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Old 21 Mar 2021, 20:58 (Ref:4042126)   #1
USRallycross
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American Rally Association

Not sure how interested anyone is in rally this side of the pond but we are currently under going a massive growth spurt with some exciting things happening so thought I would share.

Obviously Subaru have long been dominant here and their cars have been in a class of their own and if you watch Launch Control you know that they have typically had a unrivalled budget. McKenna shocked them last year but the pandemic hit season wasn't a real comparison

At Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, McKenna turned up with a newly built Fiesta, the only major change being a regular shifter vs. paddle. Everything else ran the same and had tremendous pace. There were also double digits of R5 cars. It is not easy to run an R5 here. Firstly only the Ford Fiesta is sold here so using a Hyundai or Citroen is really difficult. Secondly, there has never been much money in US rally. The Irish boys are leading the way with the R5's and we even had our first Hyundai as well as Ken Block using McKenna's Skoda on a rental basis while he sorts out his new platform.

This is all pretty exciting because some of these R5's are being driven by young up and comers and not just older rich guys. Names like Booth and Burke are worth noting

Then on the Olympus Rally entry list are two Hyundai's . There are many rumours of what this could mean. It could be Rhys Millen Racing (RMR) coming back with R5's with perhaps Ryan Millen and Ken Block. The wilder rumour is that this could be a junior Hyundai program with WRC cars.

Solberg obviously did a season here with Subaru and I wonder if this showed other team bosses the benefits of the US. All rallies are two pass recce/unlimited recce (within time limits); feature lots of different surfaces; as well as a number of rallies with true night stages

Either way looks like the series is in its healthiest state since the early 2000's when Prodrive, Hyundai and Mitsubishi ran works teams

Also, and finally, remember Dirtfish is based here. A US round of the WRC within 5 years? I wouldn't be at all surprised and there would be a pretty healthy field of domestic R5's if Dirtfish make this happen.

Hope this is of interest to some of you.
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 10:16 (Ref:4042183)   #2
Cinghio44
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I watched and read of this 100 Acre Wood Rally. It was really interisting and I agree that Rally in America is fast growing. There were really good battles in the past with Group N Subaru and Mistubishi.

Rally in the USA forests are really fascinating!

I know a bit of this championship because the italian Alfredo De Dominicis raced there in 2006
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 13:29 (Ref:4042205)   #3
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And of course Alessandro Gelsomino is now a series regular and with his wife Rhianon (co drives Pastrana) run an excellent school for drivers and co-drivers to learn to write notes. It is amazing how many people have now been through the school - inc me - and it is their efforts that saw over 70% of the field write their own notes for 100 Acre Wood.

They were also influential in bringing RallySafe in to the US (on a pilot basis for now) and that is a great progression in rally safety and tracking
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 13:50 (Ref:4042209)   #4
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I saw bits and pieces about this event over the weekend (mailny as people retweeted Ken Block), good news that rally is picking up in the states. I was certainly surprised to see Ken Block in a Skoda - who'd have thought that a few years back? What's the class structure like? With no Subaru or Mitsubishi churning out mass volume group N suitable 4wd cars these days what do people run in 4wd classes? Is it still reliant on Imprezas and Evos? I guess the market for R5's is pretty small so the support network for spares etc isn't in place yet.

Lots of questions there - sorry
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 18:10 (Ref:4042276)   #5
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Originally Posted by USRallycross View Post
Obviously Subaru have long been dominant here and their cars have been in a class of their own and if you watch Launch Control you know that they have typically had a unrivalled budget.
I'll be honest, a lot of my interest - and my limited knowledge - on the US rally scene in recent years has been because of the Launch Control series.

The build up for 100 Acre Wood really caught my attention though, partially because of the increase in numbers (minor point of pride but when discussing with a mate I randomly called Block in the McKenna Skoda: I should have put a bet on it! ) and also because I was fascinated by the latest toy in the McKenna garage.

Think Subaru lucked out with the result this weekend, but that is rally. Really hoping that someone takes a proper look at the new McKenna Fiesta.
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Old 22 Mar 2021, 21:14 (Ref:4042302)   #6
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I saw bits and pieces about this event over the weekend (mailny as people retweeted Ken Block), good news that rally is picking up in the states. I was certainly surprised to see Ken Block in a Skoda - who'd have thought that a few years back? What's the class structure like? With no Subaru or Mitsubishi churning out mass volume group N suitable 4wd cars these days what do people run in 4wd classes? Is it still reliant on Imprezas and Evos? I guess the market for R5's is pretty small so the support network for spares etc isn't in place yet.

Lots of questions there - sorry
All question welcome.

Firstly, know that rally is a very small form of motorsport here. Lots of first/second generation Europeans/Scandinavians and then a lot of guys you played Colin McRae rally or the Dirt series! It is much more expensive that your local short track who race every week and don't charge entry fees. So just set expectations vs what you are used to in the UK.

So rally has been picking up since ARA took over from Rally America. Our class system is somewhat complex because many cars aren't available here.
Open Class - is where the Subaru team and a very small number of drivers play inc. McKenna this weekend plus a few privateer Subaru's
R5 - has it's own class now. And the numbers are large given % of the total field
L4WD - this is where I rally. Basically nearly all Subaru's and a few EVO's. Restrictions on gearbox and turbo
NA4WD - no turbo 4WD which is the domain of Subaru's
Then we have some Open and Restricted two wheel classes that have great battles between R2's, big V8 Capri/Mustang, etc. as well as a very modern Mk2 Escort drivetn by Seamus Burke (who some may remember from late 70's in the UK)

Subaru's make the most sense to run for the average person due to availability of parts and knowledge in the service park. Run something more special and you are on your own

I believe Ken's Skoda run was a one-off. It was certainly put together very late and as the only other rentals would be Ford's - and that didn't seem to end too well - this was the only option ready to go with McKenna moving from the Skoda to the Fiesta. FWIW the Skoda runs on Hungarian plates and in the US as cars aren't sold here they are allowed in for a limited period of time and then have to either leave of be crushed. McCormack's Hyundai is in the same position as not sold here.

There aren't any 'professional' drivers in the US series. Even Travis, Ken and Barry do other things to pay the bills.

if you look at the 100 Acre Wood entry list you will see some very interesting cars. A Toyota Tercel for instance, lots of E36's and proof that old Subaru's never die.

Anyway, thanks for your interest. I am hoping to see the series build on the Dirtfish foundation and be a series national series. At the same time ARA has really focused on regional events. My drive from Minnesota to Missouri was 9 hours and I have only one state in between (takes 10 hours to drive the length of Minnesota) so the old days of thinking Southend to Croft was a long drive are over so regional series are key. There is an Eastern, Central and Western Series that competes within the National events. Very few do the full national series so this keeps things interesting for everyone else and for most folk 4-6 events a year is the full extent of their budget so it is key those events are close to home. Minnesota has three events so I add 3 more in Missouri plus one in Michigan and one in Ohio assuming I don't hit anything.
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Old 23 Mar 2021, 14:38 (Ref:4042456)   #7
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I'd say the ARA is probably a better series than the UK's BRC......

40-50 mile one events are not what I'd call challenging, for the so called Premier rally series of the UK.
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Old 24 Mar 2021, 15:58 (Ref:4042717)   #8
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I didn't know the BRC had such short stage miles. My local Headwaters Rally has 36 stage miles and is considered the lowest level of the Sport here. All the National rounds are two days with typically over 120 stage miles
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Old 15 Jun 2021, 11:59 (Ref:4056508)   #9
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Story today in Autosport that WRC is looking at a test event of some description in the US next year. There is definitely a lot of momentum for US rally to be on the world stage and having Dirtfish and Mr Rimmer behind the scenes sure helps give confidence to it becoming true.

We just ran the Southern Ohio Forest Rally all through the mountains of well, yes Southern Ohio. Fantastic challenging stages. We only 200 once and most stages featured tight hairpins on narrow roads with huge drops. But the surface gave you pace that made it really challenging.

Alex Gelssomino (Block's co-driver) said that these are some of the best rally roads in the US and worthy of WRC. The host town is also sizable enough for hotels, gas stations, etc. However, given Dirtfish involvement I would bet the event would be the Olympus Rally in Washington.

Now to upgrade to that R5!
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Old 23 Sep 2021, 17:53 (Ref:4075188)   #10
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I wonder why Hyundai doesn't support rallying in the United States. Mayve they should have used the Kona instead of the i20 for their Rally2 car.
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Old 28 Sep 2021, 18:50 (Ref:4076170)   #11
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It is ONLY Dirtfish pulling this together, the money they have as astounding, they have the berk Evans, Msport and the guy from the WRC channel in their backpocket no doubt being paid a fortune, the guy has a bottomless pit so you can see where it is going. I think a WRC round in America is fine, the Olympus was a total disaster as most European motorsports pushed into the States are, but there are good events and stages in the US, so why not.

I mean if they go to Mexico, Cyprus, Turkey etc why not.

But don't be fooled it will be Dirtfish money that buys it, nothing much else. They are minted.
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Old 7 Oct 2021, 11:01 (Ref:4077326)   #12
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Steve Rimmer has worked very hard to be 'minted' so good luck to him. He is also a really great guy who has an amazing collection of rally cars and let's them come out to places like Goodwood, Rally Legends, etc. even though he doesn't drive them.

Its good that his passion his rally and yes, through Dirtfish he is putting a lot of money into the world of rally. Unlike certain folk in the UK he doesn't steer the series though and is rarely seen at events.

I am sure most WRC rounds have a backer underwriting them unless like Wales Rally GB it is the tax payer. Here tax money goes on $1B sports stadiums not a sport they have never heard of.

ARA is making a real push for R5s to become more common here - which in itself is a big hope to get us all out of affordable Subaru's and into much more modern and much more expensive cars that are - let's say - very difficult to import given they aren't sold here. I wonder if that push is to ensure a volume of local entries to a future WRC event. If so, no WRC in the US before 2025 and I am saving my cents in a jar and selling kidneys.....
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Old 12 Dec 2021, 19:57 (Ref:4088967)   #13
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Be interesting if Castro's RC Competicion can put a few R4's (RC2)on the North American rally trails.
https://dirtfish.com/rally/ara/the-u...ots-in-the-us/

Not sure if the likes of the M-Sport Fiesta Rally 3 has any appeal to North American competitors.
https://www.m-sport.co.uk/fiesta-rally3
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 15:47 (Ref:4103112)   #14
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Ken Block will enter the 2022 ARA with a Hyundai i20 WRC.


https://dirtfish.com/rally/ara/block...i-in-2022-ara/
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Old 18 Mar 2022, 18:39 (Ref:4103143)   #15
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Ken Block will enter the 2022 ARA with a Hyundai i20 WRC.

https://dirtfish.com/rally/ara/block...i-in-2022-ara/
Definitely an interesting choice there. Car is going to be restrained, but the first "true" 2017-21 WRCar in the US. Hopefully the i20 holds together for Ken, as it seems rather fragile at times.
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