When we initially conceived Dustball Rally, it was called the “Dustball Renegade Rally.” It was a free event, and the designed course was approximately 450 miles, which for us meant a single-day trip through New Mexico.
The recruitment consisted of myself, Leandra and our good friend – Lenny Loftin, essentially telling everyone we knew about it via phone and word of mouth (this was before Facebook and YouTube were open to the public). We also recruited (track stars) from the local PCA region, and our own driving club – deanslist.us (hosted tours, track days, socials and more). This meant – a lot of really talented drivers, in really fast cars.
The idea behind it was to create something from the combined knowledge I had gained from having spent time with Willie (Williams) on a recent PCA rally we set up together, and the tours we had been hosting with our driving club. We invited Willie too, but his health prevented attendance.
What was it like? Well – there was no screening process, no safety briefing, no packets, no film crews, no stickers, no lanyards, no shirts, and no hotels. Just a meet-up at 8ish, in the parking lot of a Starbuck’s, with a big map sprawled out on the Carrera tail of a 911, and about 20 people huddled around it. It was essentially a much longer and faster version of the tours I put together for the local PCA region – but would never be approved.
After doing our best to explain the route, we folded it up and began the process of jump-starting a few of the cars, including a group-effort push-start of a silver 996-GT2. Thinking back on it now – the entire ordeal was utterly hilarious, but was a necessary crucible to pass. Right out of the parking lot, “teams” raced to every stoplight on their way out of town, which was a mere five miles and five lights. It was like 7/8-mile drag-races with an 1/8 mile or less, to either let up or gamble for a green light.
Once we hit the first open highway, it was every man for himself. The cars in front of us were tiny specs, yet through the deafening roar of our supertrapps, we could still hear the scream of the 360 Modena as it sailed past us – and the downshift blips for the first few corners of this amazing stretch of highway. You would think that there was a pot of gold with Swedish concubines at the end. But there was no finish – and I’ll get to that later. The first stop was a gas station in Columbus, NM. Everyone fueled up and waited for one another, as if it was a group effort to murder the speed limit. At any rate, Myself and Leandra were the first car down, as we suffered a puncture to the main oil cooler (did I mention we did this in our 1984 911 Carrera track car?).
After consulting with Lenny, we bought a couple quarts of oil, and took an alternate route back to El Paso. As the rally progressed, Lenny called periodically to help coordinate lunch, and other stops. The rally continued north from Columbus to Silver City (for lunch), then across the Black Range before heading south on the interstate back to El Paso.
The finish line was your garage – because at this point we figured the police may be looking for a few of the cars. There are many more stories from this event – but you’ll have to locate one of the original Renegades to hear them.
The route? I’m not giving specifics for a reason, as this is site of the original deanslist.us/Dustball Rally proving grounds, where individuals had to prove themselves before becoming Dustball Rally Camera Car drivers. Seriously though – we do not share route information – so these amazing roads, stay amazing.