On October 5th and 6th, the SCCA in conjunction with Historic Race Circuits of Elkhart Lake staged the inaugural Elkhart Lake Historic Rallye in and around the Village of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The event celebrated the 55th anniversary of the SCCA sponsored Monte Carlo style rallies held in 1951 and 1952 in conjunction with the Elkhart Lake open road sports car races.
1951-52 Rallye History
The 1951 and 1952 Monte Carlo styled rallies were modeled after the famous European Monte Carlo rallies. Rally teams began the rally at any of sixty-five cities spread all across the United States. Teams were allowed to select their own average speed with the objective of reaching Elkhart Lake on the Saturday of the race weekend. Each team was awarded “starting points” based on their distance from Elkhart Lake. As the teams progressed from check point to check point, points were deducted based on early or late arrival times. Thus teams traveling the greatest distance had more leeway for error than teams traveling shorter distances.
Check points along the route were major cities within each SCCA Region. As the rally teams progressed across the Country, more and more teams came together at each check point were the local Region hosted receptions. The result was one of the largest moving parties in rally history.
The 2007 Historic Rallye
The 2007 rally featured the time-speed-distance format but the emphasis was on the pure joy of owning, displaying and driving sports cars. Teams came from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota as well as Wisconsin. Fall colors were near peak and the weather was unseasonably warm for October making conditions nearly perfect for the event.
Participants and workers arrived in Elkhart Lake on Friday the 5th and had the option of participating in the Drive America “Touring” session on the Road America race circuit. Drive America is a benefit for the March of Dimes sponsored by the SCCA Milwaukee Region. Rally participants were given access to the world famous closed circuit track for a forty-five minute touring session.
Following the track event rally participants adjourned to the historic race bar at Siebkens Resort (The Last Open Bar) for registration and check-in. Capping off the evening the rally teams joined the Drive America participants for a buffet dinner in the Siebkens Resort dinning room. The dinner was hosted by the Milwaukee Region.
Saturday morning at 8 a.m. the SCCA offered an optional thirty minute “Rally School” covering the basics of the TSD rally format. Since the majority of the rally teams had limited or no rally experience, the school was filled to overflowing and questions seemed to come from every direction. Tim Craft, SCCA National Rally Coordinator who conducted the school, did an outstanding job and participants left with rising confidence.
At 8:30 a.m. the teams lined up on the Lake Street portion of the Historic Race Circuits between the Victorian Village and Siebkens resorts for distribution of route instructions and the ceremonial start. With route instructions in hand for the first time, rally teams stopped admiring cars and settled into deciphering the instruction. Then promptly at 9:00 a.m. the first car was called to the starting line and released onto the rally route to begin the rally.
After leaving the starting line, teams toured the Historic Elkhart Lake Open Road Race Circuits to warm up their tires and calibrate odometers. From there the teams headed north thru rolling farm lands and past lakes and rivers, in the process passing three check points. Only one team failed to hit all the morning session check points and segment scores were amazingly close to target times.
At the end of the morning session, rally teams and worker were treated to a New York Style Deli Buffet on the lake patio at the Osthoff Resort overlooking Elkhart Lake. It was warm, the view was stunning and the food was first class.
Having warmed up in the morning session, rally teams did some serious rallying in the longer afternoon session returning to the finish on Lake Street in Elkhart Lake shortly after 5 pm. While scoring coordinator Brian Berg totaled the rally scores and determined class winners, rally teams and workers adjourned to the Back Porch Bistro at the Victorian Village Resort for refreshments, to compare notes and to swap rally stories. As the sun set over Elkhart Lake, the gala “Wisconsin Beer and Brat” dinner was rolled out featuring traditional Wisconsin bratwurst with all the trimmings.
The much anticipated award celebration began immediately after the dinner. Teams competed in three SCCA classes Equipped, Limited and Stock plus a special class for Vintage Cars from 1960 and prior.
All of the rally teams appeared to be having a great time but special recognition went to the team of Kevin Rogers and David Johnson driving Kevin’s ground up restored 1960 Austin Healey 3000 MKI as the team who seemed to have the most fun.
The SCCA, the rally participants and the many workers who made the event function so smoothly all agreed that the rally had been a huge success and participants committed to return for future events and to bring their friends as well.
Sponsorship for the inaugural Elkhart Lake Historic Rallye was provided by the Elkhart Lake Tourism Commission and local businesses; Sargento Foods, Polarware Company, Armsup Motorsports, Godspeed Racing and Badger Mutual Insurance.
P.O. Box 312
The HRC Vintage Trophy
1 Persnickety Place
Plymouth, WI 53073
1635 West National Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53204
The SCCA Unlimited Trophy
2806 N. 15th Street
Sheboygan, WI 53083
The SCCA Limited Trophy
Promotional funding provided by the Elkhart Lake Tourism Commission.