58 AUGUST 2018 scca.com
INSIDE SCCA ROADRALLY
teel Cities Region has organized
versions of the Steel Haul
April 28 of this year, rallymaster Chuck
Larouere kept that history alive,
followed the next day with my Laurel
Run Tour rally. East Coast weather
played havoc planning the event but, in
the weeks before the rally, the areas
east of Pittsburgh looked more like
spring than winter.
The route for the Steel Haul
stayed north and east of Pittsburgh
toward Freeport and Kittanning.
Kittanning’s steel days are gone
and Freeport is no longer a stop
on the Pennsylvania canal, but
rallying there is still an option.
Larouere didn’t think he had
written a hard event, but the scores
show otherwise with an average
for the six course teams of just
under 1,050 points. Justin Connors
and I pre-checked the route and
an official score would not have
found us leading the pack.
For three of the 23 scored legs, all
of the teams had a max. A lettered
instruction that carried into the next
leg was likely the cause of trouble for
a second pause at “Big Foot” even
though the exact mileage given to
the silhouette satisfied the RRRs
landmark identification requirements.
An instruction to “End Free Zone” in
an instruction where the free zone
had already ended caught them all.
The oddest one was a mileage
turn of “Left at Greenfield.” Whoever
stenciled the sign reversed the “N”
so the sign couldn’t be used.
All of the teams should have visited
Kittanning and the morning break
at the Sheetz if they were careful to
keep looking for a “Cemetery” 0.85
miles after the last instruction. The
first Sheetz (and it’s hard to miss the
big red canopy) was a tenth of a mile
before the instruction was completed.
In spite of those goings on, Bruce
Gezon driving for Bob Morseburg
finished the day with 471 points.
Even that score was good enough
for first in Class E and first overall.
In Class S, Jim Wakeman driving for
Brian Nogrady finished first with
More than 50 years later, Steel Cities Region keeps the Steel
Haul RoadRally alive and well | WORDS & IMAGE Rick Beattie
1,235 points, with Wendy Harrison
and navigator Craig Beidelman taking
first in Class L with 1,716 points.
Five other teams ran the event
as the optional Tour rally, averaging
just 85 points. The Tour followed
the Course route without the traps,
but many of the Course pauses
stayed to keep the teams together.
John Emmons and navigator Lois
Van Vleet finished first in Class E and
first overall with 17 points, while John
Laslo, driving for Rob Iseman, took
Class S honors with 334 points.
Scores settled down the next day
on the Laurel Run. The route east
went through Johnstown, Pa. Steel
production ended there in 1992 when
the Bethlehem Steel Corporation
plant closed. The hoped-for trip
by car up the Johnstown Inclined
Plane didn’t materialize, as winter
repairs were not yet complete.
Contestants were still able to
find great scenery as the route first
wound up the mountains (at least
to Pennsylvanians) to Johnstown,
then through the Shaffer Covered
Bridge in Somerset County before
turning back toward home over
the Laurel and Chestnut Ridges.
The rally used tulip instructions
and passage controls like the
previous four Laurel Runs. The trip
east allowed travel in areas where
the posted speed limit was higher
than the typical 25mph speed limit
of last year’s Divisional event.
The typical CASTs were quick but
not fast. One contestant lamented
that many of the controls were
not placed in the more difficult,
hidden locations, and higher entry
speeds of previous Laurel Runs.
Gezon and Morseburg again took
first in Class E and first overall with
seven points. The Class L team of
Satish Gopalkrishnan and navigator
Jim Crittenden took Class L honors
with 27 points. Wakeman and Nogrady
won Class S with 33 points.
THE PATH LESS TRAVELED
Jim Miner drives his Dakar Yellow
BMW 2000 M Coupe during the
2012 running of the Steel Haul.
As all of yinz
“still” and “steel”
the same way.
you use, as
long as the
is the same.