An amazing weekend filled with expanding the rally vibe into the mainstream motorsports consciousness just happened in West Virginia. NASA Rally Sport held a rally sprint event, as well as a very extended public rides session, at the Summit Point Motorsports Park. The event was a part of the HyperFest weekend, an annual motorsports festival that attracts over 10,000 visitors. Located in the northern end of West Virginia, the area is conveniently located to major metropolitan areas like Washington DC and New York City.
In the midst of the NASA road racing events, LeMons race, drifting, and stunt bike shows, the dirtiest attraction by far was the rally rides station. Event with the number of actual rally cars on hand to give rides doubling over last year, the queue to hop in the navigator’s seat stayed long all day. From fire-breathing Mitsubishi Evos and Subaru Imprezas to internationally traveled two wheel drive cars such as Andrew Frick’s and Simon Wright’s Ford Focuses, there was a wide variety of race hardware on tap to deliver adrenalin throughout the multi-section rally course.
‘It was a huge success.’ said Anders Green of NASA Rally Sport. ‘We gave over 200 rally rides, and they all got out with huge smiles on their faces. These people are the next generation of rally drivers and volunteers. As a sanctioning body, investing time developing interest in rally, and educating people about how they can get involved and get started racing is one of the most important things NASA Rally Sport does.’ Maria Orsini of Summit Point Motorsports Park added ‘We had people at the gate saying that had driven all the way here specifically for the rally rides.’
After a full day of public relations work, almost all the racers camped on site at the track and prepared for the following day’s racing. ‘This is the only rally event in the country where everyone camps out.’ said Matt Rhoads. ‘It’s a great atmosphere that really brings the rally family together.’
The second day of the event was all racing. Two highlights stand out. First, was Alvin Fong winning the sprint. ‘It was HyperFest last year that pushed me to actually finish my rally car and get out on the stages.’ said Fong. That Fong could go from bystander to event winner in a year really speaks to the reach that this event has. That he managed to win by pulling out an amazing final run, besting hot shoe Charles Sherrill, is even more impressive. The second highlight was the new team of Corey Kline and Ben Brown managing a class podium.
‘I would also like to say how impressed I was with Gary DeMasi during this event.’ concluded Green. ‘This man has been a rally volunteer for a long time, and he has really given a lot to the sport and worked very hard to climb the ladder and become a competitor. Battling past a mangled oil pump late into the night with a twelve hour overnight engine rebuild, and making it out to race the next day, that’s just phenomenal. I’m proud to have him join the ranks and I’m glad that he chose NASA Rally Sport for his first rally. He certainly embodies the rally ethos that we promote.’
The HyperFest rally sprint was part of the Atlantic Rally Cup. More information about how to build a rally car can be found at http://NASARallySport.com/main/rules and an event calendar is also available online. The next event in the Atlantic Rally Cup is Rally West Virginia, a two-day gravel event based at Snowshoe Resort.
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