Phyllis and Scott Carlborn, 2001 Winter Rally Champions, were the overall winners of the 2002 Wisconsin Winter Rallye in their Jeep Grand Cherokee. Finishing second were the novice team of Joe Lipinski and Brian Naughton, whose first rally was last year's WWR. Surprisingly, WWR '02 turned out to be more like an evening of the WWF, as several cars were dropped from the running due to mishaps.
The problems began on Leg 1, when the Audi of Kemp/Strand missed the first instruction after the odometer check, following the curve of the main road instead of going straight onto unpaved. First-timers John and Paul Ojanen in a Subaru WRX followed the Audi. It was several miles before Kemp and Strand noticed the error, and by the time they got turned around and back on course they had exceeded the maximum allowed Time Allowance and were forced to take the 60 point maximum penalty.
In the meantime, the Ojanens found out that despite AWD and anti-lock brakes, performance tires and icy roads do not mix. Their WRX ended up well off the road and struck a birch tree, denting the left front fender and bumper. With the help of a tow truck they were able to get back on the road and re-joined the rally after the mid-point break.
First-timers Scott and Wendy Riedl, now owners of the infamous "Zippy, the Wonder Bunny" (a ClubRally VW Rabbit that has passed through many hands), fought several gremlins, some self-induced. Their rally computer failed on the drive up from their home in Baraboo, and the stock odo was non-functional, plus they did not have a calculator. They were still able to follow the course, but did not stop at the first couple of controls, but realized by Control 3 that since the other competitors were stopping, maybe they should as well. Their rally ended a couple of legs from the end when the alternator quit, and the battery did not have enough reserve to get them back to Solon Springs. When all power was exhausted, they pushed the car to a country bar, as they did not have a flashlight to investigate the problem. Under the light of the parking lot, they determined that the problem was merely a wire that had come disconnected, and they were able to get Zippy fired up again.
Old-timers Dexter Nelson and Mike McConnell were also a "DNF" in their Dodge Stratus, though good scores early on put them into 4th overall in the scoring. A sharp bump on Leg 8 (Crotte Brook Trail) caused the engine cradle to bottom out, and punctured the oil filter. About a half mile later, the "CHECK ENGINE" light came on and the team pulled to the side. They were towed back to Solon Springs by Sweep, where they found a gas station that had a service bay. Though the attendant on duty was not a mechanic, he was able to locate a new filter and several quarts of oil, so the Dodge left town under its own power.
Rally worker Bill Taylor upheld a family tradition normally reserved for his son Al by getting stuck. He pulled off the roadway a little too far in making a U-turn, but was able to extract the car after a bit of rocking, though he and daughter Dana missed one of their control assignments as a result. Rallymaster Tim Winker, running as lead car, was able to clock all cars in and send them on their way to the midpoint break.
Ojanens rejoined the rally after the break, catching five controls still open. They skipped the final control due to a low fuel situation.
The rally course visited several prime sections of potential ClubRally, including Tower Fire Lane, Breitzmann Lake Road, Hunters Trail, Crotte Brook Trail, Empire Wilderness road and Jackson Box Trail. Many roads had not been plowed, so it was necessary to stay in the single-track ruts or get pulled into the ditch. Logging operations on Jackson Box Trail this winter require that the road be kept clear, and it is in better shape than it has been in many years.
Wisconsin Winter Rallye
January 12, 2002
OA CL Driver Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total Navigator Model 1 1B Phyllis Carlborn 98 Jeep 0 0 0 0 23 5 0 4 0 0 32 Scott Carlborn Grand Cherokee 2 1D Joe Lipinski 90 Audi 0 0 4 11 5 5 0 10 6 11 52 Brian Naughton 90 quattro 3 2B Steve Kemp 98 Audi 60 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 70 Rolf Strand A4 quattro 4 1C Dexter Nelson 98 Dodge 4 0 22 15 4 4 0 60 60 60 229 Mike McConnell Stratus 5 2D Tim Smigowski 95 Chev 51 60 60 60 0 3 60 3 0 12 309 C. Smigowski S10 Blazer 6 3D Dan Merback 87 VW 60 21 60 59 29 0 40 60 60 58 447 Brady Sturm Golf 7 4D Scott Reidl 84 VW 60 60 60 60 41 60 60 60 60 60 581 Wendy Reidl Rabbit GTI 4D David Byrka Volvo 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 41 60 581 Harry Goldfine 740 Wgn 9 5D John Ojanen 02 Subaru 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 60 600 Paul Ojanen WRX Wgn
Rallymaster: Tim Winker
Ass't RM: Diane Sargent
Control Workers: Bill Taylor, Dana Goetz, Randy Jokela, Jon Anderson, Brad Enberg
Course Opening: Tim Winker
Sweep: Diane Sargent, Doug
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