Rally Update: We made It Up The Mountain!

Jesse MortensenBy Jesse Mortensen

We just completed our first day of rally driving and it was a blast! We were anxious to head out of Portland this morning and venture into the surrounding hills. With thousands of tree lined twisty roads, this place is like a car guys playground! The NW Classic Rally is a TSD (Time Speed Distance) event so the first leg was used to see how far off our odometer is compared to the rallymaster’s.

You can feel the excitement at the start. Everyone lined up and we started every 30 seconds. Some people screeched out fast, but we took it easy knowing that we were just racing to the next stoplight. That’s okay though because once we got out of town, the roads instantly opened up and the fun began. The guys who run this even do a great job and we knew we were in for a few surprises.

Our first stop was at the World of Speed Museum. We were only there long enough to grab a donut, but I could tell that this is a place I would really like to visit at a later time. We could only peek in the glass doors from the gift shop, but you can get an idea of what’s inside. There were a few signs that said you could earn high school and college credits. Where the heck was this place when I was a kid?

They even have a summer camp for kids! While other kids are out suffering in the woods, these kids are learning about engines and admiring fine machinery. Lucky kids! We were pretty lucky ourselves though because we were back on the road headed towards Mt. Hood. Well, at least we think that’s where we were headed. With all the twists and turns it was hard to know where we were. There were many traps in the instructions to throw us off and unfortunately we fell for a few right off the bat.

After a lunch of salmon, mac and cheese, and salad, we were back on the road! Somehow we were lucky enough to be behind the exact same couple that were years ago when we ran this rally. What are the odds? Anyway, that’s a very rare Alfa Romeo GTA and Ulrich, the driver, knows what he’s doing. He and his wife have been rallying this car for decades so we felt greatful to have them out front.

Not that you should follow anyone though. Each person runs their own race in a TSD and sometimes the rally master will run the cars back up roads and do other tricks to throw you off and make you doubt your calculations. Josh did a great job with the navigation duties though so we didnt make a single mistake the second half of the day.

At least we don’t think we did… We will find out later tonight how we actually did. Every second early or late to the hidden checkpoints hurt you, so I’m sure we aren’t doing as good as we would like. After the last regularity leg we headed toward our hotel and were able to have a fun game of cat and mouse with a Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale and a Triumph TR6. The big Chevelle behind us did an impressive job of keeping up too!

The car ran flawlessly and we were really impressed by how well our suspension upgrades changed the character of the car. It corners flat and has no problem with the twisty bits. Admittedly, a bit more oomph would be nice, but it was enough for what we were doing. We made it to resort without any issue and are excited to see how we did. People are hard at working calculating everything and we should find out after dinner. Fingers crossed!

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  1. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    Sounds like a blast; May The Course be With You. Have fun!

    • Josh Mortensen Josh Mortensen Staff

      Thanks Todd! So far it’s been a blast!

  2. Jeffro

    Good luck guys. Enjoy!

  3. Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

    Fantastic! Looking forward to more 🙂

  4. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    We just found out that we’re currently sitting somewhere mid-pack. Our best section was only 4 seconds off, but we had a few penalties so we can probably kiss a top ten finish good bye. Oh well. We are going to do our best tomorrow and see if we can redeem ourselves a little bit.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Hey, if you are above mid pack, that’s better than average😉 Well done!

  5. D. King

    Ah, brings back memories! Hubby and I did a lot of TSDs back in the day in our ’64 356 SC. I’m not sure where in our marriage vows it was decreed that I was to be the one navigating, with my head down, slowly getting car sick as I did my calculations, and yet, there I was. It’s a wonder our marriage survived! And we still have the 356. She’s a whole lot more fun now–no rallies.

  6. Wayne

    I ran a TSD rally once in Illinois. For the most part it was on gravel roads with a CAST (Change Average Speed To) of approx. 85 MPH. I had a national caliber navigator. (We were running a Zeron rally Computer.) And I was driving my Pro-Rally VW Scirocco. We won with the second place car (former SCCA National TSD Champion) double our penalty points.
    It was fun. But I had a hard time having to keep the clock “zeroed” as too early was a term that I did not like much!

  7. D. King

    Funny. We did a TSD back in the ’70s that started in St. Louis, but went over to the Illinois side. This time I drove, in my Saab Sonett. At some point we got lost (hubby was navigating!), so when we got back on track I simply drove as fast as possible. Turns out we won! That’s my kind of TSD.

  8. Sid Cannon Sid Staff

    You guys are enjoying cars the way they were meant to be enjoyed.
    Keith Martin would be proud.


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