Rally racers in super-modded street cars follow their own Cliffs Notes to navigate rocky dirt roads full of gullies and blind curves. The rawest form of racing is finally gaining traction in the U.S.
With its 13O miles of twisty mountain trails, the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area is the promised land for southern California's off-roaders. On a crisp but cloudless spring morning, it is crawling with stumpy four-wheelers and spindly motocross bikes; the angry, annoying buzz of two-stroke engines -- think amplified mosquitoes -- fills the park. A ratty pickup truck with gigantic wheels and two audibly flat tires trundles to a stop in front of a service area that's been fashioned from a fleet of big rigs, a couple of E-Z UP portable shelters and some heavy-duty tarps.