FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2002
Contact: John Dillon
E-mail: John @ WidgetRacing.com
Phone: (805) 374-2058
Thousand Oaks, California The Western States Rally Championship (WSRC) announced today that Jim Gill, one of the organizers of the Colorado Cog Rally, has been added to the WSRC board. The board consists of an organizer representative from each western state rally and five additional officers. Current board members and the rallies they represent are Ben Bradley (Oregon Trail), John Forespring (Wild West, Shitepoke, and Reno), Ray Damitio (Doo Wops), Pete Morris (Treeline), Mike Gibeault (Rim of the World), Ray Hocker (Ramada Express), Donna Hocker (Gorman Ridge), Bill Barfoot (Prescott Forest), and new member Gill. The officers include John Dillon (Chairman), Bruce Tabor (Secretary/Treasurer), Trevor Donison (Pointskeeper), Wolfgang Hoeck (Webmaster), and Kristen Tabor (Competitor Liason).
"We've always considered ourselves to be a 'western' state," reported Gill. "I called up John [Dillon] to ask how we might be included in the new series. We've got 25 to 30 new competitors and being a part of this championship would give them a bigger playground without making them commit to a full national season and without having to travel outside the western U.S."
Dillon approached the other WSRC board members with Gill's proposal and found general favor amongst the group. "When the organizers first started talking about a western states championship, they selected the Sports Car Club of America's Southern Pacific and Northern Pacific divisions as a convenient, but arbitrary boundary for their events," recounted the series Chairman. "When Jim approached us, we thought, 'why not?' Now we simply define 'western' as 'west of the Rockies.' If an event pops up in Utah or Idaho, I'm sure we'd give them fair consideration as well."
Before the board approved the addition of Cog to the group, they discussed the ramifications for the competitors. In particular, they considered whether adding Cog to the group would pose a hardship to their club-level rallyists. "First and foremost our series is being developed by and for the 'little guys,' so we're driven to keep their best interests at heart," said Dillon.
"Our initial reaction was that Colorado was too far away from the west coast," he added, "but we made some mileage calculations and realized that if a racer chose to run every event in the series, they'd have to travel only an extra fifty miles on the average. For some of our northwest racers, it's actually a shorter tow to Steamboat Springs than it is to Laughlin or Prescott. Similarly, our L.A. racers are 100 miles closer to Cog than to Shitepoke!"
He also pointed out that even though the series is comprised of all the western state rallies, not all the events will earn championship points each year. The WSRC board is still deciding which events will score points in 2003; they expect to make that announcement by the end of October.
Kristen Tabor offered one vision of what the board is considering: rotating the points-scoring events between the different rallies in the championship. "Running different events every year will mean that competitors get to see events that maybe they wouldn't go to otherwise. Right now it's difficult for our four car team to go to Colorado for a rally. Our limited budget means we can only select certain events. But if it came down to it, do we win a championship or not, we'd go."
The addition of the Cog rally to the Western States Rally Championship strengthens the series and expands the definition of "western" to more commonly recognized boundaries. "We're glad to be a part of the series even if our event doesn't score points in 2003," said the Cog organizer. "The WSRC represents a great way for club rallyists to grow and we're delighted to be included in that growth. It's good for our racers in Colorado and it's good for all our other western competitors."
For more information, visit http://www.wsrally.org