After a long, hard winter everyone was definitely ready for spring. The problem was spring was refusing to emerge. Rally events got postponed, and then run as winter events. We were getting nervous as May 3 approached, because we had no backup plan. This was going to run as a spring event. Fortunately, the sun finally emerged, and Saturday turned out to be a perfect day, with scattered clouds and highs in the 60s.
Seventeen cars gathered at Dunn's Imports in Middleton WI, ranging from late-model Camaros to a 1973 Plymouth Duster. BMWs outnumbered Subarus, for once. While we awaited the start, competitors admired the selection of exotic cars and Moto Guzzi motorcycles in the shop. Jason Dunn, our host and fellow competitor, provided a continental breakfast to help folks get in the mood. After a short rally school, teams were off at 11:00 a.m. on their seven-hour journey.
Rallymaster Fred Rosevear provided a 200-mile course that wound through the ‘driftless’ area west of Madison. It is a region stretching in a rough triangle from Madison, to Lacrosse, to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where ancient glaciers did not cover the land and grind down the hills. There are deep valleys and steep hillsides.
The roads are narrow and follow the terrain up and down through the many small canyons. Nothing is straight. The event had longer transit zones, followed by short timed 'stages'. The timed sections, usually a couple of miles, were chosen to be the twistiest roads available. The speeds were set from 38-45 mph, and teams needed to be alert to maintain them.
Work is being done to establish a local rally program in Milwaukee Region and a loyal group of regulars has started to form.
When new folks come out, the goal is for them to enjoy the rally as much as find the route and checkpoints. Fred's course was rock solid. The event kept to its timetable as everyone arrived at the finish line just before 6:00 p.m., as promised.