Gorman Ridge Rally­—where new legends are born

Real cars, on real roads, going real fast

Did you know there is an offroad dirt rally here on Saturday, Aug. 24 that is nationally known and now entering its 24th year?

“The renowned Gorman Ridge Rally”—as the coordinators call it—is headquartered at the Holiday Inn Express in Lebec and held in the Hungry Valley State OHV Park.

This performance stage rally is a National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Rally Sport and a California Rally Series qualifying event, leading to the 24th running of Southern California’s all-dirt performance rally.

Organizer Ray Hocker has a catchy tagline for the Gorman Ridge Rally: “It’s the place where new legends are born.”

According to NASA coordinators, stage rally racing is defined as “real cars, on real roads, going real fast.”

Stage rallies take place on closed public or private roads in modified production or specially built road-legal vehicles. A navigator has incremental instructions he or she reads to the driver.

Teams follow a point-to-point format of stages that make up the rally, leaving the start of each stage at regular intervals.

Victory is claimed by the team that finishes with the lowest overall time, combining skill and speed. Competition classes are based on factors such as power train and engine size.

Hocker is a former national rally competitor who has managed this event with his wife Donna for many years. “We have great pride in Gorman,” he said.

Both daytime and nighttime competitions are run, with an epic barbecue in between. The route is all hard-packed dirt road surfaces with occasional rough, sandy or washout spots.

Spectating at the event is free between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. but a small entry fee is charged by the Hungry Valley State Park (just off of Peace Valley Road south of Gorman). Bring a chair, shade and plenty of nonalcoholic liquid refreshments. Visit the news blog at http://gormanridgerally.wordpress.com and see www.gormanridgerally.com.

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Photo caption:

From the 2012 Gorman Ridge Rally in Hungry Valley State OHV Park

This is part of the August 23, 2013 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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