Published on Wednesday, 06 June 2012 19:31
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Editor's Comments: This article is from the January/February 2005 Gazette. That is the last Gazette that I received from the Region. If any member has later Gazette issues, please contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

History being made, The Last SCCA Rally” - RaIIye De Paris - Texas Star & Paris by Night

 By Connie Lamb

It all began innocently enough. Lynn and I were sitting in the bar at the MIDIV Convention in Tulsa and who should walk in but Mike Halley, Mr. Rally himself. He sat and we caught up on lots of things. Eventually the talk turned to the Last SCCA Road Rally coming up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I expressed an interest, saying I thought it would be great fun to participate in an officially sanctioned SCCA rally. Mike jumped on the opportunity, and got around to asking me if I would like to co-drive with him the Last SCCA Road Rally. Well, I don’t know if sitting in the bar had anything to do with it, but 1 agreed and Lynn didn’t disagree.

The next thing I knew, Mike contacted us a few days after the convention and asked again if I was serious about co-driving. Sure I was and what did I need to do to participate? Mike’s requirements of a co-driver were simple enough.... No puking and no screaming through the intercom at the driver. Sounded simple, I thought surely I could handle that.

To get past some of the details, Mike asked me to look at the website for the rally and get the information I needed as to where and when everything started. I needed to be in Paris (the second largest Paris in the world), Texas at the official hotel on Friday evening in time to participate in the novice entry classroom.

 

On Friday after Thanksgiving, I got up bright and early to get to Dallas to take care of some family business and by 3pm I was on the road to Paris. Lynn had to work (too bad). I arrived in plenty of time for the school and Mike and I registered and we had a brief discussion where he again emphasized no puking and no screaming. The school was very helpful and I kept telling myself this was really going to be a lot of fun and there were NO WORRIES.

Saturday morning the entire group of participants were required to participate in the car show at the local Home Depot. The morning was very brisk, a strong north wind and very chilly. Lynn couldn’t stay away. He left Enid around 4am and arrived just after Mike and I got to the car show. Lynn was immediately recruited as crew for our team. All the participants headed for the Raliye de Paris location at nearby Camp Maxey, an old WWII military base being used as a training facility for the Texas Air National Guard. (If you happen to
spot anything that looks like ammunition, STAY AWAY, because it most likely could be armed and dangerous!)

As the time approached for the first stage of the daytime event, Texas Star, I really was getting nervous. What if I puked? What if I screamed at Mike? What if…??? The time for the first stage arrived and Mike & I strapped in, the intercom worked, and off we went, with Mike driving and me with my notes for the stage, a pencil, and a stopwatch. We didn’t have a working odometer, but Mike had assured me that he knew the road system fairly well, since he had participated many times at previous rallies on this site.

My duties were mainly to get us to the stage at the correct time, call out the changes in the course and make sure we reported everything correctly to the appropriate officials.

 

Mike attacked the first stage, with me trying to call out the changes needed and, wouldn’t you know, he asked me to quit screaming! I didn’t even know I was screaming! So I changed my tone of voice and carried on. My first time on a rally course! What a hoot! A co-driver can be bothered by motion, especially if he or she is trying to keep up with course notes. I didn’t have any problem with that and after the one request to not scream, I settled down. We completed the first stage without going off the course and I was pumped!

The second through fourth stages went well and before I knew it, we were ready for the last stage of the Texas Star. Mike asked if I wanted to drive. Well, who could say no!?! Certainly not me. Plus I was helping Mike complete one of objectives as a member of SCCA: to co-drive in a rally. The other factor that entered into this was that the competition in our class, Group 5, had all fallen out so we were in first place! How could we lose?
If you think I was nervous starting the first stage as a co-driver, just imagine the possibilities for a novice driver on gravel, pavement, grass, with hidden water holes, ditches and other hazards lurking out of sight, AND a novice co-driver! My time was quite a bit slower than Mikes, and he did scream at me one time, “THROTTLE, THROTTLE, WE’RE GOING TO GET STUCK OUT HERE!!!” So I did what any good driver would do, I gave it throttle and we didn’t get stuck! Looking back, I think I may have properly apexed two or three corners but the rest of it, who knows? I don’t know who was more relieved to see the finish line, me or him!

We took a short break for hotdogs and chili and then it was time to start Paris by Night. We ran five stages again with variations on the course design. I was back in the co-driver seat and Mike & I settled into the routine. The course was very dry and the dust hung in the air. Mike had outfitted the car with killer headlights, which were great, but driving through the dust at night was kind of like driving through fog. I might add, it was very dark and the only light was from the moon and stars. We completed all five stages and, with a little help from the competition, we again finished first in Group 5!

We got all packed up and headed back to the second largest Paris in the world for the post-race party and awards presentation. From my perspective, the entire day was great. Lynn did great as our crew and he was able to watch some of the daytime stages. We didn’t have any mechanical difficulties and we stayed on the course. I can’t say the same for some of the other participants. Things broke, people went off course into the hidden water hazards or otherwise had bad luck.

I can’t say enough good things about all the people that it takes to put on a rally like this. I had no idea what it takes and I really admire the people who participate and keep a rally program running. There are a bunch of work involved in set-up and tear-down. Congratulations to all of those folks and I hope you keep the rally program going in the future.

 

Just a few last words on Mike’s feedback to me. Once I settled down, my tone of voice was good, I stayed calm and I didn’t puke. After I drove, he said I was just like any other road racer, throttle to the floor or foot on the brakes. Apparently in rally, there’s a little more finesse involved.

Would I do it again? You bet! My thanks to Mike Halley for making it a great experience. AND a big thank you to my husband Lynn for getting up so early and helping me participate in the last SCCA Road Rally.

 

 

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History being made, The Last SCCA Rally” - RaIIye De Paris - Texas Star & Paris by Night

By Connie Lamb

It all began innocently enough. Lynn and I were sitting in the bar at the MIDIV Convention in Tulsa and who should walk in but Mike Halley, Mr. Rally himself. He sat and we caught up on lots of things. Eventually the talk turned to the Last SCCA Road Rally coming up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I expressed an interest, saying I thought it would be great fun to participate in an officially sanctioned SCCA rally. Mike jumped on the opportunity, and got around to asking me if I would like to co-drive with him the Last SCCA Road Rally. Well, I don’t know if sitting in the bar had anything to do with it, but 1 agreed and Lynn didn’t disagree.

The next thing I knew, Mike contacted us a few days after the convention and asked again if I was serious about co-driving. Sure I was and what did I need to do to participate? Mike’s requirements of a co-driver were simple enough.... No puking and no screaming through the intercom at the driver. Sounded simple, I thought surely I could handle that.

To get past some of the details, Mike asked me to look at the website for the rally and get the information I needed as to where and when everything started. I needed to be in Paris (the second largest Paris in the world), Texas at the official hotel on Friday evening in time to participate in the novice entry classroom.

On Friday after Thanksgiving, I got up bright and early to get to Dallas to take care of some family business
and by 3pm I was on the road to Paris. Lynn had to work (too bad). I arrived in plenty of time for the school
and Mike and I registered and we had a brief discussion where he again emphasized no puking and
no screaming. The school was very helpful and I kept telling myself this was really going to be a lot of fun and
there were NO WORRIES.

Saturday morning the entire group of participants were required to participate in the car show at the local
Home Depot. The morning was very brisk, a strong north wind and very chilly. Lynn couldn’t stay away.
He left Enid around 4am and arrived just after Mike and I got to the car show. Lynn was immediately recruited
as crew for our team. All the participants headed for the Raliye de Paris location at nearby Camp Maxey, an
old WWII military base being used as a training facility for the Texas Air National Guard. (If you happen to
spot anything that looks like ammunition, STAY AWAY, because it most likely could be armed and dangerous!)

As the time approached for the first stage of the daytime event, Texas Star, I really was getting
nervous. What if I puked? What if I screamed at Mike? What if…??? The time for the first stage
arrived and Mike & I strapped in, the intercom worked, and off we went, with Mike driving and me with my notes for the stage, a pencil, and a stopwatch. We didn’t have a working odometer, but Mike had assured me that he knew the road system fairly well, since he had participated many times at previous rallies on this site.

My duties were mainly to get us to the stage at the correct time, call out the changes in the course and make sure we reported everything correctly to the appropriate officials.

Mike attacked the first stage, with me trying to call out the changes needed and, wouldn’t you know, he asked me to quit screaming! I didn’t even know I was screaming! So I changed my tone of voice and carried on. My first time on a rally course! What a hoot! A co-driver can be bothered by motion, especially if he or she is trying to keep up with course notes. I didn’t have any problem with that and after the one request to not scream, I settled down. We completed the first stage without going off the course and I was pumped!

The second through fourth stages went well and before I knew it, we were ready for the last stage of the Texas Star. Mike asked if I wanted to drive. Well, who could say no!?! Certainly not me. Plus I was helping Mike complete one of objectives as a member of SCCA: to co-drive in a rally. The other factor that entered into this was that the competition in our class, Group 5, had all fallen out so we were in first place! How could we lose?
If you think I was nervous starting the first stage as a co-driver, just imagine the possibilities for a novice driver on gravel, pavement, grass, with hidden water holes, ditches and other hazards lurking out of sight, AND a novice co-driver! My time was quite a bit slower than Mikes, and he did scream at me one time, “THROTTLE, THROTTLE, WE’RE GOING TO GET STUCK OUT HERE!!!” So I did what any good driver would do, I gave it throttle and we didn’t get stuck! Looking back, I think I may have properly apexed two or three corners but the rest of it, who knows? I don’t know who was more relieved to see the finish line, me or him!

We took a short break for hotdogs and chili and then it was time to start Paris by Night. We ran five stages again with variations on the course design. I was back in the co-driver seat and Mike & I settled into the routine. The course was very dry and the dust hung in the air. Mike had outfitted the car with killer headlights, which were great, but driving through the dust at night was kind of like driving through fog. I might add, it was very dark and the only light was from the moon and stars. We completed all five stages and, with a little help from the competition, we again finished first in Group 5!

We got all packed up and headed back to the second largest Paris in the world for the post-race party and awards presentation. From my perspective, the entire day was great. Lynn did great as our crew and he was able to watch some of the daytime stages. We didn’t have any mechanical difficulties and we stayed on the course. I can’t say the same for some of the other participants. Things broke, people went off course into the hidden water hazards or otherwise had bad luck.

I can’t say enough good things about all the people that it takes to put on a rally like this. I had no idea what it takes and I really admire the people who participate and keep a rally program running. There are a bunch of work involved in set-up and tear-down. Congratulations to all of those folks and I hope you keep the rally program going in the future.

Just a few last words on Mike’s feedback to me. Once I settled down, my tone of voice was good, I stayed calm and I didn’t puke. After I drove, he said I was just like any other road racer, throttle to the floor or foot on the brakes. Apparently in rally, there’s a little more finesse involved.

Would I do it again? You bet! My thanks to Mike Halley for making it a great experience. AND a big thank you to my husband Lynn for getting up so early and helping me participate in the last SCCA Road Rally.