Many of the best Midwest rally teams met in Perryville, Missouri on Saturday October 29th, for the inaugural Perryville Farm & Forest Rally race. This newly formed event took place on various east Perry county roads, starting in downtown Perryville and finishing at Altenburg’s fairgrounds. Sunny skies and perfect fall conditions made for an enjoyable day for the hundreds of spectators watching the rally.

18 teams started the rally, including both seasoned veterans and many novices in the sport. The rally took place as a split format, where the first four and last four stages are scored as separate races, with a short service break between each leg at the fairgrounds.

The drivers undertook the first four stages in the early afternoon, making up a total of 12.7 miles over twisty and loose gravel roads. The cars left from the Perryville Square at 12:00 noon for the first stage just west of Crosstown.

Dillon Van Way and Jake Blattner took a commanding lead in their 2011 Ford Fiesta after stage 1, topping the field by just over 15 seconds. Not giving up easy, Mark Huebbe and Jimmy Brandt’s 1970 VW Beetle fought back on stage 2, shaving off 21 seconds from their first run through and moving them into second place. Rob Weir and Matt Nichols started off conservative for stages 1 & 2, in their 1996 Subaru Impreza, but quickly found their pace, winning stage 3 and moving into third place overall. Mark Huebbe pushed hard on stage 3, taking 10 seconds off the leader when Dillon slid wide at the spectator point. Despite Marks’s best effort, Dillon Van Way held on for victory by setting a great time on stage 4, winning the first rally by 24.4 seconds overall. Rob Weir rounded out the podium, finishing in third place overall, just 0.9 seconds behind Mark Huebbe’s Beetle.

After a much-needed service break at the East Perry County Fairgrounds, 16 cars headed back out in the late afternoon to tackle the final 23.5 miles for the second rally. Dillon Van Way again shot off to an early, but small, 3 second lead over the team of Slawomir Balda and Piotr Boczek. Slawomir’s 2004 Subaru WRX trailed the Ford by just 1.6 second after stage 6. Not to be left behind, Tyler Witte and Elliott Sherwood in their 2000 Subaru Impreza set a blistering time on stage 7, over 30 seconds faster than Dillon, catapulting them into first place overall. Through stage 7, Rob Weir and Matt Nichols set consistent stage times and were lurking in second place, just 6 seconds behind Witte. The rally ended with a two way battle for first place on the last stage. Rob Weir prevailed, setting an unbeatable time for stage 8; over 13 seconds ahead of Tyler Witte, giving him first place overall. Tyler Witte and Elliott Sherwood held on to second place, but this time Slawomir Balda and Piotr Boczek took the final podium spot from Dillon’s Ford.

The Central Region Rally Championship returns in the winter for the SnoDrift Rally, held in Atlanta Michigan, on January 27 & 28, 2012.

The rally organizing committee would like to thank the Perry County commissioners for believing in us when we came to them with our thoughts on holding a Rally. They trusted in us to hold a professional, well organized, and safe event. They, with the support of the Perry county Sherriff’s Department allowed us to use the county roads for the rally. In addition, a rousing thank you to the residents, farmers, and land owners along the county roads that we ran on, for allowing us to temporarily close the road and inconvenience them for a short period of time. We do hope they had a great time watching the rally cars from their front door step. Without the commissioners’ trust and the residents’ permission none of this would have been possible. Thank You!

Final Perryville Farm & Forest Overall Results:

Rally #1
First Place: #600 Dillon Van Way / Jake Blattner, 2011 Ford Fiesta, Time: 13:51.7
Second Place: #242 Mark Huebbe / Jimmy Brandt, 1970 Volkswagen Beetle, Time: 14:16.1
Third Place: #700 Rob Weir / Matt Nichols, 1996 Subaru Impreza, Time: 14:17.0
Full Results: http://rally-america.com/events/2011/Perry1/results/

Rally #2
First Place: #700 Rob Weir / Matt Nichols, 1996 Subaru Impreza, Time: 24:32.2
Second Place: #400 Tyler Witte / Elliott Sherwood, 2000 Subaru Impreza, Time: 24:39.4
Third Place: #606 Slawomir Balda / Piotr Boczek, 2004 Subaru WRX, Time: 25:02.0
Full Results: http://rally-america.com/events/2011/Perry2/results/

Photos by Tim Williams

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