|It was a cold but relatively
dry TBird this year, with no new snow on the route
during the two weeks before the event. This left
some of the sections bare gravel, instead of snow,
and many others more icy than snowy.
After a short, but heavily checkpointed (7 CPs
in 20 km) loop around Battle Creek, the rally
headed up to Green Lake, where we did have good
snow cover, and a few car-shaped indentations
in snowbanks! Dean Kokko and Rod Kraushaar, of
Portland Oregon, managed to get their Mazda 323
GTX backwards and on top of the outside snowbank
in one icy left-hander, losing over 10 minutes
and one driving light in the process, moving them
from 6th place to 24th. From there, we headed
up to Canim Lake, and to the dinner stop in 100
After dinner, we went through Spokin Lake, also
well snow-covered and with high snowbanks. The
middle part of this section was narrow and twisty
enough to be likened to a luge track, and trapping
a few teams.
On the second day, Dog Creek had some very icy
sections, with several cars spinning but not getting
badly stuck. In the second half, the ignition
points in Teresa Davenport's Saab Sonett broke,
leaving her stranded until the sweep crew arrived.
The lower half of this section was snowy enough
to trap the Nispel/Storer Celica in a snowbank
for a good while.
Overall, it was a tight contest, with the Toyota
Celica All-Trac of John Nispel and Ed Storer,
the Audi Coupe Quattro of Peter Linde and Satch
Carlson, and the Subaru Legacy of John Fouse and
Dennis Wende running very close, never more than
5 points between them, until Sunday noon, when
the Celica planted itself in a snowbank near Jesmond,
losing over 10 minutes and dropping from third
place to 20th. That left the Audi and the Subaru
entering the last leg tied with 26 points. Peter
"Sgt. Sideways" Linde managed to lose one second
less than John Fouse on the twisty bits of Deadman-Cache
Creek road, and squeeze out the win.
Six novice teams braved the journey this year,
including several first-timers, including Grant
Lindsay and Daryl Leiski, of Prince George BC,
who won the novice class in their diesel VW Jetta,
and managed a very creditable 10th overall.
First of the five historic entries, and 5th overall,
were Martin Wilson and John Rapson, in their Porsche
911S, who came second historic in 1996. Mike Welland
and Gord Passmore, in their Volvo 122S, held a
slight lead over the Porsche up to the day 1 dinner
stop, but lost points in a section nicknamed "the
luge run", and the Porsche led from there on.
At one point, both of the Cortinas (Viskov/Malcom
Muir, and Wilkinson/Matthews) missed a Bear Right
instruction and turned down the wrong road within
sight of eachother. Each realized their mistake
about the same time and desperately tried to turn
around and get back on route ahead of the other.
This was the first event for the Cortina of Viskov
and Muir, and it broke its alternator bracket
three times on the way to the start. It's always
something of a miracle that so many historics
actually make it through.
The reasons for the DNFs were as follows: Car
1, Gary Webb and John Kiesela, abandoned us after
the first day, to the call of the North. Car 26,
Pavel Vergera and Eva Villasenor, retired due
to navigator distress, though Eva spent the second
day navigating a checkpoint crew. Car 12, Teresa
Davenport and Rusty Link, retired after the ignition
points on the Saab broke. The Sonett was fixed
and back on the road by about 7pm.