The 2010 Atlantic Rally Cup has sprinted through another year of exciting rally action on the East Coast of America. A close points chase to the end, the battles were tight going in to the final round. Racers conquered an astonishing variety of surfaces including sand, pavement, gravel, and snow, a true driver’s championship. The Atlantic Rally Cup, which includes cars and motorcycles, for the fourth year in a row had the largest entry field in the U.S. at one of its events.

Simon and Kieran Wright made a strong debut at Sandblast Rally in South Carolina, the first rally of the season, with a two wheel drive win and didn’t look back. Heading into their final rally, they were practically guaranteed the championship. Eduardo Bancalari and Jay Mauney made an early push to the top with a win at the Sandblast Rally. Ultimately they slid to tenth in All Wheel Drive as the season wore on.

Jason Smith and Jarad Lantzy grabbed a podium at Sandblast Rally as well, and this good luck omen stuck with Jason for the rest of the season. Jason made top three at all the events in the US, and his ‘Quick and steady’ pace netted him the outright win in the All Wheel Drive class of the ARC. Jarad fared nearly as well, still winning the AWD Codriver’s points, but he attended Rallye de Charlevoix in Canada with Sam Albert who wasn’t able to pull off a podium. Jarad is looking to complete his collection of podiums in 2011.

Notable fantastic drives include Martin Donnelly at Black River Stages in New York, where his Mitsubish Evo dominated the field, winning by over a minute. Peter Hascher was able to pull out a stage win at Black River though, so Martin still has to keep that pedal down for next year.

When it comes to tarmac though, Doug Shepard and Karen Wagner laid the smack down. Over two days of the most twisting and undulating paved roads raced in American rally, their 2WD Dodge Neon SRT-4 dominated overall. This was a victory not only for them, but for the sport of rally itself, proving that 2WD cars are every bit as fast and exciting as AWD. Right behind them in their uber-Golf were Josh and Jeremy Wimpey, universally recognized as some of the top talent in 2WD.

NASA Rally Sport as a sanctioning body loves great competition, but looks at bringing new people to rallying and developing new talent as its core mission. Robert Sockalexsis, who codrove for Kevin Turner, noted “The season was very good for DoublePlus racing. This being our ‘rookie’ season, the ARC and NASA showed great interest in making sure all of us new competitors were learning the skills we need to be successful in the sport and most of all to have fun!”

Anders Green, series director, said “Our biggest measure of success at NASA Rally Sport is how many new people we bring to the sport each year. My main concern is how many people are getting out there and participating. The heart of rally has always been the club level racer doing it for the passion of racing through the woods, and our guys have more passion. That’s why the NASA motto is ‘We drive harder!'”

The Atlantic Rally Cup heads into the 2011 season stronger than ever. After a test drive this year, in 2011 the NASA Hyperfest will be an official stop on the Cup tour. With approximately 10,000 attendees, Hyperfest dwarfs all other US rallies in spectators. This year over 130 people were given rides in rally cars at Hyperfest, more than anywhere else in the country, in a single day. Anders Green commented, “That kind of visceral experience is what gets people into rally for life. It’s a very important aspect of the NASA Rally Sport mission and I’m happy we get to do now with the ARC.”

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