RANGELY | A total of 23 cars started the race on July 26, but only 16 cars finished the last stage the next day. It appeared race day enthusiasm got the better of several racers. There were several cars that ran off the road within the first three miles of the first stage of the race. There were a few crashes and a number of breakdowns, but all the cars that competed in the 12-segment race were at the top of their form.
One notable accident resulted in the car actually getting “lost” in a gulch due to a sudden flash flood. The driver of car number 313 went off of a corner and down the steep wall of a gulch, rolling the car several times. The driver and co-driver were uninjured and were able to make their way out of the wrecked car and back up to the road to wait for assistance. Before the race officials could arrive, a wall of muddy water came down the gulch, engulfed the car and swept it several hundred yards downstream. The car was so covered with mud and debris it could not be located until the following morning.
The race itself was set up on three different sections of rural county roads in the Rangely area. Each of the three road segments (or “stages”) of the race were run twice each day of the event.
The roads were isolated from public traffic by an extremely well-coordinated effort on the part the race organizers in cooperation with the Rio Blanco County Sheriff’s Office. Communications were instrumental in the coordination effort which was provided by a group associated with the Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management known as AuxComm (Auxiliary Communications).
Each segment of the race had local EMTs at the start, midway point and finish. Even the Flight For Life medical transport helicopter was on site, parked in a central location in the event of a serious injury. Heat exhaustion is as much of a concern as accidents. Most of the cars have air scoops on their roofs to help move air through the cabins of the cars because the racers run their heaters to help keep the engine cooler.
In an interview, volunteer Scott McCarty said, “The racers love the roads at the Rangely event. They’re a blast to drive.” McCarty would have been racing at the Rally Colorado this year, but his car wasn’t ready. “I couldn’t race this year, so I decided to volunteer to help out instead. It’s been very educational to be on this side of the whole event. Volunteer workers at these rallies are so critical to their success. I never realized how much work it takes to put on of these (rallies) together,” he said.
The rally concluded at the CNCC campus with pizza and an awards ceremony. The final scores for the Rally Colorado can be found at the following link: https:/tiny.cc/4vfiaz
By Brett Dearman | firstname.lastname@example.org