Monday, February 22, 2010

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Up Two Mountains Finishes Seed 9 Rally 4th OA, and Takes 2nd in CRS OpenAWD

Jon Burke and co-driver Brian Francis finished the 2009 Seed 9 Rally 4th overall, which gave Jon the points needed to take 2nd place in the California Rally Series Championship in the AWD Open Class.

Seed 9 Rally held in Jean, NV was the last CRS and SouthWest Rally Series for the 2009 season. A one day rally; recce, registration and tech went without a hitch during the day and the rally started right at sundown and continued into the evening.

A true desert rally, Seed 9 consists of six stages through rough Nevada terrain, corners blinded by desert brush, and all in the blackness of night with only stars and rally lights to pave the way. Stage 1 started with a little scare as rookie co-driver Brian Francis missed the first call and almost sent the team flying into the night! (haha, sorry Brian!) But the car took the abuse and kept going for the rest of the stage, and the rest of the event. After the first stage warm-up, Jon and Brian got into a steady pace as they felt out the stages for the first time.

Service came early after only two stages, and once again, DirtyImpreza crew member Zach Dickenson was there to greet Jon and Brian with the 'Big Red Truck' and all the tools and lights. Fortunately, there was little work to be done this time and Zach just tried to diagnose a recurring grounding issue with our cornering no avail, its a good thing Jon won the Jackson Rally IRNY sweepstakes, as we really need those Soltek halogen rally lights!

With four more stages to go (and no more service stops), the team had to drive with prudence...but since these were repeate stages, Jon still took 18 seconds off his previous time on Stage 3 (repeat of Stage 2), and 23 seconds off the previous time on Stage 5 (repeat of stage 1).

The third event this year, it was great to have no major issues or any major breakage. Everything worked like it was supposed to, from the Lassa Rally Tires taking hard hits on very rough terrain, to the new STI steering rack; we're ready to start turning up the power for the 2010 season and seeing exactly what this car and driver can do when really pushed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rally America Waiver Approved for Seed 9!

UP2MTNS Rally Team will be competing at Seed 9 Rally on December 5th, 2009! This 'waiver' is necessary to run our Open Class AWD rally car while Jon Burke still has less than 18 coefficient points overall at a Rally America sanctioned event.

Our co-driver is still up in the air as Tucker Heiner is not available for that weekend, but we're working on bringing in someone with a lot of experience.

The car is still under repair from Prescott Rally, but there is plenty of time to get everything ready by December, we're excited to ramp up and get it all done!

We will also be at FRX's NovemberFest RallyX event on November 14th and 15th at Prairie City OHV, Rancho Cordova, CA.

Monday, October 12, 2009

UP2MTNS Finishes 22nd Annual Prescott Rally 2009!

Up Two Mountains Rally Team: Jon Burke and Tucker Heiner were pleased to finish all 8 stages of the 22nd Annual 2009 Prescott Rally! We finished 6th overall (out of 29 total competitors), and 2nd in the Open AWD class.

The finish was hard fought, as we had a big 'off' on stage 6, and a flat tire on stage 5, we were running out of spares, fast!

We actually lost very little time with the 'off' and were able to replace the front right control arm at service with NO road points! The flat, however, cost us several minutes on stage, and then we got stuck in the dust of a slower competitor and couldn't get close enough to pass...that cost us 5-6 minutes and as you can see in the final overall results, that would have put us in the running for 2nd place overall (oh well, that's rally!).

Learned quite a few lessons about self-control, the 'mentality' of racing, and keeping one's well as learning to grow and pair and how to take corners at +75mph!

(Jon Burke and Tucker Heiner Come Flying out of a 'Left 3' on Stage 6 Ssaturday Morning. Photo by: Mustafa Samli)

Here’s the play-by-play that started late Friday afternoon went through Saturday afternoon:

Stage 1 - Drove like my grandma to get used to the car, the roads (BIG +200ft exposures!) and the brand new Lassa rally tires we've never used before.

Stage 2 - Picked up the pace a little bit, getting faster, more key experience.

Service 1 – Car and engine are running tip-top, but saw our times on Stage 1... time to pick up the pace!

Stage 3 and 4...put up top 3 stage times and drove very clean (See our youtube videos: search: up2mtns)

Day 2
Stage a little cocky on one turn and that's how we lost a tire. See the video here: Prescott Rally Stage 5

Stage 6 - Stage 5 in reverse, with the lesson learned, we drove fast but smart, a

mislabeled turn at the end (was labeled a 5, should have been a 4) and a lot of spectators

(lesson #2 learned: ignore spectators!) snuck up on us and we went off pretty hard, but the car took the abuse and kept on going...we finished the last 1/2 mile and put up a decent time.

Service - Went 9 miles back on a de-beaded rim....NO damage to the Lassa rally tire (other than the de-bead), AND it also protected my TD rim....I LIKE these tires. Replaced control arm and re-set the car in 40 minutes with help from DirtyImpreza crew member, Zach Dickinson.

Stage 7 and 8...had some alignment issues because we borrowed a GC arm and forgot the washers, car still drove pretty good and we put up respectable times to finish 6th over all.

Next…we’re trying for a waiver to compete at Seed 9 Rally this December 4-5th, but the event is sanctioned by Rally American, and I don’t have 18 coefficient points required for all drivers in Open AWD turbo cars. If we can’t run Seed 9, this is our last event for 2009, and we’ll be making plans to run the full California Rally Series Championship in 2010!

Last…a big thanks to all our sponsors, Michel Hoche-Mong (HANS, Intercom and trailer), and Eli Gilbert (another HANS!).

UP2MTNS Rally Team is proud to be sponsored by:

Fine Line Imports

Cobb Tuning

Redline Synthetic Oil

L&E Fabrication

FEAL Suspension

Project Solo Gear


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Up Two Mountains Rally Team Debuts at Gorman Ridge Rally


Driver Jon Burke and co-drive Tucker Heiner made their stage rally debut this past weekend at Gorman Ridge Rally, pars of the California Rally Series (CRS) and United States Rally Championship (USRC). (Photo: Louie Minette)

Saddled up in an AWD Open Class 2004 Subaru WRX which was literally finished just days before the event, the detuned turbo engine was fitted with restrictor and tuned at Fine Line Imports; putting up 267wtq and 210whp was still a peppy and responsive car for the rookie team.

The weekend started on Friday with final adjustments to the suspension (raised 1.5” for Gorman’s notoriously rough roads) and several hours of recce. Jon had co-driven these roads at the 2008 Gorman Rally and was able to create accurate notes with Tucker who is new on the rally scene.

Saturday started leisurely with the driver’s meeting at 10:15am and our out time was just an hour away. Being new, we were lined up at the back of the pack; but Stage 1 was good to the new team…putting up a respectable 5:20 time, they passed one competitor and almost caught up to the next by the end of the stage….they were on their way!

Stages 2 was interrupted when a competitor rolled on a fast downhill section of Power Line Rd…everyone was safe, but most teams received the same bogie time. Stage 3 (same as Stage 1) was also good to the team, with a 19 second improvement.

The Rally Gods struck early in Stage 4 with a broken drive shaft which put the team out of contention for CRS points, but started a service crew frenzy to replace the drive shaft and keep competing under USRC ‘Super Rally’ rules. With key help from Aaron Ekinaka (founder, and other DI volunteers, they were able to swap out the aftermarket drive shaft (whoops, don’t fix what ain’t broke!!) with the OEM one with time to spare to eat some Rally BBQ!

At this point, the race was on to just finish… a loose battery cable almost kept them from starting Stage 8 and small boulders took off their exhaust, but they were able to start Stage 9 with literally a minute to spare. They finished Stage 9 (same as stage 1 and 3) with a very fast 4:44….only 12 seconds slower than the stage record of 4:32 set by Keith Jackson and Marra Estep…showing that the rookie team has what it takes to be fast! (Photo: Zachary Dickinson)

The next obstacles were a faulty co-driver light and a flat tire on stage, but the Jon and Tucker prevailed and rolled across the finish at Stage 12!

We’d like to thank all of the help from individuals and sponsors who made this rally happen for us:

Ray and Donna Hocker and Mike and Paula Gibeault and all the volunteers for putting on such a fun event!

Lars Wolfe – for building us a great cage, and the tons of rally advice.
Michel Hoche-Mong – letting us borrow the intercom, car trailer, and HANS device…oh, and for scrutineering my cage, and passing us at tech! (and for tons of advice)

Miles, Ryan and Steve at Fine Line Imports ( for building us a great engine with a great tune!

All the help we received from individuals at, and

COBB Tuning (engine and interior parts)
GrimmSpeed (engine parts/porting/coating)
Redline Oil (all fluids)
L&E Fabrication (quick steering column)
Safe Drives (ALL our safety gear)
Metropolitan Motors (tire mounting/balancing)
Project Solo Gear (skid plate, which did its job!)

Jon and Tucker will be at Prescott Rally ( ) the first weekend in October, with the goal to finish each stage and take home some CRS points.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

coming soon....

Its been a while since the last post/update...a lot will be coming is almost done, Gorman Ridge Rally is next week....lots of pics and video...