Conquering Alaska, slowly, in a Chevrolet CruzeRoad Rally is a motorsport like no other. Speed is not the aim. Precision timing and expert vigilance are needed to win. We tried our hand at the most frustrating of motorsports in Alaska with a Chevrolet Cruze.
[MUSIC] There are many forms of motor sport. From humble [INAUDIBLE] all the way to Formula 1 but not all of them are about simply going as fast as you can. Im here in the wilderness of Alaska to try my hand on something that is completely different. I'm here to try road rally. [MUSIC] Whoa We actually be pros maybe. How to get a headache. That is what they should be called. [MUSIC] So road rallying is a timed distance motor sport event, where It's not just about getting from A to B in fastest time possible. In fact that's not the point at all. The point is to traverse the route in the very exact way hitting exact mile markers, travelling the exact right amount of distance at the right average speed to hit the check point. At exactly the right time and you get scored on how accurately to that time you arrived at each checkpoint. We're about to embark on the first leg of the road rally in our Chevy Cruise, which I have to say it's a cold [UNKNOWN], because cars can have [INAUDIBLE] too and that means this is Tom Cruise. So, we have the Chevy Cruise, which was named Tom Cruise by Drew. And I don't know. I wasn't completely behind that name. You're in charge of the paperwork. All right. I'm gonna do my best here. [LAUGH] You are the navigator. [COUGH] Like that movie, Flight of the Navigator. Never seen it. 1985. Yeah, I was born in 88. Chris got there and got to the drivers meeting and finally learned what the whole scope of the race was. I was a bit scared. There's a lot of details that I didn't understand. And I knew it was gonna be a battle the whole time. Five, four, three, two, one, go. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Is right, first instructions. All right. What's the next thing that we're meant to encounter? Blackberry street. Blackberry street, okay. 0.19 miles. [BLANK_AUDIO] Black Bear Street. Boom. Yes. And we're at point one something miles. Yep. Yeah. That was exactly 1.9 instead of 1.2. I'm already having fun. Yes. [LAUGH] We're going to win this. And the first section was just this straight road. Just passing mile markers. Marks of the road which we ended up calling MIsters For my reference, that you know at 0.7 of a mile you're going to encounter this street sign or a crossroad or a shop or whatever. And we start to like yeah, okay, we're beginning to pass through the acronyms, we're beginning to understand it a little bit, get into it. King Street. Yeah, so we should be 2.5 there? And the Cruzer's already getting some admiring looks. Is it? No. [LAUGH] I first heard ralley I expected, dirt roads and going really fast but, that's not what ended up happening. A turn. Yeah, finally a turn. So, when? It is 8.3 8.3 miles. Yep. Okay, and what are we turning into? Crooked Tree Drive. Crooked Tree Drive. And then in parenthesis it says Hillside Drive. Yep. Yeah, that looks like a right turn to me. But it's a left turn. Okay. On this one. Nope. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Take a left. [MUSIC] Here we go, here we go. This must be a check point. Here we go. Yeah. [MUSIC] So we've made it down the entire first sheet of instructions, the kind of preamble to the real stuff, without a single mistake. And we're meant To be at 16.1 miles and we've made it 16.1 miles! It seems odd to be that excited about hitting an exact mileage. Already this is a lot more thrilling than I thought it was going to be. And we take a left turn. Yep. Exactly right here. Okay what's the next instruction? All right. So 1.74 Puffin way. Whoa, that was a much steeper turn than it look like. Sorry about that. It's all right, coming in hot. [LAUGH] Come on Tom. [LAUGH] Okay, we're coming up to 2.6 miles. What's the reference? Highland walking trail, CAS. It's 18. [MUSIC] I mean we're 2.6 now. Is this a walking trail? [INAUDIBLE] walking trail. I don't know we passed 2.6 miles. Maybe that looks like a walking trail. I think I'm just drive into someone's house. No, there's a trail right here. Yeah, yeah maybe this is t. Seemed like it went wrong once we started taking turns, It was all fun and games when we were going straight, like yes, we got that street. But once we had to take a turn it was just very stressful. We missed the turn? [MUSIC] We must have gone wrong somewhere. This is a dead end. We realized that the complexity of it is far more than just following instructions. And we started taking wrong turns very, very quickly. And then, backtracking and then trying to find the way we'd come, and getting slightly lost. There were points where we just held up our hands going, I have no idea where we are, where we're going. I think this is a think catcher newbies. Yup. And we fell- We fell straight into it. Yep. This is one of the things. We continue up, don't we? There's a stop sign right here, and they were tlaking about that last night. [INAUDIBLE] Road. Yeah, take a right here. Okay so if, if, if, what are we looking for now. We saw Puffin Way so we are looking for CCT. Yeah the highland walking trail. Highland walking trail, okay. Yeah We were car number 20 and the highest number car was 27 so there would have been a few cars behind us but we got overtaken presumably while we were down Wrong turnings. Right, so the situation is this. We finished what is the first proper leg of the rally, but because of a couple of wrong turns that we made and the time adding on top of that by the time we got to where we were meant meet up with everyone. They've all gone ahead. Leaving us without any instructions on how to move forward. So, we are going to have and try to figure out exactly what to do next. So, we may have been a little overconfident to start based on the fact that the first set of instructions only included two left turns. Definitely a sneaky element to the instructions that Would allow you to make mistakes quite easily and we did. So, we are gonna figure out what we're gonna do and move on to the next leg. [BLANK_AUDIO] [FOREIGN] We are zeroed. Okay, and close enough, let's go. I think as we got into the car the second day, we were a little bit more hopeful. Definately getting our feet under us a little bit. Okay, first instruction. . 6CAS 45. 45? Speed limit, 45. Right, we're coming up to 0.6 and there's the 45 sign on the right. Okay, so mile marker 1, it's just a MR 2.36. 2.36 MR mile marker. Mile 1. Mile We did start to get a feel for the abbreviations, we start to gain, not the lingo down, but we start developing our own vernacular. We were able to communicate with each other in acronyms and we start to understand how the instructions wanted us to interact. Alright, 3.6CS45 Drive. Okay, and what's after that? There's a Mr. Rocks at random. 14 mile. Yep. It'll say Rocks. Okay. There's a checkpoint. Okay. All right. Found a checkpoint. We were really committed to doing better on day two. We really had an idea of How the instructions worked but not just on following instructions, now we were really thinking about averaging our speed correctly and trying to maintain the right timings and we thought we were doing really really well. So they are doing really well the car in front of us so we're doing well to be a minute off them. So let me just pull where I can see them. And make sure we pull out a minute after they do. [MUSIC] Okay, zero out. [MUSIC] So, left after Viking Hill, Old Nash Road. Let's turn here. Yeah. Old Nash Road? Yeah, yeah. But you said a Old Viking Road. After Viking Hill. Sorry. Okay, and now what? It's 6.34 SAP. It's a- It's a checkpoint? Salmon Creek Road and Nash Road yeah I think it is. No they should be on the same side of the road as us. See over here. No they need to be on the same side of the road as us facing the same direction. We need to keep going we made that mistake before. What's SAP? Straight, straight as possible, a slight deviation. Should we have turned down this way and been coming from this direction? Salmon Creek Road, this is Salmon Creek Road. [UNKNOWN] Go straight as possible after you turn your car around. It was going well. We were both like, [UNKNOWN] But then when stuff goes wrong, it's really easy to start blaming each other. And we never said it out loud, but I shot him some dirty looks a couple of times. [MUSIC]. Back at day one again, it was just another mess. [Bleep]. This is Salmon Creek Road. And we need to zero the crossing of this and what? Nash Road. Here, we think? Zero it here? Zero it here. It's like Scooby-Doo. Cars just going back and forth, people getting lost all over the shop. And we got a little bit frustrated. [MUSIC] Where are they going? I have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine. [MUSIC] Okay, what am I looking Looking for. 0.18 Salmon Creek. Is that Salmon Creek? Could be. Then at 0.8, Mister City of Seaward Historic Woodlong Cemetary. No, we're coming back the way we came. Yeah. [MUSIC] I think we took a right. Yeah. Zero out. Okay I'm gonna zero right here. There it is. [BLEEP] I think this would be the great place to birth a divorce. This would be the fourth time we've come past this checkpoint station? Yeah. Or are we supposed to come here twice? Yeah. Do you think we were supposed to go there twice? No, that makes no sense. Yeah. [MUSIC] No, no we weren't meant to stop here. We were meant to pass it twice, though which kinda makes sense. Yeah. And there's definitely something burning. We ended up second from bottom. So even worse than we had done the day before. But we had one part of one leg where we did okay. Now it's some small victory, a tiny thing where just between one point and another that we arrived roughly, roughly possibly within a minute or two of when we were meant to get there. Our day three started off to be the worst. We left a little bit late setting up cameras this morning, so we're now ten seconds behind. Now we'll probably end way more than ten seconds behind at the end of the day mapping both driving and navigating. Crap, I didn't, and we are This is open. I didn't steer the car. My god this is chaos..Being in last place meant that we really needed to pull out all the stop so for the legs that we had on day three we really, really tried we were really commited.and we really really tried as hard as we could just to have one or two sections where we didn't max out. And it didn't go 100% to plan. [BLANK_AUDIO] Point one is a left on Pioneer Avenue. Yeah, okay, we're about point one ahead now with zero lanes. So, that was exciting. [LAUGH] [INAUDIBLE] look at that view. It's just that absolute savage beauty of the environment around us. Absolutely. It's like it's carved out of the earth glaciers and every turn you take, especially this time of year in the fall with he leaves changing color, has been absolutely spectacular. So we're finding the route today but that's not enough They were not satisfied by just finding the check points. No, I know. I'm trying to get the timing right now. We're advancing. We've gone from beginner to intermediate. Yeah, maybe. Yeah, it's a gray area. [BLANK_AUDIO] Okay. Car 20. And it's very important that you look at what you're next numbered route instruction is, because it may not be what you think it is. Okay, we have chocolate so I feel better. Okay, so we have 16 minutes here. It is now 11:44. Eleven forty three so sixteen takes us to fifty nine, but it will take us four minutes to get to our out mark which we got two instructions to follow in the mean time. That make sense. Sixteen minutes here or sixteen minutes until we need to be at our out mark which is four minutes away. We need to leave here in twelve minutes and [UNKNOWN] On the way lets go. Okay. Ryan just missed a bump. Just missed a bump, 7.5. And after that, it's actually a hill named after you. Is it? Yeah, it's Mr Knob Hill. and Evan's sense of humor is is not a sense of humor, it's Just mean sometimes, since my joke is a little bit off. But a shared experience has been 11.5, Mr. [UNKNOWN] that's a checkpoint. So at each point where we felt we've been improving, a point comes later where we're going, actually we have no idea what we're doing. today, we actually figured out much of what this seems to mean. ON the first day we didn't even get them because we missed all the check points. In the second day we got them and we're just happy that we got them. And now, we're actually beginning to understand them a bit more. Okay. Could you stick that some where. So she said. [LAUGH] My God it's descended into that's what she said. Next one is 19.4, Mr. North Ingerrooger. Before blinker into coastal reality parking lot. Okay, so that's the end of the lake. Yeah. That went actually quite well. If nothing messes up right here in this moment, we did it. We did it, on a very decent leg. This might be our best leg. It might be. Today we actually completed a leg and we hit every check. Yeah I feel good. I'm feeling now towards the middle of day three. If he restarts it now we'd actually be [UNKNOWN]. That's the way these things go. Right? It's like the end of a track day. The last lap is when you go, I get it. I get in the car, I get in the track, now it's time to go home. [BLANK_AUDIO] [NOISE] So it's the end of Day 3. And although the scores are still being calculated I think it's still a safe bet that we're going to be close to the bottom. And you know what? I don't really care. We've had a great time with great people, met new friends. I've never given roadrallying the time of day as a motorsport. Never really considered it to be something I would enjoy. But quite frankly, all I can think about is when I can have another go. The real star here has been Alaska. This savagely wonderful place on the outskirts of the world. A place I've never thought that ever get to visit. But now I've had the chance to do. And doing it road rally, probably was one of the best ways to see it. And I can't wait to come back. [MUSIC] [MUSIC]