The Waste Management Winter RallySprint, run in February to give competition rally teams the sensation of driving fast on ice and snow, turned into a sloppy, slushy mess on Saturday as temperatures here rose to 60 degrees F.
Kevin Turner (Newark, Delaware) and Matt Rhoades (Oxford, Pennsylvania) won the rally overall in a 1994 Subaru Impreza, completing the five stage, 44.38-mile course in one hour, 22 minutes and 44 seconds. The winning pair also won the R2U class. While they were the fastest car on only one of the five stages, Turner declared that consistency won them the rally.
“The sloppy conditions, mixed with some frozen spots where the forest roads did not see much sun, resulted in many of the competitors sliding off the road and breaking components on their cars, Turner said. “We had five good stages – winning stage three – and scored a 1 minute, 22-second victory.”
A crowd of several hundred people came to Duncan Township to watch the event. The rally was held as part of the Wellsboro Winter Festival.
Other class winners included Matt Chmielewski (Harvey’s Lake, Pennsylvania) and Pete Sandy (Moosic, Pennsylvania) in a Subaru Impreza WRX (3rd overall and winner of the R40 class); Alex Jagger (Oak Ridge, New Jersey) and Ryan Symancek (Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania) in a Nissan 240SX (11th overall and winner/only finisher in the R20 class); and Jeremy Keck (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) and Chris Wimbrough (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) in a Subaru Impreza (4th overall and first in R4U).
Wellsboro locals Keck and Wimbrough were happy with their finish, especially after going off the road a couple of times and putting the car in a snow bank on the Waste Management facility roads.
“If we didn’t have some of those incidents, we could have won this thing overall,” Keck said. “On the other hand, I stretched the envelope by driving more aggressively, so we had faster times on most of the stages than I did in the past. It was the first time for Chris, my co-driver, and he was great.”
Keck plans on entering the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) in Wellsboro June 2 and 3 in his Subaru, and will spend the time between now and then preparing his car.
For the 2017 Waste Management Winter RallySprint, 15 rally cars started the event from The Green in downtown Wellsboro, and 11 finished the rally at the end of stage five on the Waste Management property in Duncan Township. Unlike its big brother event – the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally, this rallysprint allows competitors to rejoin the rally even if they miss a stage due to mechanical problems, and that upped the number of competitors that completed the event.
The Sports Car Club of America, which sanctions the rally, will hold similar events around the country to help competitors, workers, and organizers alike train for national performance events like STPR.
Complete results and stage times can be found here on the event’s website:
Photos and video from the event are on the rally’s Facebook Page: