The New England Forest Rally, the fifth and final round of the 2010 Rally America National Championship is headquartered at the Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine. More than 65 teams from around the US and Canada are set to take the start. The event has been voted a driver’s favorite many times in the past.

Last Ditch Racing’s driver John Cassidy and co-driver Dave Getchell are no strangers to the event. 1999 was Cassidy’s first rally. Getchell joined Cassidy a few years later. They’ve competed in the event every year since. Highlights at NEFR include a fifth overall finish in 2008 and first place in both Regional events. 2009 saw them push their ailing Subaru STi rally car in an epic battle with New Hampshire’s Wyatt Knox. Last Ditch Racing came out on top, sealing their third consecutive Eastern Regional Open Class Championship.

The 2010 season has been mixed for the team. At the 100 Acre Wood Rally in Missouri, the team experienced an exhaust failure, causing them a DNF in one of the two Regional events. A podium in the second Regional event meant they returned from Missouri with some points, they then headed to the Team O’Neil Rally in New Hampshire in May. Having a clutch failure at the start of SS 6 while in a 4-5 way challenge for the lead, leaves the team playing catchup in the 2010 Eastern Regional Championship.

Cassidy remains philosophical about the state of the 2010 season. “Although we’re getting older, Dave and I seem to be getting faster with each event. We were pleased with our pace at the Team O’Neil Rally and would like to think that we’d have continued to be in a fight for the win if our clutch had held together. Having won the Eastern Championship in our class three years in a row, we don’t have much to prove at this point. What we do want to demonstrate is that we’re not slowing down-that we’re continuing to develop the car, develop the team and have a bunch of fun. I think that’s what people will see this year at New England Forest Rally.”

The crew has been busy continually developing the car, with the most recent upgrade being an upgrade to the ECU, or engine control unit. Said Cassidy, “An upgrade in the ECU will enable us to better tune the engine for full power and take advantage or motorsport specific features that are enabled in the software.” The team welcomes the assistance of Fine Line Imports of Santa Rosa, California with the installation and tuning of the ECU.

The team will give back to the local community by partnering with Mr’s B’s Village Store, at 120 Main St. in Peru, near the famous Concord Pond rally stage. The team will be on hand with the rally car and service truck from 5-7 PM, Wednesday, July 14th, signing autographs and allowing fans a chance to get up close with an Open Class rally car.

Last Ditch Racing would like to thank their 2010 Partners for their support:

VP Racing fuels. http://www.vpracingfuels.com
Kartboy, http://www.kartboy.com
Triple Caution, LLC, http://www.triplecaution.us
Team O’Neil Rally School, http://www.teamoneil.com
Luke Dobie Designs, http://www.lukedobiedesigns.com/
32North.com, http://www.32north.com/
Openpaddock.net, http://www.openpaddock.net

A special thanks to Mike at ACT clutch, Miles at Fine Line Import and Dave a Dtech for their support.

For more information on the New England Forest Rally, please visit: http://newenglandforestrally.com/
Download the official NEFR 2010 Spectator Guide, please visit: http://newenglandforestrally.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/2010-NEFR-Spectator-Guide-Web-Res.pdf

For more information on Last Ditch Racing, please visit: http://www.lastditchracing.com
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To Purchase Last Ditch Racing Gear, please visit: http://www.cafepress.com/lastditchracing

Photo copyright Mark Fleming, http://www.markflemingphoto.com

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