|Prior Year Coverage|
The 2006 STPR - Racing the Weather
Another year, another successful STPR gone by. With our Nikons and rain gear in hand, ConceptCarz.com made another trip to the Grand Canyon countryside to continue its annual Rally-America, STPR coverage.
Every year, seems like we always have to compete against the weather. Sometimes we luck out and unfortunately sometimes we don't. This year mimicked last year, with a lot of rain leading up to the start, but a welcoming sun peaked through to provide for a tolerable morning, noon, and night stage spectating.
We arrived at 'The Green' around 8:30am. As the rain tapered off, cars were rolling and checking in at the entrance to park at their designating starting positions. We always have to do our planning Saturday morning early, since the schedule of events is only available at that time. Over our scanner, we also learned that the 'Subaru Splash' was cancelled due to high water. Using this knowledge to our advantage, we quickly drove to the 90-degree turn - spectating point at Aseph. Every year it seems the rules get tighter & tighter. This unfortunate action requires us to remain further back, limiting our view. I understand the liability issues, but by 2010, we will have to get there by 3:00am and observe a 100-yard safety-distance between the road and us.
At Aseph, many interesting incidents have occurred, for example a rally car rolling off the bridge. We all want excitement at the races, but of course never want anybody to get hurt. We happened to witness a unique situation this year; I don't think we have ever seen that many rally cars lined up on the Aseph turn as did at this rally stage. Rumor has it, a rally car that was in an earlier accident forced them to restart the stage. This would work out great for those spectators like us, which decided to stick it out. Our reward would allow us to watch them re-run those same cars back through the stage.
After Aseph was finished, we headed back to the start to photograph the last remaining vehicles that were in preparation for the night run. Some had parts thrown all over the pavement and sidewalks, others, seemed like they never even touched the gravel.
Twenty Red Bulls later, finishing up our night was the late 12-Mile run. It's always fun watching rally cars scream through the forest in the dark. If you're lucky, you can even make out the shape of your favorite rally car. Once again, the weather held off perfectly for us to enjoy a long, but great day of racing.
Thanks to Kyle McMullen and Corry Lino for event coverage.
|Prior Year Coverage|