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US Rally - Gorman Ridge Rally Preview


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LEBEC, Aug. 4, 2012: The Gorman Ridge Rally, presented by Subaru Western Region, is the third event in the 2012 United States Rally Championship. Taking place Saturday, Aug. 25, the rally celebrates its 22nd anniversary. Gorman is also the fifth event in the California Rally Series.

As traditional forest stage rallies slowly began to fade into obscurity in many parts of the U.S., Gorman's flexibility in venue continues to provide both a challenging and exciting course inside the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area in Lebec, Calif. The event's headquarters will be at the Holiday Inn Express in Lebec.

Building on the success and positive competitor feedback from previous years' events, the course will once again use those stages. The route is all dirt road surfaces, which are generally smooth and hard packed with occasional rough or sandy spots. There are always a fair number of washouts and waterbars.

Stage rallying, or rally racing, is often defined as "real cars, on real roads, going real fast." It is a form of auto racing that takes place on closed public or private roads in modified production or specially built road-legal vehicles. A co-driver, or navigator, has a set of incremental instructions he or she reads to the driver. Teams follow a point-to-point format of stages that make up the rally, leaving the start of each stage at regular intervals. Victory is claimed, using a combination of skill and speed, to the team who finished with the lowest overall time. Competitors are divided into classes based on factors such as power train and engine size. However, it is more than just the team and their cars-it is a family, a community of many dedicated people work together. Rally involves competitors, service crews and volunteer workers.

For many years Gorman drivers navigated the roads inside the Angeles National Forest, until the event's permit application renewal was denied. Organizer Ray Hocker hopes the rally can return to the forest roads in the near future.

"We are really happy with the relationship we've built through the many years with the staff and administration at Hungry Valley," Hocker said. "We were a good forest user and had a perfect safety record for over 30 years. Every year we did thousands of dollars of road upkeep and repair on the forest roads."

Gorman Ridge Rally is infamous for its barbecue. This year it will be during the rally's mid-point and provided by the local Boy Scouts. Post-event beer is provided by Karl Strauss Brewing Company.

The event also features live scoring, presented by RallyData.com, available through the event's website.

As an added bonus, for those who want to follow the event's social media efforts, there will be live text-based updates, using a custom, proprietary application aptly called Live Text as well as the other popular methods. Facebook members can find us at Gorman Rally, and follow @gormanridgerally on Twitter. To tie this all together, visit the event's news blog at Gorman Rally Wordpress.