Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Steamboat Springs The Colorado Cog Rally returns to Routt County this weekend with rally racing action in and around Hayden -- and this year, that action will be televised on the cable SPEED Channel.
The stage race will take place on various county roads outside of Steamboat Springs, which will be closed temporarily for the event, with cars reaching up to 120 mph on gravel lanes that have 30 mph posted speed limits.
According to regulations, rally cars are street legal vehicles that have been modified with safety equipment including roll cages, safety harnesses and on-board fire suppression systems. Common rally vehicles are Volkswagens, Audis, Saabs, Toyotas, Hondas, Mazdas and Subarus.
Each rally team consists of a driver and co-driver. The co-drivers have precise course directions, which they communicate to the drivers through headsets inside their helmets. The instructions are measured in one-hundredths of a mile.
For an overview of the race schedule and to find designated viewing areas and times to watch the action, Colorado Cog Rally organizers published a 2004 Spectator Guide. The guide is available at all rally sponsor locations, including the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, Sheraton Steamboat Resort, Super 8 Motel, Steamboat Motors and The Bottleneck. The Spectator Guides will also be available from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday on Fifth Street between Lincoln Avenue and Oak Street, when the street will be closed to traffic and all rally cars will be on display.
Race fans will want to plan their approach before coming to the Cog Rally, committee member Jim Gill said.
The first option is to choose a designated spectator area along the Cog. Times and directions are given in the Spectator Guide. For safety, spectators must watch the race from one of the established areas, Gill said.
"It's very important that spectators know they can't pop out on the course," Gill said. "They might get hurt."
The second choice for spectators is to go to the Dry Creek Park Superspecial Spectator area. Two stages, one each on Saturday and Sunday, will take place on a one-mile track across from the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden.
The third option for spectators is to visit the service area at the fairgrounds, where tires will be changed and repairs made to cars as quickly as possible so drivers can re-enter the race.
"I think people around here can really relate to (the Cog Rally)," Gill said. "Everyone has driven on gravel roads. Everyone has slid sideways on gravel. They understand the dynamics of this race."
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