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· don't cut
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Seeing those pics of Magic Mtn. that Alex just posted got me thinking, what's the future of tarmac rallies in the US? I've talked to officials from both of our illustrious sanctioning bodies, and gotten opinions that range from "Americans aren't interested in watching tarmac rallies, so all ours will be on dirt" to "Evironmental concerns with gravel roads will eventually drive all new rallies to tarmac." (I'm paraphrasing here, not quoting.) What's the special stage consensus on tarmac rallies?

I see lotsa different issues here. On the one hand, the little bit of tarmac I've done has been fun, but on the other hand it isn't any more fun than gravel. Tarmac requires a completely different setup, which increases costs, but ultimately isn't as hard on the cars, which saves money. Americans may equate rally with gravel driving, but if they aren't paying attention in the first place, who cares?

My opinion: I'd like to at least one, but not more than two national championship rounds go tarmac, as well as some independant clubrallies. I think if we are ever going to develop a truly world class rally driver we need to do some tarmac training. An American in the WRC will do wondors for the sport over here, but we need to get him/her there first.

Dennis Martin
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920-432-4845
 
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