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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

We're fast approaching 2016, and I'd personally like to take a few minutes to recap what NASA Rally Sport has accomplished for its 13th year of operation.

Grab a hot cocoa, or some tea - or if you're like me - some coffee, put down the presents, take a break, and let me tell you about our year of rally fun blasting down dirt roads with YOU our rally family!

The year started with the introduction of NRS's new 'Test Day' insurance package. This gets a road or field insured for full speed rally testing for as little as under $95 per driver. In the twelve months following its creation, five of these have been announced, and four have already happened. This makes it THE most effective program at creating new rally events done by anyone in decades. Not only has it given you more places to go flat out, it has provided a stepping stone for new organizers to dip their toe in the water and learn the ropes. And if YOU have a road and want to test legally, get in touch. http://www.nasarallysport.com/d734/rally-test-day

The Pacific Rally Cup was taken by Markus Saarinen in 2WD, just besting Ryan Millen, and AWD was Josh Jacquot winning with Stephen Benson just four points behind. The PRC, now in its third year, has the largest classes in the West, so it's the toughest championship series for racers to take home the top spot. Even winning the NASA National Rally Championship does not guarantee you're taking home the cup.

Over on the East Coast, The Atlantic Rally Cup was again a battle to the final rally at Empire State Performance Rally. 2WD was won by Mike Hooper, whose higher place at ESPR put him in front of runner up Greg McMahon. AWD started with a bang, Gary Donoghue winning Sandblast and finishing the season with that lead. Alvin Fong came in behind him, even beating Donoghue at the final round, but it wasn't enough. Fantastic close racing this year!

Fierce competition in 2WD was the name of the game at multiple events this year for the NRS 2C program. The 2WD Challenge is sponsored by Team O'Neil Rally School and Streetwise Motorsports which offered a substantial cash prize for the top 5 fastest 2WD racers at Idaho, Gorman, and Prescott for 2015. I received some great feedback from you, and we'll be shaking up the prize pool along with the events for 2016!

The NASA National Rally Championship was at Prescott Rally this year. More racers than ever crossed the country and made their way out west to take their shot at the title. In 2WD, congratulations to champions Ryan Millen and Christina Fate and in AWD a fearless drive crowned Duncan Smith and Katherine Lindroth-Gendron champions.

As far as technology, 2015 was full steam ahead for innovation for NRS. We released two rally-specific apps for smart watches, available as 'Big Seconds' and 'RallyLaunch' in the Pebble app store. Two new Android apps have also been released: GPS Server for sharing GPS location to another device over WiFi and One Digit Clock, designed to take an array of tablets and let them work together as one completely giant clock.
https://goo.gl/1tSH2k One Digit Clock app
https://goo.gl/jvVRhd GPS Over WiFi app

The Nooks have had incredible success this year. We are now seeing rallies where over 98% of the scoring data is uploaded digitally directly to the online scoring database. They have had such extensive field testing that we now don't even need paper log sheets for arrival controls. At NRS, we are really proud that we are building tools to support rally. The app is being used world wide, here is an amazing map of the many countries using it during 2015: http://goo.gl/zOgRQ0

Rally University on NASARallySport.com continues to grow. It now has about 120 articles in it covering so many different common questions. It remains the best online source for getting started in rally, so keep that link in your back pocket to forward to any people that ask about getting started. http://www.nasarallysport.com/d734/Rally-University

Videos: We really stepped up our game for 2015! We published over 100 videos to our YouTube channel this year. Over 95 percent of them were uploaded during the rally weekend, for super timely coverage. At our National Championship event this year, Prescott Rally, every driver that finished the rally was covered in their own interview video. It was important to us to collect the stories from the front of the field all the way to the very end of the field, and because it mattered to us, we made it happen. Subscribing to the YouTube channel will keep you up to date with coverage of all your friends. https://www.youtube.com/user/nasarallysport

Social: Did you notice YOUR CAR on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook? Social media isn't a sales and marketing platform for us. It means truly being social and sharing with your friends. We share a lot during rallies and we encourage you to do the same! We are @NASARallySport on all three, and we often use (#usrally). Tag us in your new build or anything else you'd like to share! (#nasarallysport)

The NRS photo archive keeps growing. We added about 4,000 pictures this year, for a total of nearly 28,000 rally photos online! Views typically spike just after each rally, the biggest spike this year was 72,000 views in one day. Far and away this is the largest rally photo archive anywhere on the web. These are photos that come from racers, volunteers, and media. We're working to put as many photos as possible of all the racers and rally cars out there! And we love that they are out there for everyone to see. http://photos.nasarallysport.com
(If you have some pictures you would like to upload, from any NRS event in the last decade, email me and I'll get you the upload codes.)

NASA Rally Sport is doing great countrywide. Here are some quick statistics:
- 53% of US rally drivers raced with NRS in 2015
- NRS had a 16% increase in the number of drivers who raced with them in 2015
- NRS had a 14% increase in the total number of car entries at all our events in 2015
It's clear that grassroots rally is sustainable rally. :) NRS doesn't have any plans to raise license prices for next year either, it's still just $65.

The nationally aired Extreme Offroad TV show finished up their coverage of building a Ford Focus rally car and coming to a NRS event early this year. I think might be the most significant TV show about rally that has ever been on television. Building a simple, 2WD, naturally aspirated, affordable car, in your own garage. I can't fathom how you could better inspire people to get out there and actually go racing themselves. PowerNationTV Focus project link: http://goo.gl/yy1Xjk

Speaking of getting people excited about rally: The California Rally Series Rally School had over 50 students in 2015 along with one of the biggest rallycross events in the country, and we're looking to match that number in 2016. HyperFest RallySprint did about 160 rally rides this year at its new location at Virginia International Raceway. Again this was the largest ride along session in real rally cars in the nation. Put people IN a real rally car, open the throttle, and they're converted. :)

NRS is continuing to help bring new blood into the organizer roles. Gorman Ridge Rally and Prescott Rally both operated under 'new management' this year and came off nicely. New people are stepping up for Sandblast Rally, Magnum Opus Rally, and Black River Stages. Entirely new events, like the Ohio Winter RallySprint involve more new people. We see it as critical that there is continual development of these leadership roles and that NRS gives these people the support they need to further the sport. I encourage you all to step forward and volunteer at high levels within your favorite rally events. Much of the advance work these days is done via telecommuting and we would love to have your help!

That's the recap of 2015. I want to emphasize that we couldn't do it without you. The racers working long hours to build their cars and bikes and the volunteers traveling long distances and enduring tough weather... YOU are the backbone of this amazing sport.

Best of luck in 2016!
- Kris
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