Was that a haboob coming through the town of Independence yesterday? No, it was just the Iowa Region rallycross event! Absolutely epic clouds of dust were generated by our racers, thanks to a bone-dry surface that just kept crumbling into, well, more dust. 28 racers braved the choking clouds, having a blast breaking in a new venue, the Independence Motor Speedway. The course used some of the pit area, the 3/8 mile oval, and the infield. The crumbling surface and technical corners rewarded those who gave up speed early to keep tighter lines and stay out of the piles of moon dust.
Our field of racers included racers from four states and three log-booked stage rally cars. We had five rallycross newbies who, based on the smiles and comments, will definitely be back for future events.
Stock FWD was one of our largest classes for the day with six racers, three campaigning GM products. Charles P jumped off to a nice lead with his first run of the day in his ’06 Civic, but one run later, his son, Devin P took the lead from him, putting his new (to him) ’02 RSX through its paces. At the conclusion of the morning runs, Charles had regained the top spot, sitting 1.1 seconds ahead of his son. During the afternoon, Andrew A found his groove in his ’10 Cobalt SS Turbo, clawing back from a 6.3 second deficit to take the class win by 11 seconds and the sixth spot overall. Despite tagging a number of cones, Charles widened his lead over Devin, taking second by a comfortable 3 seconds.
Stock RWD saw a long time autocrosser, Hans V, trying out rallycross for the first time in his 2022 Toyota GR86. Hans definitely takes the award for the best dirt rooster tails. Paraphrasing Hans, it was very difficult to take the fast line around the course as it was so much fun taking the car sideways around the course. By the end of the day, Hans was already scheming about buying a car just for rallycross.
Stock AWD was an all Subaru class, with models ranging from a 1996 SVX up to a 2018 WRX. Always fast Jay K (06 Outback Sport) threw down the gauntlet with his first run and then maintained this gap through the morning runs. Michael G (13 STI) kept nipping at Jay’s heels, taking the lead from him on run five after Jay tagged a cone. Michael ended up first in class and second overall, only 1.5 seconds ahead of Jay (3rd overall). The remaining four drivers were all putting down times very close to each other in their fight for third, exchanging positions several times. When the dust settled, the big surprises was that sixteen-year-old Ian L had claimed 3rd in class and 8th overall, besting his dad for the first time and two other more experienced racers. Nice work Ian!
Prepared FWD was a larger class than usual this event, with four racers mixing it up! Yours truly started off the day with the fastest run and never looked back, taking first in class and first overall by comfortable margins. Second place was a fight between Travis H (02 Civic Si) and Keith B (98 Neon), with Travis jumping off to an early lead. Keith soon learned to trust the grip that his new rally tires were providing and clawed back a large extent over the remaining runs. Travis managed to hold on to second by 7 seconds. Newcomer Jon J (95 Tercel) spent the day learning his new car, dropping nearly 17 seconds from his first run to his fastest, even laying down a run that bested Travis’ best run.
Prepared RWD saw the return of Brent L in his 96 Mazda Miata. Being the only car in class, Brent spent the day paring down his times, dropping over 18 seconds from his first run to his best run.
Prepared AWD saw three racers from three different states. John F used the 100+ HP advantage of his 2022 WRX to jump out to an early lead that neither Kim K or Noah W would overcome. Instead, the battle between Kim (06 Outback Sport) and Noah (Audi TT) was the one to watch. They traded the leading position several times through the morning runs. Sadly, this battle came to a premature finish, as a coolant leak on the Audi was determined to be a head gasket failure. The final results came in with John taking first by roughly 36 seconds.
Modified FWD saw the return of Nick L in his stage rally prepared Civic. Despite carrying around the added weight of the full roll cage, Nick put down blistering fast times, including the third fastest individual run. Nick ended up first in class and fourth overall.
Modified RWD brought Neil T from MN in his stage rally prepared Mustang SVO as the only competitor. This car was my personal favorite of the event, between being a rather rare car to begin with and having the factory asymmetric hood intake for the intercooler. Neil hasn’t had the car for very long, so his goal for the day was learning to drive it well and to shave time off every run. He succeeded in doing so, even getting his last run under the 100 second mark.
Last but definitely not least was Modified AWD, with five drivers slinging dirt. Tire choice on the always slippery surface was the big question of the day, with at least one driver making a tire change in an attempt to gain an advantage. Of our top three finishers, Aaron B (95 Impreza) and Pete S (stage rally prepared 07 Impreza) opted for rally tires while Shane B (95 Stealth RT) tried summer tires. After two runs it became clear that rally tires were the way to go and Shane was making a quick tire change mid-heat. Through the morning runs, Aaron stayed firmly in first, with Pete seven seconds back and Shane five more. For the afternoon, Shane came out swinging and took second place from Pete in just one run. Shane kept widening the gap over Pete, but a couple late cones prevented him from catching Aaron. Final standing ended up with Aaron first (5th overall), Shane second (7th overall), and Pete third (9th overall).
We’re racing next at the Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa on October 22. Make your plans now to join us, as Oskie is one of our best venues and you’re guaranteed to have fun! You can find more details about all our events on our events page.