Dear Friends of the Gorman Ridge Rally:
As you may have seen from photos posted on social media and heard through general, unofficial chatter, Gorman Ridge Rally has been seeking new roads for the 2015 event.
Last September, we began discussions with the Mt. Pinos Ranger District, which maintains the section of the Los Padres National Forest directly adjacent to Hungry Valley SVRA. To have new roads in the National Forest would be a coup d’etat, as it has been nearly a decade since a Southern California rally has been issued a USFS Special Use Permit.
With the cooperation (and suggestions) of the ranger district, we identified 38 unique miles of new stage roads and submitted our application and operating plan. These new roads comprise 6 new stages, include a 2,000′ elevation change, and run directly through the pine forest. The Gibeaults finished writing stage notes for them earlier this week.
On Friday, we were notified by the ranger district that the permit would not be issued for 2015 due to fire concerns. The combination of California’s historic drought, the devastating effects of a bark beetle infestation resulting in thousands of acres of standing dead trees, the impending regional increase of the fire danger rating to Level 4 (“Very High” – with the possibility of being raised to “Extreme” in August) and local events such as the Lake Fire (currently 30,000 acres @ 40% containment), were factors in the decision.
While this was disappointing news, we understand the reasons and are happy to report that the ranger district is continuing the discussion regarding ways to mediate the fire concern and include these roads in the 2016 Gorman Ridge Rally. District personnel plan to be on-hand to observe this year’s event in Hungry Valley. We’re not down and out, but for 2015, it looks like force majeure has hit us.
The bright spot in all of this is that Hungry Valley SVRA, a place Gorman has called home since the event was resurrected in the 1980s, is looking forward to our return. We are working closely with park management to develop a comprehensive grading plan to improve stage roads in time for the rally. The park has also requested that we use a newly constructed group site with more amenities than previously available, which will allow the Boy Scouts to provide the mid-rally BBQ in the park and should streamline the schedule by keeping service in one spot for the entire day.
And don’t forget exciting new additions for 2015 – the Gibeaults have used their highly regarded system to create stage notes (included in the entry fee) and Gorman Ridge Rally is a NASA RallySport 2C event, which will provide payouts to 2 wheel drive competitors.
Registration is now open and more information can be accessed via:
We hope that you choose to join us on August 22nd. Thank you for your continued support.
The Gorman Ridge Rally Organizing Team
Brian & Stacey Hamblin, Tony & Raquel Chavez