Kansas Rally Weekend 2016 – Letter to Competitors


The ninth Kansas Rally weekend was held November 12 and 13, 2016.  This year’s Rally Weekend was great due in large part to the great set of volunteers I had helping out this year. I mentioned these folks after the events, but a “Thank You” bears repeating to (and not in order of importance):

  • Dan McConnell, Gene Smith and Albert Weaver for working checkpoints.
  • Jack von Kaenel for conducting the very well received rally tutorial Saturday and Sunday mornings.
  • Jane Bireta, Devon and Eliza Shipman for working registration and hospitality.
  • Dan McConnell for yet another great job in pre-event promotion.
  • Bruce and Charlene Bettinger for ably handled the starter duties, preventing a mass exodus from the school

National SCCA competitors Jim Duea who came from Oklahoma City ran with Jack von Kaenel who came from North Carolina.  Bruce and Charlene Bettinger made the trip from Wichita for the event.  Mike Thomson from LaCrosse and Fred Rosevear from Madison Wisconsin, and Candy and Jan Gerber drove down from Omaha for the event.  (Happy Birthday, Candy and Happy Anniversary!)   Mathew Sittel, Nathan Sittel and Tim May came down from Bellvue, Nebraska.

East to Weston Rally

A total of 19 rally teams started Saturday’s event from Prairie Moon School and Grant Township Community Center north of Lawrence.  The rally route used all paved roads (except the 0.2 mile turnoff to checkpoint one) to get from Lawrence to the finish in Weston, Missouri.  Following the odometer check the route went north to the first checkpoint at the Limit Road turnoff, then north through Easton, east past the Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary and north to checkpoint two outside of Atchison, Kansas.  After a break in Atchison, the route went over the Missouri River and followed some winding roads to the final two checkpoints, the last being on the hard-to-find Dye Store Road.  The rally crews then enjoyed dinner and cold drinks at the Weston Brewing Company in Weston, Missouri.

Car 10 (James and Heidi Briery) had a startling experience coming into checkpoint four.  As they topped the crest of the hill, about a quarter of a mile from the checkpoint, four deer darted in front of their car.  Thankfully, no collision ensued.

Saturday’s Winners

Congratulations to Jack von Kaenel and Jim Duea who won first overall and first in Class A with a score of 8 points.

Class B (Seat-of-the-Pants) Trophies went to:

1st – Mathew and Nathan Sittel

2nd – David and Arcely Tung

3rd – Ian and Lori Anderson

4th – James and Heidi Briery

5th – Charlie Clark and Roy Lopshire

A special award was presented to Candy and Jan Gerber for their score of 14 points on Saturday, only 2 points behind the pros from Wisconsin.

The only perfect leg scores on Saturday were Mike Thompson and Fred Rosevear who scored a 0 on Leg 4 and Ian and Lori Anderson who scored a 0 on Leg 1.

East to Weston Rally Leg Scores

Limit Atchison M Weston
Car Crew Total
1 Jim Duea / Jack von Kaenel -1 1 -1 -5 8
2 Mike Thompson / Fred Rosevear -4 -5 -3 0 12
4 Jan Gerber / Candy Gerber 4 5 1 4 14
19 Hal Baumhardt / Dave Patton -18 14 2 -10 44
11 Matthew C. Sittel / Nathan Sittel 2 17 7 194 220
5 David Tung / Arecly Tung -34 82 11 167 294
8 Ian D. Anderson / Lori Anderson 0 75 16 208 299
10 James Briery / Heidi Briery -91 58 13 140 302
12 Charlie Clark / Roy Lopshire 4 67 -17 222 310
3 Gene White / Becky White 19 12 2 300 333
7 Frank Biondo / Olivia Biondo -11 60 3 271 345
13 Zach Ingalls / Thiago Agostina -28 122 -18 192 360
20 Bruce Bettinger / Charlene Bettinger -33 71 -24 300 428
6 Peter Monshizadeh / Kyle Grimes -97 43 5 300 445
17 Chance Whittle / Noah Gordon -9 155 45 247 456
18 Jim Wheeler / Lisa Kern -40 110 8 300 458
14 John Burchardt / Timothy May 300 7 3 300 610
16 Doug Lau / Dave Hicks -20 106 300 300 726
15 Brad Smith / James Cahill 300 160 -42 300 802

A negative score indicates being early at the checkpoint.

Saturday’s Winners – Jim Duea and Jack von Kaenel

Saturday’s Winners – Jim Duea and Jack von Kaenel

David and Arcely Tung – 3rd in Class B

David and Arcely Tung – 3rd in Class B

James and Heidi Briery – 5th in Class B

James and Heidi Briery – 5th in Class B

Pavement Ends Rally

On Sunday, 8 rally teams returned for the Pavement Ends Rally.  This event featured good quality, unpaved roads.  This year’s route was 80% new compared to previous events.  Following the odometer check, the route went north to checkpoint one at Leavenworth County Fishing Lake.  The route then went south and east of McLouth for controls two and three.  After a transit to and a rest break in Oskaloosa, the route headed south for three more checkpoints, ending with the traditional run down Buck Creek Road.  Dinner, drinks and awards were at the original Johnny’s Tavern in north Lawrence.

Having the rally run over good quality, unpaved roads let us put together an event that was shorter, had more interesting roads, ended earlier and yet had more checkpoints.

Sunday’s Winners

Congratulations to Mike Thompson and Fred Rosevear for winning first overall and first in Class A on Sunday’s event.  Their scores were 4 0’s, 1 and 5 for a total of 6.

Congratulations to Bruce and Charlene Bettinger for winning Class B (Seat-of-the-Pants) with a total of 263 points.

Congratulations to Dan McConnell and Brad Risinger for finishing second in Class B.

The only other perfect leg score on Sunday was David and Arcely Tung who scored a 0 on leg 3 after a “went right when we should have gone straight” on Leg 1.

James and Heidi Briery had so much fun Saturday they brought their son and daughter to Sunday’s event and managed to beat them by 1 point (1 second).

Pavement Ends Road Rally Leg Scores

Fishing Happy Oskie Buck
Overall Lake Trails Fairmont Nemaha South Creek Total
Car Crew
2 Mike Thompson / Fred Rosevear 0 -1 0 0 0 5 6
1 Jim Duea / Jack von Kaenel 2 -2 -1 -2 -1 1 9
10 Bruce and Charlene Bettinger 169 8 23 -13 -28 -22 263
5 Dan McConnell / Brad Risinger 127 122 7 26 26 16 324
4 Brad Smith / James Cahill 108 200 3 20 4 19 354
3 David Tung / Arcely Tung 246 54 0 16 26 21 363
8 James and Heidi Briery 226 300 43 34 18 153 774
9 Andrew and Samantha Briery 218 300 13 44 99 101 775

A negative score indicates being early at the checkpoint.

Sunday’s Winners – Fred Rosevear and Mike Thompson

Sunday’s Winners – Fred Rosevear and Mike Thompson

Charlene and Bruce Bettinger – First Place Class B

Charlene and Bruce Bettinger – First Place Class B

Dan McConnell and Brad Risinger – Second in Class B

Dan McConnell and Brad Risinger – Second in Class B

Sunday’s Finish – The Original Johnny’s


These road rally events will only get better if I receive your feedback.  Thanks to the individuals who have already provided constructive feedback.  If you would like to make any comments about things you especially liked or disliked regarding the route, general instructions, hospitality, checkpoint locations, ending locations, or any other aspect of the events please send me an email:  rbireta@gmail.com

Thorns and Roses

It’s a tradition in the Boy Scouts following an adventure to review the areas that have gone well (roses) as well as some items that could be improved for the future (thorns).  Here is my list for the 2016 Rally Weekend.


  1. The turnout.  19 Saturday and 8 cars Sunday is a great turnout.  Dan McConnell did another excellent job on getting the word out about this weekend, as we had a fully subscribed field to Saturday’s event.  Thanks, Dan!  (We had 20 cars pre-registered with one no-show).
  2. The Kansas City SCCA turnout.  For a club whose interest is primarily autocross and club racing, it was gratifying to see 6 cars turnout from the KC Region.
  3. Repeat entrants.  It was very gratifying to see so many familiar faces from previous years.
  4. Quick scoring.  I was pleased with the speed of scoring Saturday with provisional scores being emailed to all contestants by 5:00 PM, before I got to the restaurant.  Awards were given at 5:30 and we were heading home by 6:00 PM.
  5. The volunteers who turned a good rally weekend into a great rally weekend.  I had a lot of great help and felt comfortable delegating many tasks to them.
  6. Registration went smoothly thanks to my wife and daughter, Jane Bireta and Devon Shipman.
  7. Pre-rally tutorial.  Experienced National rallyist Jack von Kaenel volunteered to conduct a pre-rally tutorial for entrants.  Jack’s class was very well received by those who attended, which was all by two rally teams. Thank you, Jack!


  1. On Saturday, the turn onto Dye Store Road was unintentionally difficult with 6 cars missing the turn, even though the official and incremental mileages to the turn were given.  This was the first and only road sign of the day indicated by black letters on a white, vertical pole.  I did not intend for this to be a difficult turn.  In retrospect, I should have labeled this instruction “Sign hard to see.”
  2. Checkpoint 6’s location Sunday was not ideal.  It was located .11 miles after the Right at Yield at the south end of Buck Creek Road.  It should have been about 0.5 miles farther down the road to allow teams to get back on time after the turn.
  3. Scoring Sunday was not as quick as it could have been.  I needed one more checkpoint worker to allow me to score the event during down time.
  4. We didn’t get pictures of the trophy winners on Saturday.  We took the pictures Sunday and I apologize to the trophy winners I missed.

Thanks to all the competitors who came out and the workers who made the events possible.  I hope to see you at another event in 2017.

~Rich Bireta

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