Bringing good news to the motoring world in otherwise trying times, the nation’s top rally racing drivers will kick off the 2009 Rally America National Championship Series at the demanding Sno*Drift rally from Jan. 30-31 in Atlanta, Mich.

“The rest of the motorsports world seems full of tough news and tougher times, but we are bucking the current trend, and seeing an upswing in interest and sponsor participation for 2009,” said Rally America Managing Director J.B. Niday. “We have many new faces, new cars adding to the familiar competitors from 2008. The most exciting new challenger so far is Andy Mancin, who comes to the Rally America championship as an accomplished Polish rally and road race competitor and team owner.”

Three-time and defending national champion Travis Pastrana (Subaru Rally Team USA) will face familiar challengers, including his Subaru teammate Ken Block, Rockstar driver Tanner Foust, Andrew Comrie-Picard, and 2008 Sno*Drift winner Antoine L’Estage.

2008 Production GT (PGT) National Champion Pat Moro headlines the competition in the popular new Super Production (SP) class, which replaces PGT in the 2009 Rally America National Championship. SP rules allow very limited modifications to high performance cars such as the Subaru WRX STI, and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

A deep field of SP challengers at Sno*Drift includes 2008 Rally America rookie of the year Dave Mirra, X Games 14 drivers Matthew Johnson and Travis Hanson, along with rally veterans Piotr Wiktorczyk, Evan Cline, Jimmy Keaney, Jaroslaw Sozanski, and Brian Pepp.

Newcomer Dillon Van Way continues a trend of motocross riders jumping to four wheel competition in Rally America as he challenges Chris Greenhouse for 2WD honors at Sno*Drift.

The 2009 Rally America National Championship season begins Jan. 30-31 with the Sno*Drift rally in Atlanta, Mich.

About Rally America
Based in Golden Valley, Minn., Rally America sanctions the premier rally racing series in the United States, the Rally America National Championship Series. In 2009, Rally America will conduct nine National Championship events at venues across the country, from Olympia, Wash., to Bethel, Maine. Rally America competitors reach speeds well over 100 mph in modified street cars on natural-terrain courses of gravel, dirt or snow. Additionally, through a partnership with ESPN, qualifying Rally America drivers are invited to compete in the Summer X Games, the annual leading action sports event that is broadcast live on ABC and ESPN.



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