ANCHORAGE: The 1996 Alcan Winter Rally finished here March 2, going as scheduled except for the last section to Prudhoe Bay that was canceled due to a severe storm on the Dalton Highway. Most teams did press north as far as the Arctic Circle and took photos there as a consolation prize.
The 1996 event proved very competitive. The lead changed hands at least 3 times, and other positions frequently. The team of Johnny Unser, Paul Dallenbach and Tom Grimshaw repeated their 1994 win, with a second veteran Isuzu team just behind. Finishing in 3rd and 7th place, a team of stock Olds Bravadas led by Andy Bornhop and Doug Kott also dominated Class III.
As intended this event placed a value on planning, judgement, driving, equipment, and broad experience more than just TSD rallying, and some teams placed very well with little rallying background. Other very experienced teams simply had bad luck: Tim & Penny Paterson led the rally for 4 1/2 days before rolling their Tahoe near Tok, Alaska. They received the "Press on Regardless" award for finishing, but had to settle for 6th place. Ron Clyborne and Michelle Anderson took a 200 point penalty on day #2 when they missed a TSD section after having two flat tires at the Gold Pan Raceway competition - without those points the team would have placed second overall.
The Alcan Winter Rally is now repeated every 4 years, alternating with a summer Alcan 5000 Rally. The 1998 Alcan 5000 will start in Seattle on Saturday August 29 and finish in Jasper, Alberta September 5. This will also be an official Klondike Gold Rush Centennial event, and will focus on the Yukon Territory and it's history. The 1998 route will include an Inside Passage ferry trip on the way north, landing in Skagway, Alaska to follow the Klondike Highway to Dawson City.
The 2000 Alcan Winter Rally will start in Seattle on Friday February 25 and finish in Anchorage Saturday March 4. The event will be one day longer than 1996, and WILL include an overnight stop in Prudhoe Bay.
For more information contact the event organizor or visit the Alcan web site: