If you go
Rally Colorado 2007 Spectator Guides are available at www.rallycolorado... or at the Hayden Service Area and main spectator area at the Routt County Fairgrounds complex in Hayden.
ESPN2 will air its Championship Coverage from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20.
Events open to public:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Cook Subaru Technical Inspection at Cook Chevrolet/Jeep/Subaru
5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today, Central Park Liquor Welcome Reception, Parc Expose (Car Show) and Ceremonial Start at Sixth Street and Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat Springs
8:01 a.m. Saturday, first car out Day 1, Steamboat Springs rodeo grounds
5:30 p.m. Saturday, first car in Day 1, Steamboat rodeo grounds
6:15 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Miller Lite Post-Race Rally Car Display, Old Town Pub
8 p.m. Saturday, Miller Lite Video Show, Old Town Pub
8:31 a.m. Sunday, first car out Day 2, Steamboat rodeo grounds
4:03 p.m. Sunday, first car in Day 2 and champagne toast to event winners, Steamboat rodeo grounds
Steamboat Springs There's not a huge margin for error for the top drivers in this year's Rally America Championship tour.
Actually, there's no margin at all.
A mere nine points separate the top three drivers as they enter this weekend's Rally Colorado, a two-day, 18-stage, 110-mile course that wraps around county roads near Hayden. Rally Colorado is the eighth of Rally America's nine national tour stops and one that brings drivers back because of its reputation for high speeds.
Only one point separates Travis Pastrana, the defending overall series champion and 2006 Rally Colorado winner, from Andrew Pinker in the overall standings.
"It's very important for us to win, but we can't afford to make any mistakes," Pastrana said. "Pinker and (third-place overall driver Ken Block) are the two drivers that I have to be most concerned about for the championship, so how many chances (co-driver Christian Edstrom) and I take depends a lot on where we sit in comparison to them. (Block) seems to like faster roads, and Pinker does better on the more technical parts. Rally Colorado has both, so this could be interesting."
What the Routt County course brings is an unusually open route where, unlike typical rallies through dense woods, they can see the crests and turns ahead of them.
"The speeds on this rally are phenomenal - you're at over 100 mph for a few minutes at a time," said Tanner Foust, a former Steamboat Springs resident and Bridgestone Winter Driving School instructor. "You can get drawn into the beast because you get overconfident with the lack of obstacles."
Foust, like Pastrana, understands that these fast speeds can also mean a fast end to a Rally Colorado race. Both have had their Rally Colorado races end with violent flips - Foust in 2006 and Pastrana in 2005 - that totaled their vehicles and eliminated them from the race.
Foust, who sits in fourth behind Block, also had to find out the hard way about racing without a margin for error. Foust missed some Rally America events because of his busy stunt driving and national drift racing circuit schedule and needed a win at the last Rally America event in Bemidji, Minn. Instead, a rock shot through his CV boot, and his car caught fire, causing a 14th-place finish and a lost chance at the overall title contention.
But with Pinker as his RockStar Energy Drink Syms Racing teammate and Rally Colorado as his "home course," Foust still has a lot on the line.
"I'm fighting for the podium overall now, but the better I do as a point spoiler, the better chance (Pinker) has of winning it overall," Foust said.
Event chairman Jim Gill said the worst of the course's roads, in terms of mud, are in "very good shape."
Recent rains, however, have left parts of the SuperSpecial Spectator Area at the West Routt Fire Protection District training site, south of the fairgrounds on C.R. 53, as questionable.
Gill said racers will tentatively run the planned two laps around a special 0.97-mile stage featuring a jump in front of the spectator area, but that fans should be aware that the stage could change. As it stands, fans need to arrive before 1 p.m. Saturday and before noon Sunday to the SuperSpecial stage.
The weekend event will bring a record number of teams to town and includes two other rally races - Saturday's 10-stage, 69-mile Middle Cog-1 Regional Rally and Sunday's eight-stage, 41-mile Middle Cog-2 Regional Rally. Both are Rally America points events in the Western States Rally Championship and Southwest RallyCup series and the cars - all street-legal production vehicles - will be divided into six classes from stock to highly-modified.