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Hey Dude - it's a life style!

6486 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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