I’m happy to announce that I’ll be out at the Mt. Hood Rally this Saturday providing (hopefully) live-ish stage end reporting! I say live-ish as I don’t have live radio as an option, however I will be recording stage end reactions from the drivers and posting texted quotes. Of course this is all relative to the signal we are able to get in the area, but thanks to the help of rallydata.com of whom I’m working in conjunction with for live texting, we should be able to make it work thanks to their 4G booster antenna. Rallydata.com is providing the live timing and I’ll do my best to post those times as they come up as well.
This is all experimental for OpenPaddock.net right now, but its a good test of what could be done at future events. I can’t thank Mike & Paula Gibeault of rallydata.com enough in how they are letting me jump in and be involved with the timing and scoring team to get this information. Rallydata has already been utilizing live text driver quotes along with their live timing for a while now. Originally it was for friends, family, and service crews that wanted this information so they could prepare for cars returning to the service park, but I’m hoping we can kick it up a notch and have some good driver interviews for the masses. The Gibeault’s have been doing the timing and scoring for CRS (California Rally Series) for a long time, and thankfully make it up north every now and then to help us out.
The Mt. Hood Rally is a regional Rally America event that runs a single road multiple times in both directions over the course of a single day. The “17 Road” is located just south of Hood River in the area where many of the Oregon Trail Rally stages run. This 6.14 mile gravel track encompasses both tight and twisty sections as well as some open high speed areas to give drivers a little bit of everything. You might think repeating the same stage is boring, but what makes rally different from any other sport is how the conditions change after each run. On the first run the opening cars “sweep” the loose gravel off the surface which opens up the firm bedrock underneath that is much faster for both acceleration and braking. As more and more passes complete rocks or even boulders can be pulled out into the driving line and ruts can appear. Conditions become even more challenging when you factor in weather. Although not as technical as a multi-road event, this single road setup also helps novice drivers and co-drivers hone their skills for the future in a real rally setting.
Below is the current running order and entry list. I’ll do my best not to butcher any names when I talk to them this weekend and be sure to follow @openpaddock on Twitter, Facebook, and this web site for updates throughout Saturday.