The awards banquet was held at Speedzone in City of Industry on December 14th, 2008; a facility that has loads of racing memorabilia with several racing areas for your enjoyment. We had all of the podium finishers and some 4th and 5th place winners from Central and Southern California as well as from the Arizona region. After the awards ceremony we had our big battle between three teams at racing and they were competing at two of the tracks offered for the banquet. Everyone had a blast.
The Colorado winners will be getting their awards at a later date. This year we had a balance between Colorado competitors winning along with the California/ Arizona competitors. Some were really battling for their winnings by also going to out of region events. Which you can up to 9 coefficients by the Rally America points rules.
A big battle was going on for the overall championship along with the 2WD championship. Mostly stemming from the Group 2 class!!! Michel Hoche-Mong was really going for it going up to the PNW and doing a out of region event and then Jeremy Brown from Colorado started in at Seed 9 rally in Goodsprings, Nevada. Steve Bis from Colorado in Open class and Eddie Florelli from Long Beach, Ca in the Group 2 class were coming up from behind keeping Michel and Jeremy on their toes for the championship.
There was a silent auction going on at the event from presenting sponsors of product from Racetech donating gear bags and gift certificates; along with discount entrees from Plan B Rally and Desert Storm. Team O’Neil Rally School donating shirts for auction. The silent auction is for the donations to go toward the “SW Region Competitor Emergency Funds Program”. The program is designed to help out competitors who are in need of emergency funds due to they get hurt at any southwest event that there are funds there to help them with bills, etc. So far we have over $600.00’s and hope to get our goal up to over $1000.00’s plus…. The program was form by a suggestion by Nathan and Brandye from Colorado who got hurt at Pikes Peak and were able to come to Rally Colorado. Nathan suggested that the money to be put to good use for competitors that could not meet their bills if they were out of work for awhile. They were okay with their situation but could see someone not be able to take care of themselves if they are out of work for a portion of time. So a formation of the program stemmed from their misfortune. So we were able to raise over $200.00’s at the awards banquet.
We honored this year Mike and Paula Gibeault for their ongoing contributions to the rally community. Bret Norgaard’s for supporting this series for 2008 as a volunteer and with the Bilstein sponsorship. Sam Boyer from Rally Colorado who every year goes out of his way to make sure the series banners are up and placed for it recognition to the event. A surprise honor went to Dick Moser for consistently contributing to the region as a CRS series director and as a competitor to the sport.
The awards were given out to all of the podium finishers including the 4th and 5th place finishers in each class as driver and co-driver. Congratulations to:
Open class (driver):
Steve Bis, Michal Rose, Larry Schmidt, Andrew Morton, Doug Chernis
Open Class (co-driver):
Brian Moody, Aaron Searle, Craig MacNair, Piers O’Hanlon, Alex Hakala
PGT Class (co-driver):
Nolan Sambrano, Jennifer Hudsepth, Alix Hakala, Kelly Miller, Dean Schlingman
Kevin Welker, Bryan Short, Shawn Hudspeth, William Hofmann, Clive Skelton
Production Class (co-driver):
Jake Walters, Christine Marcinak
Production Class (driver):
Kevin Patterson, John Black
Group 2 (co-driver):
Brent Ellzey, Simon Branton-Housley, Terr-Dog Stonecipher, Tom Smith, (Sameer Parekh, Shawn McMahon-tied)
Group 2 (driver):
Jeremy Brown, Michel Hoche-Mong, Eddie Florelli, Christine Beavis, (Pete Morris, George Doganis -tied)
Group 5 (co-driver):
Scott McCarty, Keith Rudolph, Bill Masche, CJ Harper
Group 5 (driver):
Grant Hughes, Chuck Wilson, Jim Morris, Jun Andrada, (CJ Harper, Clay Harper - tied)
2WD Championship Overall:
Drivers: Jeremy Brown, Michel Hoche-Mong, Eddie Florelli, Christine Beavis, (George Doganis, Pete Morris-tied)
Co-drivers: Simon Branton-Housley, Brent Ellzey, Terr-Dog Stonecipher, Tom Smith, (Shawn McMahon, Sameer Parekh-tied)
Overall Southwest Championship:
Driver: Jeremy Brown, Michel Hoche-Mong, Steve Bis, Eddie Florelli, Christine Beavis,Kevin Welker
Co-Driver: Brian Moody, Brent Ellzey, Simon Branton-Housley, Nolan Sambrano, Terr-Dog Stonecipher
We have several new events coming on board for the series schedule:
Plan B Rally - January 31st, 2009
Desert Storm Rally - March 21/22, 2009
Irwindale Rally - May 30th, 2009 (a brand new event)
Rally Colorado - September 19/20th, 2009
Seed 9 Rally - November 14th, 2009
Rallye de Paris - November 28th, 2009 (new addition for Texas Competitors to run in this region and series)
Phoenix, Rally - December 5th, 2009 (a brand new event)
Plus, for 2009 we will be adding rallycrosses to the series, presented by Bret Norgaard, to help bring up more potential competitors to the stage format rallying.
For 2009 sponsors back on board are Bilstein Shock Absorbers, Subaru Southwest Region, Rallygrafix, Marketing Matters, Silverstone Tyres, Racetech, K2 Awards, Team O’Neil Rally School. Thank you so much for believing in the series and it accomplishments.
Also for 2009 Team O’Neil would like to open up the $4000.00 gift certificate to not only for rookies but for competitors who will run the series schedule. Their names will be placed into the box for the entire season. Each time they run a SWRC event their name get placed in the box for each entry. If it is a one day event then it is for one time. A full rally weekend; their name goes in twice. The drawing will be held at the last event of the season which is the Phoenix Rally. A great opportunity for anyone to get to go to the rally school and supports the series events. One condition that you are serious about going to the school and will take the time to use the certificate and you must be a SW region licensed competitor.
For more information about the 2009 season and updates from each of the events and updates from each of the series events; please do go to the series website: http://www.southwestrallyseries.com.