Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2011 Sun Valley Road Rally

This last weekend we skipped the local autocross event to head up to Sun Valley, ID for the Sun Valley Road Rally.  An organized open road high speed challenge to help raise money for the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition.  This is a once a year opportunity to take your fast (or not so fast as it were) car out to a three mile stretch of Highway 75 to run it as fast as you can for up to three runs.  It's not cheap to run but the money raised goes to a worthy cause and we were there to watch the action.

Saturday morning was going to prove to be a long day.  We headed out early to check out the cars that were entered in the Road Rally take some pictures of the cars lined up we decided to head up to the Porsche Tent we saw on the way down. Found out they were doing a Driving Event called Zero to Anywhere Street Drive and I talked my roommate into signing up for a drive time.  He picked the Cayman R so I picked the 911 C4S Cabriolet that was there.  We signed up for a drive time of 3pm so we took off to catch a bus to the spectator area to get all set up for pictures and videos of the Road Rally.

Lamborghini MurcialgoIt didn't take long before the cars started heading up to the starting point.  They were sent in 5 car groups because even though they could shut down the highway they could only do it for 15 minute at a time.  While waiting for the cars to run some local personalities were on the loud speaker system giving discritions of the cars and we all had a few chuckles from mistakes that they were making like calling the Lotus Esprit an Italian car.  There were all sorts of odd calls like that.

The Porsche Panamera Turbo cars, one driven by Johnny Unser and another one driven by a Porsche NA pro-driver, were taking passengers on ride-a-longs.  The Panamera Turbos were able to hit 180mph + fully loaded down with passengers.   It gave me new respect for those cars.  Even if they were pretty quit doing it.

Porsche 911 (997) WC-GT2However, what I was most thrilled to see out there were the two Porsche GT2 cars.  One was the new GT2RS and the other was a tuned version by GMG called the WC-GT2 the WC stands for World Challenge and it was the fastest car out there hitting a top speed of 197mph.  The owner was a potato farmer from Twin Falls.  Apparently it's good to be a farmer as both GT2 cars where his.  His second run in the WC-GT2 was only 194mph and that was with his wife as a passenger.

It was pretty uneventful save for one Ford Mustang GT350 who lost what we believe was the front air spoiler on his first run. Because of the missing aero part on his second run the car blew a piston and smoked threw the finish line.  Not a good day for him especially with only a few hundred miles on the motor.  Wonder if that will be covered under warranty.

Ferrari 250 GTOIn total there were 23 cars running this year.  The most expensive was the Ferrari 250 GTO (a rebodied not original) the slowest was an old Jaguar.  The most common make and model were the handful of Ford Mustang in various upgrade levels.  I haven't seen any official results posted any where yet so I don't have any official times other than what you can hear on the speaker system.  We didn't stick around the the award (a lovely Blaine County Sheriffs ticket) ceremony as we needed to get back to do the Porsche Drive Event that we had signed up for earlier. 

You can find all the pictures that I took on this flickr set -- Sun Valley Road Rally.  Since I was taking pictures and didn't think I'd have time to film the cars as well I enlisted the help of my roommate to film the cars while I was struggling to get pictures.  To pan with high speed cars apparently you gotta up your speed a bit from when your shooting Autocross.  But for the most part I think I did alright. 

You can find the Videos at the normal spot and when they get over run by autocross videos do a little search on YouTube.  In the mean time here are the videos that I liked.

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