2015 RallyCross season opener draws plenty of competitors and spectators

By Doug Patterson
Photos by Jessica Dorn

On Saturday, March 21st, on an eight-acre pasture, the quiet of the rural Kansas Spring morning was ruptured by the melodious mechanical maelstrom of twenty-one RallyCross machines taking to the tight and technical morning course.  With twenty-one timed entries, the 2015 Kansas City Region season opener at Holsworth Acres south of Garnett, KS, bested the 2013 season-finale for the largest field in the young program’s history.  In addition to many local competitors, the Kansas City Region welcomed guests from the Wichita, Ozark Mountain, and Des Moines Valley Regions.


The weather couldn’t have been better if ordered directly by the Chamber of Commerce. Although the morning was brisk, temperatures quickly rose to the upper-sixties under clear skies, making for a perfect day for motor car racing. The event got off to a late start owing to difficulties in starting the timing and scoring computers. The late start cost the competitors some of the runs that the event organizers had hoped to pack into the morning and afternoon, but everyone still was able to make eight runs through two courses.

The rain on the preceding Wednesday and Thursday provided concerns that the surface would be soft and sloppy.  Bright, full sun and steady breezes on Friday along with great drainage at the site brought the surface back into form.  The safety stewards, Doug Patterson and Mark Hill along with the Midwest Division RallyCross Steward, Jim Rowland, kept a close eye on the courses all day to make sure that no potentially car-flipping ruts developed and made course adjustments as needed.

In addition to the strong competitor turnout, a number of people from the Region as well as some Garnett, KS residents came out to see what the SCCA and our RallyCross program was like. Susan Wettstein from Experience Garnett (http://www.experiencegarnett.com/) brought information packets about Garnett, KS including coupons for discounts at many of the local eateries and shops. Several regular KCR members also came out simply to volunteer their services and labor. Tim Steger and Amber Balda came out to help with Timing and Scoring, Rich Bireta and his son came out to help work course, Ken Regan got up at the unholy hour of 0500 to drive the equipment van and timing trailer down from Bonner Springs, and our Regional Executive, Chris Kern, came out to help get things set up, work course, and pack up afterwards. It was great to see all the support for our growing RallyCross program.

While the weather was mild and pleasant, the competition in several classes was hot and fierce, with the PA, PF, and SF classes all being decided by margins less than ten seconds. That might sound like a lot until you realize that in RallyCross, as opposed to Solo racing, all eight runs are integrated into a total elapsed time for the day. All runs count!

2015_RX1_005_smIn Stock Front-Wheel Drive (SF), site owner Lenard Holsworth in his 1997 Dodge Neon edged out Dustin Etheredge in his 2005 Nissan Sentra SE-R. Dustin was quicker than Lenard on most runs, but a disastrous Run 5 that resulted in a time eight seconds slower than Lenard’s plus hitting two cones, each earning a two-second penalty, put Dustin behind Lenard for the remainder of the day. Lenard, after all runs were completed, had Dustin by 7.124 seconds.  As clean and fast as Lenard was, though, they were no match for Donald Carl who was clean all day and a second or more faster on each of the eight runs than anyone else in the class. Donald won the Stock Front class and took fourth place in the overall standings.

Prepared Front-Wheel Drive (PF) has traditionally belonged to the 2014 class champion, Jim Rowland. Jim in his well-prepared 1993 Nissan Sentra SE-R was routinely one to two seconds faster than either the 2014 Ford Fiesta STs Doug Patterson, Jeremy Salenius, or Greg Cheney. Inconsistency during Heat 2 negated Jim’s quicker times. Incurring four cone penalties in the first two runs of Heat 2, resulting in eight seconds of penalty time, was just enough for Doug to edge into the victory by a mere 1.117 seconds.

The fastest drivers of the day were in Prepared All-Wheel Drive where the classic Mitsubishi/Subaru battle seen throughout rally and rallycross was joined once again. Mark Macoubrie in his 2005 Subaru WRX STi went head-to-head with Mark Hill and his 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. Consistency and cone penalties would once again play a deciding role in the outcome of the battle. Macoubrie was faster than Hill on straight time on a number of runs, but four cone penalties on the day were just too much to overcome. Mark Hill took not only the class win, but also the overall victory with a blistering total time of 426.335 seconds and no penalties.

2015 Kansas City Region SCCA RallyCross Event #1 Results

Class Pos Number First Name Last Name Car Model Total Diff
MA 1 32 Donnie Spears 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX Sti 456.235
MA 2 131 Kevin Brown 1993 Subaru Impreza 476.843 20.608
MA 3 14 Alex Dereszynski Subaru 489.299 33.064
MA 4 40 Kevin Dobrowolski 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon 492.765 36.530
MA 5 13 Jennifer Brown 1993 Subaru Impreza 536.428 80.193
PA 1 45 Mark Hill 2006 Mitsubishi E-voh IX 426.335
PA 2 41 Mark Macoubrie 2005 Subaru WRX STI 434.967 8.632
PA 3 54 Cameron Knights 2012 Subaru Forester 482.910 56.575
PA 4 43 Kevin Lawlor Subaru Impreza L 497.077 70.742
PA 5 34 Nefty Bloom Subaru impreza 499.445 73.110
PF 1 42 J Douglas Patterson 2014 Ford Fiesta ST 471.685
PF 2 3 Jim Rowland 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R 472.802 1.117
PF 3 142 Jeremy Salenius 2014 Ford Fiesta ST 478.314 6.629
PF 4 43 Greg Cheney 2014 Ford Fiesta ST 479.878 8.193
SA 1 119 David Tung 2013 Subaru XV 536.570
SF 1 2 Donald Carl Red 459.219
SF 2 63 Lenard Holsworth 1997 Dodge neon 471.855 12.636
SF 3 22 Dustin Etheredge 2005 Nissan Sentra-SE-R 478.979 19.760
SF 4 36 Aaron Holsworth 1997 Dodge neon 486.970 27.751
SF 5 87 Justin Klinger 2006 Scion tC 496.124 36.905
SR 1 9 Taylor Held 2001 Chevrolet Tracker 534.718

Full results can be found through the links below:

Several people present took some great photos. You can find links to all the various photo albums on our Forum.

The next Kansas City Region RallyCross event will be at the Thunder Valley Sand Drags.  The date is still being negotiated, but as soon as there is a firm event date, an announcement will be made on the Kansas City Region website, on the KCR forums, and on the KCR Facebook page.

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2 Responses to 2015 RallyCross season opener draws plenty of competitors and spectators

  1. Dustin says:

    Great read. Thank You Doug for all your hard work and the KC RX Team. It was a great day for this AR SCCA RX Member. See You again soon. Rally Up, Dustin #422
    P.S. anymore pics?

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