With funds, Cog Rally will continue

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The fourth annual Colorado Cog Rally was a success, but it might not have been enough to keep the race going, event chairman Jim Gill said.

The Colorado Cog Rally is balancing its books to learn whether the event broke even, as it has done in previous years. If it did, and there is a little seed money left, race organizers hope to continue with the race.

If shortfalls are going to have to come out of personal budgets, it may not be viable for next year, Gill said. "When the dust settles, if we can do this event and break even each year, that's OK," Gill said.

Forty cars competed in this year's event, which was one of nine national events on the Sports Car Club of America's program. In past years, it has been a club-level event, attracting fewer competitors and less media attention.

In the races, top-of-the-line, specially modified cars race across more than 100 miles of rutted backcountry roads.

Gill stressed that the event received overwhelming support from the community.

"The community was great, merchants were great -- we can't say enough about how good they were," Gill said.

All competitors and spectators had a great time, despite the rainy weather that left roads muddy and forced race organizers to close one stage of the race, Gill said. No injuries were reported, though there were some crashes and broken cars.

"We've gotten lots of unsolicited feedback from the competitors ... who really liked being here," Gill said.

The objective, Gill said, has been to bring tourism to Hayden and Northwest Colorado during what is typically a slow time of year for visitor traffic. The move to making the race a national event meant more tourists spending more money in the community, he said.

Having a few more cars compete could have insured a break-even result, making the event more viable, he said. Because this race was scheduled after some racers had won or qualified for championship races, some competitors decided not to come.

-- To reach Susan Cunningham, call 871-4203 or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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