2) 2000 ENTRIES: There are about 30 teams entered, though it's likely not all will actually start. (See current entry list).
3) ROUTE: We've done Dawson City numerous times, so will substitute Valdez for 2000. This will allow us to criss-cross more of Alaska, and tour both ends of the pipeline.. Valdez is an interesting town with a nice Westmark Hotel.
4) EVENT FINISH: The Regal Alaskan Hotel, 1 mile from Anchorage International Airport. This beautiful facility is on the shore of Lake Spenard, with it's own floatplane / skiplane dock. The rally will arrive here February 18 and spend 2 nights, with a half day February 19 for final ice slalom competitions and spectating at Big Lake, near Wasilla. Click here for the complete tentative itinerary.
5) SPONSORS: Looks likely we'll have the regulars on board, plus some new ones.
6) 2000 STAFF: Includes Jerry & Colleen Hines, Jim & Cristy Breazeale, Jim & Suzanne Elder (Jim is also our Media Coordinator), Bill Banger, Ray Leonard, Ohio Knox, Gary Webb and Peter Schneider. There will be 5 or 6 official cars (including 2 well equipped sweep vehicles).
* What is the entry limit? We're targeting a starting field
of 30. This means we're about full, but may overbook slightly to
allow for cancellations. More spots will be released on a case-by-case
* How do I reserve a spot? I'll put you on the waiting list based on an e-mail or phone call, but no one will be confirmed unless we have an entry form and deposit in hand (no, we won't deposit your money till you're offered a spot). I don't care if half the information says "tba", send an entry form if you want to attend!
* How are starting numbers assigned? Enter early and you'll get an earlier number. As usual, however, there will be a few numbers reserved for past winners, long-time entrants, and factory teams. Final car numbers will be assigned in December of 1999.
* When will regulations be available? The final draft was posted in November 23.
* What are the risks? We haven't had an injury accident in our 10 years of winter events, but a few cars have been badly damaged. With 30 entries we're talking nearly 150,000 vehicle miles in serious winter conditions, and cautious driving is expected of everyone.
* How much help can I expect? Our first concern is everyone's personal safety, worrying about equipment is a distant second. What this means in practice is that radios, planning, a "buddy system", capable teams, and experienced official crews make immediate response to any problem the rule, but we may not have enough resources at any given time and location to spend a lot of hours helping with a broken or badly "stuffed" vehicle. At a minimum, you should expect transport to the nearest warm place where commercial help is available. We will also do our best to help with vehicle repair or extraction, but not if this would in itself be a hazard or limit resources needed to insure the safety of others. (For an example of this in practice, see the end of Mary Lowry's article from 1998).
* Can you carry some gear for us if we have 3 people in an Impreza? We'd like to avoid this, but see the need in such cases. Here's a proposed solution: officials will not carry your parts, tires, or safety equipment, but will transport one bag of personal items per "small" vehicle (just be sure it's not mandatory items for your overnight comfort, an official vehicle could be hours behind assisting someone else...).
* What kind of vehicle do you recommend? You'd likely have the most fun in something like a 5000 Quattro or Legacy Wagon (I've done 3 winter Alcans in 100,000+ mile Quattros), and find the easiest drive and most reserve capability in something like a newer F150 +cab 4x4 truck (trucks are also 25% cheaper than a comparable SUV...). An AWD Astro van (92 or newer to get the Vortec motor) would also be a comfortable ride, and has a big fuel tank. We'll tend to use SUV's and trucks for official vehicles, so if we have to leave someone's car at the bottom of a gully we can cite safety reasons rather than lack of capability and planning ;>) My own concept of a great winter vehicle is a '98 F250 +cab 4x4 with the PowerStroke diesel - it's amazingly fast and economical (too bad I can't afford one).
PS: We have had teams in rental vehicles. I can't recommend it, but this isn't a race and as long as the contract clearly showsyou can drive in Canada we'd probably accept the vehicle. (Haven't had a rental win the event yet, but one was 2nd place in 1998...)
* What kind of vehicle if I'm really serious about winning? Well, you won't win any rallycross sections in a full size truck, so a safe compromise is probably a solid SUV. This will give you space, reasonable handling, and reserve capability if the weather turns ugly. An AWD sedan is also nice, but they haven't proven to be one bit faster in the rallycross sections.
* What kind do you NOT recommend? Well, I wouldn't use a 2wd unless you're pretty talented and need the challenge. Same story for a short-wheelbase SUV or truck: a long wheelbase is much more stable, short is nimble and "tossable" but demands skill and attention (show up with a 5" lift kit too and we'll just send you home - nobody is that talented...). Also be wary of any 4x4 with automatic hubs (replace them with Warn manual hubs and you'll probably be fine). We have never had a Ford Ranger finish the winter Alcan with it's 4wd system still functioning. The '95 Ranger +cab I bought for the '96 Alcan Winter Rally had a front hub fail about 1,700 miles into the event, and in 1990 Siegfried Lucka (a Paris-Dakar veteran who bought a new Ranger for Alcan) swore he'd have driven his Caravan if he knew he'd be in 2wd for 3,500 miles...
* What's a "rallycross"? It's simply an autocross on ice or snow, with snowbanks instead of pylons. These are run 1 car at a time, and our venues have included 1/4 mile oval tracks, snowmobile courses on frozen lakes or rivers, and the Anchorage Sports Car Club's road course on Big Lake, near Wasilla. (We've also called these "Solo II" in the past, but only some of these have been "official" SCCA Solo II's and we don't want to misuse their name).
* When is the next Alcan event? The next Alcan Winter Rally will be in 2004. The next summer Alcan will be in late August of 2002: it will start in the Seattle area, and probably include 2 nights in Yellowknife with a finish in Jasper, Alberta. The 2002 Alcan will probably include an "Adventure Touring" motorcycle class for the first time, and we expect 30+ total entries.
* Why is your web site so basic? We're trying to make information quickly and easily available, not impress with html tricks. Based on responses we see, the lowest common denominator web browser out there still doesn't support frames, so we'll stick with the basics for now. (OK if you have bandwidth to spare, here's some music to read by (or would you prefer Bach or "North to Alaska"?).