FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Harrisville, NY October 14, 2008
* NASA Rally Sport sanctioned Black River Stages rally took place in Harrisville, New York
* Night stages increase challenge for competitors
* Local competitor achieves podium finish
Motorcycle riders returned to Black River Stages rally for the final round of the Atlantic RallyMoto(TM) Cup. The 2008 edition featured night stages and competitors had spent long hours designing and implementing auxiliary lighting to meet the added challenge. Just when they thought they had the night stages licked, the downpour started, cutting visibility again, and skyrocketing the challenge level for the riders.
Mike Gilkey of Team Adventurer's Workshop piloted his KTM 690E to the overall win. "The win is fantastic" reported Gilkey, "but it's really a different goal that I'm excited about. For the first time, a bike took the overall." The fastest car was just eight seconds slower than Gilkey.
Hensley Evans became the first female RallyMoto(TM) competitor but withdrew following the Friday night finish. "This bike is not the right fit for this terrain, but don't worry! I'll be back with a smaller bike for the next event," Evans promised.
The BMW G450 made its United States debut at Black River Stages Rally as the bike of choice for three competitors. This new machine ended up with a very strong finish, second overall, piloted by Robert Wooldridge. Added to the mix were a full representation of KTM, Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, and Aprilia machinery.
Atlantic RallyMoto(TM) Cup points leader Mark Ely suffered a serious setback at the start of the very first stage. A pinched fuel line cost him fourteen minutes right off the bat. This changed his race strategy to one of points conservation, a wise move that paid off for him in the end results.
Due to a continual downpour and the unexpected destruction of paper time cards, the competitors improvised with baggies and other waterproofing methods to insure their scores were accurately reported. This kept the scoring team up to three o'clock AM to decipher the soggy cards. "It was another first." said Clerk of the Course Anders Green "We've never run the bikes in full rain before. It's not much trouble for the cars, but we learn something new about this sport nearly every time we include the motorcycles. We're pushing the envelope with every event."
New roads in the Town of Croghan were well received by the competitors. Feedback from Pete Lahm, a well traveled former competitor who now crisscrosses the country documenting the rallies by creating the "stage notes" used by codrivers, was "That new stage, Texas Road, is really fantastic." Initial reports from businesses in Croghan are that there was increased business during the weekend, so it appears the event is benefiting the surrounding local communities.
Event Director Amy Feistel spoke about the great reception the event had received from the local community, "Volunteers from the local community and from surrounding states helped manage the event. We are especially fortunate to have the ongoing support of the Towns of Diana, Croghan, Pitcairn and Edwards."