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Whether or not we - admittedly the knowledgeable few - like the TV coverage we're getting, there's no question that awareness of rally is rising among the general public. I work at the SCCA booth at the Minneapolis Auto Show every year, and we've always had a rally car on display. As little as five years ago, the comment was, "Whut the heck are all them LIGHTS for?" This year, a seven-year-old ran up to Steve Gingras' WRX and shouted back to his little brother, "LOOK! A RALLY CAR!" Just about everyone we talked to knew SOMETHING about rally...and wanted to know more.

It doesn't hurt that all the local cable suppliers carry SPEED.

Bruce
 

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The surprise demographic is....Loggers!!!! Many loggers have seen rally on TV and they get it. They are usually good for a couple of "Holy S..."s or a "Cripes" or "F...ing A them guys haul A..!" when the topic is brought up.

These guys (and some gals, Oh Momma!) love machinery, woods roads, and are the among the most creative and resiliant people I meet. Many of them sponsor local stock cars and even race themselves. They appreciate outputs like reliability, speed, and power. They also appreciate good differentials, the smell of mud cooking on an exhaust pipe, and a good beat run down the woods road at the end of the day.

I have actually been in conversations intiated by log truck drivers, very professional, safety concious, log truck drivers, about how you have to drive a road properly so you don't have to waste any speed in corners by overbraking. They are thinking of efficiency just as we are.

Why can't it be more like the homeland? Check out the patches on Tommi and Juha's driving suits. Valtra!!!Valmet!!!Timberjack!!!! These are manufacturers of logging equipment. I gotta get me some patches.
 

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Just yesterday, I was listening to one of the many VP's at work talking about the Paris-Dakar rally to another VP. I hardly ever have to explain rally to someone anymore. I have a few rally diecasts on my desk and when people stop by to ask a question they always comment on the "cool rally cars".
 

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That is precisely why we should not be belly aching about SPEEDTV or making fun of its NASCAR coverage. Frankly, it's very important that we have something.

Even the Playstation Games help!
 

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Last year I went to the Car Show here in Cincinnati (we didn't go this year)and the only person that seem to know anything about rally was a gentleman from Mexico.I'm constantly throwing terms and things about rally to my fellow region members.They seem kinda lost sometimes in what I'm saying and some are seasoned road racers.I'm contantly having to tell last years Solo II chairman that Pro/Club Rally IS NOT run by the same people as Solo II."It's road rally not Performance Rally" I repeat alot.

I have alot of Teaching to do as far as here but I don't think anyones lessoning.I guess I'll have to talk louder.

Give me a few years and there might be a decent amount of Rallyists hitting the gravel from this area.

Eric Adams
 
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