Having moved to Colorado in 2012, Alan and Tracey Gardiner were both working full time, spent their weekends exploring Colorado. Every time they were out they would look at each other and say, “Rally needs to come back to Colorado, these roads would make amazing rally stages!”. Those are the thoughts of two determined people, one who grew up with Rally in Ireland, and the other the principal of her own rally team.
“After a lot of research and many rejections and disappointments, figuring not only the best of roads but also navigating host towns, service park areas, accommodations, permitting and all the other things you would need to make a rally successful, safe and fun for competitors, for over a year our weekends were spent driving the dirt roads of Colorado, identifying potential areas where a rally would be feasible” said Tracey. Meetings were set up with proper authorities and landowners along with the sanctioning body of the time “Rally America,” they played a vital role in assisting with the back office organizing of the rally.
After much deliberation, Rangely became “Rally-Town USA”. A small welcoming, working town in Northwest Colorado in Rio Blanco County. It has hundreds of miles of OHV trails, one of the only designated natural rock crawling parks in Colorado, and world class dirt and gravel roads with amazing scenery! From the first time the “Irishman with a funny accent” stepped foot in the town of Rangely, he was welcomed with open arms. A meeting was arranged with the Chamber of Commerce to talk about the event. The “Let’s do this” attitude of Miss Konnie representing the Chamber of Commerce and the backing of the entire town and Rio Blanco County brought Rally Colorado back to life as a premiere rally event.
Because of a change in personal circumstances, Alan, the Irishman and Tracey, of Tag Rally Sport, knew they would not be able to be part of organizing the 2020 event. They say the planning for an event starts the day the previous one ends. After the 2019 event, the story goes that rally organizers, rally competitors and rally volunteers were sitting outside of the Blue Mountain Inn after a successful and very eventful event! If you have not heard, ask someone about the story of Earl. There was chatting into the wee hours of the morning. Samantha and Joseph Chiarelli were asking many questions of the Gardiner’s about what goes into running a rally, and right there the next leaders of Rally Colorado were conscripted.
In 2017, the Rally Colorado cup was born. Alan came up with the idea that there would be a trophy dedicated to the rally. The cup goes to the competitors that take first place overall. The winner’s names then get a space on the trophy along with former winners from the original Rally Colorado held in Steamboat Springs. Names currently on the trophy from the days of Steamboat are Travis Pastrana, Ken Block, and Andrew Comrie-Picard. Since 2017, David & Michael Brown in 2017 and 2019, Steve Bis and Scott McCarty in 2018 have been added to that list.
Rally Colorado is now in the 4th year of running. As of 2019, Rally Colorado is sanctioned by the American Rally Association. We are pleased to announce that TRS will sponsor the “Rally Colorado Cup” for 2020 along with a cash prize of $250.00 awarded to the fastest team overall.
Alan and Tracey would like to thank all their fellow organizers and volunteers who make Rally Colorado, “Way Outside of Ordinary!”
All the best to Rally Colorado for 2020 and for the future!