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Hey Dude - it's a life style!

6483 Views 97 Replies 28 Participants Last post by  Morgan
Rally - lifestyle activity in US
January 20, 2003
The growing popularity of forest rallying in the US is drawing competitors - and spectators - from a new public. Unlike Europe where rallying competes with other motorsport disciplines for its participants, in the US the vast majority of rally competitors have never considered any other form of motorsport.

"Most of our new competitors are coming from snowboarding, skiing or mountain bikes into rally," says Pro-Rally series Director Kurt Spitzner. "We've surveyed them and the broad opinion is that rally is a "lifestyle" activity, rather than being perceived as an alternative to racing."

Rally is the fastest growing sector of Sports Car Club of America's (SCCA) activities; the number of licence holders for rally has grown from two to ten percent of the SCCA total since 1997. Last year 15 teams ran the full ten event series. Although not required to register their intentions before the season the same number is expected in 2003, some of them fielding two entries. Just four teams entered the full series in 1998. Last year ProRally event organisers had to deal with unprecedented numbers of spectators, and big crowds are again expected this year, stimulated in part by the TV coverage on the Speed channel.

The nine event series spans the country and involves competitors in vast distances between rounds. Spitzner reckons that the distance between the events totals 24,000 miles, without returning to the team base. A centrally based team returning to base regularly would cover about 80,000 or considerably more if the base was on either coast.

The first round of the 2003 SCCA ProRally series, the Sno*Drift Rally is based in Atlanta, Michigan and runs 24 & 25 January. David Higgins will be defending his Champions title in the newly formed Mitsubishi USA Team. Main opposition is likely to come from 2001 Champion Mark Lovell (Subaru) and his team-mate Ramana Lagemann while Tim O?Neill will give a Ford Focus its US debut. Dodge joins the Manufacturers Championship with a Gp 2 Neon, and British Champion Jonny Milner will contest the Group N class.

Source: World rally news
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RE: I don't understand....

>>>Can anyone name the 15 "teams" from 2002? Am I misreading
>>>these lines?
>Since, according to Ed Brennan's statistics, only 8 drivers
>ran all the events (not counting Pikes Peak), I find it very
>difficult to come up with 15.

I'm actually surprised the number 38 wasn't used. This is the number of "worthy" participants that ran at least 5 events.

If you look carefully at the ProRally statistics from 2001 to 2002, you will see that the number of entrants was DOWN, and the number of entrants that participated in X number of events was also down. Seems to me that the Resurgence of ProRally took a small step back in 2002. Could escalating costs have anything to do with it?
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RE: OK, more fun with numbers

>>Could it be that Kurt is the Jimmy Carter of the SCCA?

>BTW Jimmy Carter received a nobel peace prize, so he could
>not have scewed everything up

Jimmy has made an excellent EX-President. I think the job he's done AFTER he left office has been worthy of plenty of praise.

You can figure out where one might take this thread if you choose...
RE: Take Away the Spotlight!

>Exactly Matt! If enough people write Steve Johnson or start
>a petiton you may get some results
>And word of mouth is not always enough

What good has putting Performance Rallying U.S Style on Television done for Joe average competitor? The sport was here before it was on Television, and after Mitsubishi and Subaru get tired of the expense like Hyundai, then we will be back off Television.

Television is only helping those that are actually getting covered. Television is NOT bringing in sponsorship, in fact SCCA is paying to have PRoRally on Television (or at least Mitsu, Subaru and Air Force are). But other than the cars with 1-6 on the side of the door, who else is benefitting?

I've seen the costs more than double since 1996, and this is better? If the Manufacturers want "dirt driven" exposure, I suggest they hold stadium events where they can sell hot dogs and beer, and the spectators are all in one place and its much more Television friendly.

Take us off Television and get those folks out of the woods (cause one of us backmarker un-television worthy teams are gonna run over some idiot that only thinks cars 1-6 drive fast enough to run over his stupid ass (or one particularly idiotic man with a stroller on a hot stage in maine, 1998)).

Then start working at getting sponsorship that goes to the ORGANISERS. I don't need someone from Denver (oops, Topeka) spending the Clubs money to come and "oversee" events. The Organisers are perfectly capable of handling event PR themselves. We need to lower the costs for the Organisers and they in return will lower the costs for the entrants.

Thats the Performance rally vision of the future I'd like to see.
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