winner (THANKS PDX TUNING!) now it is up to the driver
BC February 17-18th, 2007
|Rally Worker's Awards Banquet Shelton, WA January 27th, 2007 Primitive was on hand to honor all the workers that give so much of their time and energy for the sport at the new meeting room at Little Creek, complete with 2 jumbtron TV's showing WRC rally clips and Mike Schmeling's great videos. Primitive came home with another PRG Championship trophy for the OPEN CLASS for the 2006 season, beating the brother's Hintz by one point.|
Central American Recce Nosara, Costa Rica Jan 10-21, 2007
Toured Costa Rica from San Jose up to Arenal Volcano and into the Monteverde
Cloud Forest over to the Pacific Coast
at Playa Guiones in Nosara. Great experience and pix
and report to follow.