OFFICIAL DATE: May 17-19 at Deal's Gap, NC
OFFICIAL HOTEL: Fontana Village in Fontana, NC
COST: $68 per room per night
OFFICIAL WEB SITE NOW UP!!!
GREETINGS! Welcome to the OFFICIAL THREAD for the annual Subaru Challenge at the Dragon 2002.
This is a NATIONAL MEET! All Subaru owners nationwide are invited. Everybody come! We want as many people to participate this year as possible. If last year's event is any predictor of turnout, we should have a huge group.
Please feel free to invite friends to come regardless of what type of car they drive. SUVs need not apply! :lol: Everyone is welcome as long as they do not become a hazard on the road.
We will attempt to make reservations in bulk, so check back here for details. If we make a bulk reservation there will be an entry fee that covers the cost of lodging. This first post will be updated periodically with new information, so stay tuned.
The PRIMARY PURPOSE of this event is to HANG OUT WITH OTHER SUBARU ENTHUSIASTS. The driving will be SECONDARY to that aim. This is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled areas in the country, and frankly the fast driving is anticlimactic after seeing the area and hanging out with fellow Subie lovers. The best memories of last year's event were at the cabins, not on the road. BONFIRE AND GT3 iLINK TOURNAMENT AGAIN THIS YEAR FELLAS!
- "The Dragon" is a section of US129 stretching from near Robbinsville, NC across Deal's Gap into Tennessee near Knoxville. This road is internationally famous among sportbike enthusiasts as the most difficult technical stretch of roadway in North America. Every single kind and variaton of corner in existence can be found on the Dragon. 318 turns in 11 miles with significant and abrupt elevation changes makes for a lot of variety. See the map below for yourself.
- The "Cherohala Skyway" is another beautiful stretch of road leading west from Robbinsville, NC to Tellico Plains, TN. It is significantly longer than the Dragon and MUCH faster. Next to "100mph Sweeper" in the dictionary they have a picture of this place. The Skyway is one of the most beautiful drives in the Eastern US, and is commonly referred to as a "Prettier version of the Blue Ridge Parkway with less traffic."
- People who have never driven on the Dragon before are vehemently encouraged to ride along with a veteran for a run before even attempting it in their own car. Getting new people to slow down their hands and develop a smooth rhythm through the corners is the best way to develop better car control and it also contributes to a sense of calm. The initial low speed run through the Gap will hopefully help people to understand how difficult the road is and make them remember the old instinct for self preservation! You are not Richard Burns with a hard-on!
- No passing will be allowed. Slower drivers MUST pull over when there is insufficient margin for safety (4 car lengths) between them and the motorists behind. This will be part of our safety lecture.
- There will be NO, I repeat NO CROSSING THE DOUBLE YELLOW LINE!. Use your common sense on this. You will often enter corners and be abruptly confronted with a string of bikers who are all leaning over to make the corner. Having a biker highside and kill himself while trying to avoid your dumb ass is the worst way to end a weekend. There ARE places where you can see far enough ahead to use a bit more of the road, but PLEASE try to keep this to a minimum. Any complaints from other motorists or bikers will result in the guilty party being asked to leave.
- If you feel like you're driving faster than you would if you were ALONE on the road, SLOW DOWN. This is NOT a race. Nobody cares if you are driving slower. They will RESPECT you for understanding your limits and sticking to them. DO NOT attempt to "outrun" anyone on this road. You will be very sad when you wreck your bright shiny Subie or injure someone.
MANY runs across the Dragon will be made. Prepare yourself by DITCHING those RE92s and get some real tires. Be aware that you will shred a LARGE amount of tread off whatever tires you run on. The Dragon makes autocross wear look like child's play. The other consideration is BRAKES. I set mine on FIRE last year. If you've been considering an upgrade, do it before you come. YOU'RE ONLY AS FAST AS YOUR BRAKES!
Some individuals have expressed concern about safety on the road. This will NOT be a closed highway. HOWEVER, this road is a sportbike and sportscar mecca. The local authorities are well aware of this, and typically give the area free reign other than periodic patrols to check for accidents. Every precaution will be taken to ensure that everyone has a safe and fun time, but common sense is your FIRST and PRIMARY ally. As for whether we will attract undue attention, let's just say that the Miata clubs nationwide converged on the Dragon last year with over 300 cars. I don't think we'll cause any kind of alarm, other than those CS (Check Shorts) lights going off!
SAFETY IS OUR #1 PRIORITY. DO NOT OVERESTIMATE YOUR DRIVING SKILLS ON THIS ROAD. THIS IS NOT A JOKE. TOWING IS EXPENSIVE, AND SO ARE HELICOPTER RIDES TO THE HOSPITAL.
The ORIGINAL and PRIMARY thread for this event (located on i-Club.com) Maps included!
New Lancerforums.com invitation thread!
We now have invitation threads on all the surrounding region forums on i-Club:
- Mid-Atlantic Thread
- Midwest Thread
- Tri-State Thread
- Texas Thread
- New England Thread
- Rocky Mountains Thread
- South West Thread LOCKED!!
Other useful web sites:
Special thanks to Tailofthedragon.com for the use of their maps!
Here's an EXCELLENT video of a full run through the Dragon from the Honda S2000 meet this past year. Warning: 248MB!! (contributed by gabedude)
Here is an excellent and informative article on driving briskly on the STREET, a technique called the PACE. This is designed for motorcycles, but almost all the concepts apply. Read it and take it to heart. (contributed by m750)
THE OFFICIAL DATE HAS BEEN CHANGED DUE TO EXTENSIVE AND UNFORTUNATE CONFLICTS. MAY 17-19 IS THE NEW OFFICIAL DATE. WE APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE!!