i86hotdogs' Wet Hot American RallyCross Event
Exactly one week ago, I woke up to a handful of calls and texts asking, "I saw the forecast. Is the RallyCross event going to get cancelled?". I checked the forecast myself and saw 100% chance of rain Monday-Wednesday, and Friday-Saturday. Typically, one day's worth of rain can suspend an RX event depending on the site conditions. It's hard to run on muddy grass. I became worried immediately. Getting this event together was already two n a half handfuls, and having to delay this one would have killed me.
On Tuesday, I reached out to the site owner about the concern. Explaining the difficulty of running an event like this in these conditions. He responded that the surface does a great job of draining water. The site is packed silica sand with solid sheet rock about 1 foot below it. He claimed the area was dry as a bone. I had to see for myself.
I couldn't make it down to the site until Thursday. But when I pulled in, my jaw dropped.
This was how the site looked that Thursday morning after three days of hard rain and thunderstorms. Not a drop of water in sight. I made the decision to keep the event going for Saturday, despite the forecast calling for rain all day.
Race Day could not have gone better. We had 22 folks register and show up. All were ready to take on the course and the rain. The rain was gentle in the morning as vehicles poured in to the paddock. We had a false sense of optimism thinking it won't get any worse.
It got worse. Halfway through the morning runs, the rain hit us like a ton of bricks. The surface became a little more slippery than before, but still good to run. What we didn't prepare for, though, was the water forming in some of the tracks.
If this were stage rally, the water features formed that day would have been the highlight. But this is a grass roots level of motorsport where some of these cars are folk's daily drivers (guilty). We did the best we could to adjust the course around the deepest puddles formed, but we could only do so much. We did have one Subaru stall after taking in some water, but they were able to recover in the afternoon with no further issues.
The surface material ended up being very forgiving. Ruts were formed, but were easily fixable thanks to the silica sand never getting packed down. We were able to get a full 8 runs for each competitor. It was a learning experience on many levels that day, but that will only make future events run a lot smoother.
Overall, the reception was great from everyone I spoke with. They loved the site, loved the location, and loved the hospitality (half the folks camped on site the night before). The owner loved watching us rip through cones. He was pleased with how we cleaned up post-event. More importantly, told us we are welcome back any time.
Enjoy the photo dump courtesy of Scott Zimmerman
Vondon302 last edited by
I was wondering how this went! I was bummed to not be ready in time (RX7 was not yet back together), but when I saw the weather I was a little less bummed. Looks like a great time, hopefully I can make it to the next one! Doesn't look very damaging of a surface.
Mark Tucker last edited by
@i86hotdogs I think I have to try this sometime....
@mm54 We came across a few chunky rocks, but we did a good job of getting them off the course. We're trying to get an event going in October/November. Stay tuned!
@i86hotdogs You must have enjoyed the bad weather to be trying for october/november
@mm54 We're hoping that the rain won't be there, but we're cool with some flurries
@i86hotdogs I'll keep an eye out for it, but salt precludes the RX7 going out which is the only car I have that I'd bring for such a thing. You may find others have a similar disposition. I'll just hope winter doesn't show up this year!
Shop-Teacher last edited by
@i86hotdogs Congrats on the success! Unfortunately my Rallycross was cancelled due to rain. Rescheduled for this weekend, but I won't be able to go
jminer last edited by
@i86hotdogs That looks like such an awesome day!!!
Also that is a sweet setup where the owner and everyone else had fun. Hopefully it stays that way and this is a recurring location.
@mm54 Good point. If we run in November, it likely will be the first week.
@i86hotdogs i have a suggestion. Set up an underbody wash station. That way participants can clean off the underside to prevent sand and salty accumulations. Main issue is sourcing clean water.