ABERDEEN, Wash. - The 22nd annual Doo Wop Rally brings 32 of the top west coast rally teams to southwest Washington for a weekend of racing, March 6 and 7. Starting from Aberdeen the rally runs in the Grays Harbor area on Saturday and shifts to Pacific County on Sunday.
Watching a rally isn’t like attending other spectator sports. There are no grand stands or concessions, but there’s also no admission charge. Rally takes place rain or shine and there’s no stopping for potholes! Rally is different from other racing. First, there’s no track. Rally racing takes place on “special stages” (usually unpaved forest roads) that have been closed to traffic. This year spectators can watch the action on stages near Cosmopolis, Montesano, Brooklyn and South Bend. Visit the Doo Wop Web site for spectator directions and more information: http://www.doowoprally.com
The cars will look familiar; they’re street legal Subarus, Toyotas, Hondas,VWs and similar small sedans. They’ve all been specially prepared for safety. Take a look inside a rally car and you’ll find a web of steel tubes that make the car stronger and protect the crew.
Inside the car you’ll see two helmets. One is the driver who slides the car through the corners, accelerating and braking through the gravel at the edge of control. That’s not a passenger seated next to the driver, that’s the co-driver. Rally co-drivers are a big part of what makes rally unique. While the driver races through the forest, the co-driver calmly provides instructions about the road ahead.
Top competitors include four time Doo Wop champion Carl Jardevall from Half Moon Bay, CA teamed with Seattle co-driver Nate Tennis an all wheel drive Mitusbishi Evo 8. Two time Doo Wop champ Dave Hintz from Enumclaw, WA drives a Subaru WRX with his co-driving brother Rick. Olympia’s Mark Mager will challenge the frontrunners in another Subaru with his co-driver Jake Blattner.
There several races going on within the rally. Cars are divided into classes for all wheel drive and two wheel drive vehicles. Some have lots of interesting performance modifications, but some are really production vehicles with the added safety equipment.
Top two wheel drive entries include Portland’s Cody Crane in a Honda CRX, with co-driver Billy Irvin, racing against his brother Adam Crane from Seattle and co-driver Britta Nielsen in a Toyota Corolla. Two of the popular historic entries are Glenn Wallace in a 1967 Ford Cortina and Garth Ankeny in a 1969 Saab.
Among the production class cars with modifications limited to safety improvements are Oregon’s Kristen Tabor and her co-driving mother Janice in an Acura RSX battling against Kristen’s dad, and Janice’s husband Bruce Tabor in a Nissan Sentra with co-driver John Elkin.
In addition to the experienced rally drivers, the Doo Wop Rally is a popular starting place for new rally teams. Portland’s Bryce Nash and his girl friend Jessica Sutton co-driving will start their first rally in a 1977 VW Rabbit.
Between the racing stages in the woods the cars make service stops. These offer a great chance to see the cars up close and meet the crews. You might also see some furious action as crews race the clock, changing tires and making repairs to prepare the car for the next run through the woods. Saturday service is just off highway 12 near Montesano and Sunday’s service stops will be in downtown South Bent.
Visit the Doo Wop Web site for an entry list, spectator directions and more information: http://www.doowoprally.com