Matt Chmielewski (Harveys Lake, PA) and Pete Sandy (Moosic, PA) will run their inaugural rally together at the 2017 Waste Management Winter RallySprint on Feb. 18 in a 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX, the only entry in the R4O class. (Courtesy M. Chmielewski)

Matt Chmielewski (Harveys Lake, PA) and Pete Sandy (Moosic, PA) will run their inaugural rally together at the 2017 Waste Management Winter RallySprint on Feb. 18 in a 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX, the only entry in the R4O class. (Courtesy M. Chmielewski)

These are in chronological order with the most recent Notes at the top.

2017 Waste Management Winter RallySprint – February 18, 2017
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania

Press Notes #3 – Saturday 

  1. Fifteen (15) cars started the 2017 SCCA Waste Management RallySprint, leaving the Green in downtown Wellsboro and heading to the beginning of Stage #1 on the Waste Management property in Duncan Township. Reports from the field are that the course is already muddy, with several cars already off the course. 12 cars finished the stage with three cars – #15 Petrow, #57 Batman, and #49 Czwaiga all having to pulled out by sweep not running. All three competitors will try to fix their cars and get back in the rally, but will miss stage #2.
  2. Stage #2 is being run on the same road as stage #1, only in the opposite direction . Stage #3 is run on the same road as well, in the same direction as stage #1. Because of this geography, one stage can’t start until the previous stage has been cleared and swept.
  3. There is a short uphill incline right near the start of stage #2, and several cars needed sweep assistance to get to the ATC because of ice.
  4. As the cars started on stage #2, the first car discovered a closed gate between turns one and two. The three cars that are on the course are being directed back to the start of the stage so they can run the full stage at speed, and the rest of the field is being held at the start of #2. Workers will use rope to tie the gate open, and the rally will continue.
  5. Car #57 Batman has fixed his car in service and received permission from the committee to re-join the vent.
  6. 14 cars started and 14 cars finished stage #2. The #24 Oscar Simsek BMW stopped several times on the course, but made it to the end of the stage. Sweep picked up a bumper and a tire on the stage, but no one has admitted to losing either. Start of stage #3 officials will look for the offenders.
  7. Car #24 Simsek has stopped on the course on every stage, and stage #3 is no exception. But Oscar is still running…
  8. Car #75 Sean Burke and Car #7 Kevin Turner are stuck off the course near the spectator area on stage #3, but they are trying to get started to finish the stage. The missing tire and bumper belong to #57 Paul Batman.
  9. Stage #3 is complete, and the cars – almost all covered with mud – are in service before the final two stages.  The rally is actually a bit ahead of schedule – and will start stage #4 about 15 minutes early.
2017 Waste Management Winter RallySprint – February 18, 2016
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
Press Notes #2 – Friday late evening

  1. If you haven’t looked at the entry list in a couple of days, you will see both some additions and withdrawals.
    First – the additions:
  • Alex Jagger, Oak Ridge, NJ/Ryan Symanceck, Brodheadsville, PA, 1991 Nissan 240SX, R20 class
  • William Petrow, Palisades Park, NJ /Raphael Orlove, New York, NY, 1992 Nissan 240SX, R20 class

Now, the “regrets:”

  • Jon Kramer – last year’s WMWR winner: “I regretfully need to withdraw from this weekend’s event. My car isn’t back together from Sno*Drift. This past weekend was my deadline to get it finished but I didn’t have enough time.”
  • Adam Kimmet – “After traveling to WRC Sweden this past week we haven’t had the opportunity to prepare our car for battle. We’ve reluctantly withdrawn from this year’s WMWR,” Kimmet said. “We look forward to coming back to Wellsboro in June for STPR and competing in next year’s winter rallysprint.”

The up-to-date entry list can be found by clicking here.

  1. For those spectators who want to follow the rally communications on their scanners, the event workers will talk on channel 147.06.
  2. The organizing committee is always looking at ways to make both WMWR and STPR safer and more efficient. WMWR is a perfect test bed to determine if they can be applied at STPR, and to gain experience in how to best implement them. STPR is a communications challenge as its covers a huge territory with mountains blocking radio communications.This year will see tests of the EZ-Trak system, which provides real time monitoring of each competitor’s location. There will also be tests of the NASA Rally Checkpoint Clock, a cloud based timing and scoring system. The tests of these systems should improve the flow of data into the event control. This should improve our ability to respond to any incidents that might occur during the event, improving safety for our competitors. The public will be able to also receive this data in real time. However, this data will be unofficial since these are tests. Official timing and scoring will be through the time tested rally clocks, time cards, and log forms. The URL for the public to follow the live tracking of the event is http://www.cdnrally.com/live.html, This page also has a link to where the public can download an app for their iOS, Android or Blackberry smartphone. That link points to http://app.cdnrally.com.
2017 Waste Management Winter RallySprint – February 18, 2016
Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
Press Notes #1 – Friday evening

  1. Welcome to Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, and the second running of the Waste Management Winter RallySprint, sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America as part of its RallySprint program for advanced amateur rallyists. This “rally light” class is designed to help bridge the gap between RallyCross for beginners and stage rallying for the more serious competitors, and is also a training ground for volunteers, organizers and race officials to get used to rally operations before working a stage rally. While the sensations of handling a performance rally car at speed on gravel roads are alive and well at a RallySprint, the stages are shorter, the roads do not have high-speed straights, the rally averages 70 mph instead of 80-plus mph, and the event is run entirely on private roads, minimizing the insurance risk. Because of the lower insurance costs, the competitor entry fee is reduced from the previous sanctioning body for the winter rally (before 2016).
  2. Here are the online and social media references for the event:
    Event website: http://wmwr.info/ (includes entry list and full rally schedule)
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wmwinterrally
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/WMWRally
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wmwrally/

    This year’s official event hashtag is #wmwr17
  3. The spectator area in Duncan was first established for the Waste Management event in 2014. Here, the fans will see the cars at speed negotiating the course. The spectator area is close to the service area giving fans another opportunity to see the drivers, crews and cars up close. The gates will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 18, with the first cars passing by just after noon. There will be a food vendor and portable bathrooms on-site, but amenities will be minimal. Spectator entrance cost is $5 per person, with free parking. Also, the cars will be at the Wellsboro Green at 11:00 am for a ceremonial start – part of the activity for this year’s Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce Winter Festival.
  4. The weather is a big unknown – not that we don’t know the forecast, but we aren’t sure how the weather or traffic will affect the course. Last year, when the temperature his 60 degrees F, the course turned muddy very quickly. Today, it was sunny, but cold – in the high 20’s and low 30’s F. The course workers bannering the stages today reported that the shady areas on the course were frozen and slippery, and were likely to remain so for the first part of the event even as temperatures hit 50 degrees F tomorrow. Other parts of the course are firm now, but could thaw out with repeated rally car passes and the unseasonably warm temperatures. As the rally consists of running the same stage road five times (three times on way and two times in reverse), these soft areas could get really chewed up by the end of the event. There is very little snow on the ground – a contrast to previous winter rally events here. The organizing committee has allowed a great selection of tires for the 2017 event to help the competitors cope with changing conditions.