|Driver Bio: Kristopher Marciniak
I still enjoy autocross events, but I’m not as competitive as some of the guys out there. I had great success at local events with my 2002 WRX. Autocross is great for suspension testing and getting used to the handling of a car. Don’t be surprised if you see the Rally Neon doing some cone squishing.
My first rallycross was in November of 1999 and I did pretty well with it. I was beating more powerful cars with the ‘L’ and I continued to do as many events as possible. In 2001 I went to the Covered Bridge rallycross for the 3rd time. I ended up 4th overall against production rally cars (performance suspension and rally tires – like the Neon) in my stock 2002 Subaru Impreza WRX with snow tires on. After looking at the rest of the times in the field (that included a large number of WRX’s and Impreza’s) – I was pretty sure I had a knack for dirt and my times were consistent.
In 2005 I competed in a full season of rallycross events with the Neon. I finished the championship in 2nd place in the class. This served as a launch pad for a full season of rally in 2006 as Christine, my girlfriend at the time and co-driver, practiced reading notes in the car.
Our first rally was Gorman Ridge (2005) in California. It was a rough event with lots of bumps and waterbars. Our goal was to finish and that’s exactly what we did. Our second rally was Prescott in Arizona. This was the first true test of not only the Dodge Rally Neon, but my driving skills. Prescott offers long flowing stages with high average speeds. I pushed myself as much as possible and when I backed off, Christine kept on me. She has no problem going fast in the Neon while reading notes at 80+ MPH and when she said “I know you can go faster” I realized that I had a great co-driver in the car. Even with some fuel pump problems we finished an outstanding 4th in class.
In 2006 we competed and won in the USRC Stock Class championship. Our most memorable event was the Prescott Rally where (during a turnaround stage) I asked Christine to marry me. We were married 10 months later and celebrated our first rally as a married couple at the 2007 Prescott Rally one year later.
I enjoy every minute of rally and I’m living my dream.