March 19th, 2016, dawned a beautiful Spring day with temperatures expected to be in the low 70’s. Pilar and I loaded our things into the TR-6 and headed for the Rally starting point—Fiesta Henderson. Our 41-year-old Triumph was running well and pulled cleanly through the gears—seemingly excited to be on the road to another BAC adventure. We were all looking forward to the start of the 10th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Rally—sponsored this year by the British Auto Club of Las Vegas.
Pat Klenk and I took second place in the 2015 Event, which meant we were responsible for sponsoring the rally the following year. Last fall Al Lindahl and I entered the Porsche Club’s rally and although we didn’t win it outright, we did manage to get copies of the route and the answer key from the PCLV Rally Master. This route was then driven several times in the subsequent months and modified to suit the ever-changing back-roads landscape of Las Vegas. I enlisted the help of Dick Rowe to pen a series of questions relating to British cars that would replace the Porsche-related ones that were integral to the PCLV rally. We came up with some CKQ’s (common knowledge questions) that would round out the ‘gimmick’ theme of our event. The modified route and questions were then typed up into what became the BAC St. Patrick’s Day Rally-2016.
As we turned right off Lake Mead Blvd. we came upon Al Bowman’s Morgan sitting in the Casino entrance road dead in the water. We pushed it out of harm’s way close to the Rally starting point—‘the big sign.’ He said it had simply died as he came off the 95 and managed to coast that far. Subsequent fiddling revealed a dead coil to be the problem. Not a positive way to start the day.
At 8:45, we handed out the General Instructions to the pilots and navigators of 19 cars including entrants from our friends in the Sin City Mini Club (SCMC) and the Miata Club (MOOV). We tried to emphasize the importance of reading the instructions and understanding the subtleties found therein. Few did. At 9:00 am, the first car was out and by 9:30, everyone was on his or her way. At this point, Pat and I had little to do but take care of a couple of housekeeping chores and then retire to the Black Mountain Grill for a beer to await the first arrivals.
Long story short—most everyone seemed to enjoy themselves saying the length of the rally in time and distance—2 hours and 50 miles—was just about right. As the beer began, flowing and lunches were ordered we went over the answers to the Rally questions. It was immediately apparent that few entrants understood the importance of reading and heeding the General Instructions—as virtually no one got the answers to three key questions correctly.
First place winners were Brett Harris and his navigator Drew Lupson and third place went to Margaret Klenk and her navigator Leisa. Second place winners were Lisa and Dave from the SCMC who have won this event before and were responsible for construction of the traveling St. Patrick’s Day trophy—a conglomeration of Brit car parts added to by every yearly winner. They will be the Rally Masters in 2017.
Everyone seems to have had a good time. With the exception of the new Paddle winner, Al Bowman, there were no breakdowns and no one was left stranded. Can’t wait for the 2017 Edition of this annual event, sponsored by our friends in the Mini Club. Rally on!