Thursday, February 15, 2018

Subaru Rally Team USA Confirms 2018 American Rally Association Series Campaign






Subaru Rally Team USA (SRTUSA) is pleased to confirm it will return to the American Rally Association (ARA) Series in 2018 with a multi-car effort utilizing 2018 Subaru WRX STI rally cars prepared by technical partner Vermont SportsCar. The team’s efforts will be spearheaded by multi-time rally champions David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew, who will enter all seven rounds of the 2018 ARA series.  Defending 2017 ARA Driver’s Champion Travis Pastrana and co-driver Robbie Durant will join Higgins in a second team car at select rounds, owing to schedule commitments with his Nitro Circus live-event tour.  SRTUSA will provide entries at select ARA rounds for former World Rally Championship star Chris Atkinson and former Junior World Rally Champion Patrik Sandell.

“Rally continues to offer both an exciting and challenging way to showcase Subaru production car technologies,” stated Subaru motorsports manager Rob Weir. “We’re fortunate to have a stable of proven rally drivers to complete a two-car team at all ARA rounds to defend our championship title.”

The 2018 ARA season kicks off at the scenic Oregon Trail Rally on April 20-22 where Subaru Rally Team USA will enter David Higgins and Chris Atkinson to mount their championship defense.  The Australian rally star Atkinson is no stranger to Subaru’s motorsports programs. Between 2005 and 2008, he was the factory driver for Subaru World Rally Team alongside the 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg. Atkinson has earned 41 WRC stage wins and 6 WRC podiums including podiums at the famous Monte Carlo Rally and Rally Mexico.  Subaru signed Atkinson in late 2016 as part of the team’s rallycross efforts, where he was joined by Patrik Sandell last year, but neither driver has yet to enter any stage rallies on behalf of the team.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity to do a rally in the USA, having had a glimpse through rallycross of how awesome the Subaru fans are in this part of the world, the atmosphere will be amazing,” stated Atkinson. “It’s been a while since I’ve done a high-speed rally and I don’t underestimate the challenge, but know we have a great team and car so it will be fun. A big thanks to Subaru of America and Vermont Sportscar for this opportunity.”

In addition to the five returning ARA events the series will debut two new events in which Subaru Rally Team USA is looking forward to; The Idaho Rally (Sept 14-15) and the Tour de Forest Rally, based in Olympia and Shelton, Washington, (October 6-7).  The revived Tour de Forest event, last run in 1983, represents an exciting new challenge for ARA competitors, placing teams on stage roads unseen in rally competition for thirty-five years.

The complete 2018 ARA Series schedule:
1.    Oregon Trail Rally ----- April 20-22, 2018
2.    Olympus Rally ----- May 19-20, 2018
3.    Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally ----- June 1-2, 2018
4.    New England Forest Rally ----- July 20-21, 2018
5.    Ojibwe Forests Rally ----- August 24-25, 2018
6.    Idaho Rally ----- September 15-16, 2018
7.    Tour de Forest Rally ----- October 6-7, 2018

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

American Rally Association Announces 2018 Ford Performance Contingency Program


Officials with the American Rally Association (ARA) announced today an agreement with Ford Performance regarding an expanded Contingency Sponsorship Program for the 2018 ARA National Championship Series. A total of over Forty Thousand Dollars will be up for grabs to Stage Rally teams competing in Ford vehicles this year.

The Ford Performance Contingency Program will be available to all nationally-entered ARA rally teams competing in the Open 2-Wheel-Drive (O2WD) or Open 4-Wheel-Drive (O4WD) classes. There will be no restrictions on the Ford vehicle's age or model, though subsidiary brands, such as Mercury, are not eligible for the program.

The Contingency Program will require a separate online registration, independent from ARA event registration. This process must be completed at least one week prior to a team's first ARA National Rally of the 2018 season and only needs to be done once for the year.

The Ford Performance Contingency Program will recognize First, Second, and Third place results in the O4WD and O2WD National classes for 2018 with available cash awards totaling $4,500 per event. First place in each class will receive $1,000, while Second place will receive $750, and Third place $500. The podium rewards total $2,250 per eligible class, per 2018 ARA National Championship Series rally.

Additionally, if a Ford competitor wins the seven-event 2018 ARA National Championship Series in either the Open 2WD or Open 4WD classes while driving a properly-registered Ford vehicle, regardless of year or model, they will be eligible for a $5,000 championship bonus. These two championship bonuses make the total value of the Ford Performance Contingency Program an impressive $41,500 in 2018.

“We couldn’t be happier than to announce this expanded partnership between the American Rally Association and Ford Performance,” said ARA President and National Series Manager Doug Shepherd, “Ford has a strong history in Stage Rally and we are very pleased that ARA’s Ford-driving rally teams will enjoy this generous level of support from Ford Performance during the 2018 ARA National Championship Series.”

Ford Rally competitors wishing to register for, or learn more about, the Ford Performance Contingency Program for the 2018 ARA National Championship Series should visit performanceparts.ford.com/contingency. Questions or comments regarding the program can be emailed to: Yvonne Harrison, yharri10@ford.com.


Red Bull Global Rallycross, will head to Lydden Hill, "the birthplace of Rallycross" for 2018 Season Finale




After months of speculation, Lydden Hill has been confirmed as the venue for the double-header season finale of the 2018 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship (GRC) on October 27-28. The birthplace of rallycross will welcome some of the finest rallycross racers from across the pond, together with a number of select 'wildcard' entries as the UK takes on the USA for the first time in Red Bull GRC history.

Lydden Hill boss Pat Doran confirmed the announcement following lengthy discussions over the winter months: "I'm delighted to finally confirm Lydden Hill as the venue for the final round of the 2018 Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship. Lydden has been at the forefront of rallycross for more than 50 years and we've invested in the sport throughout that time.

"It's fitting therefore that the GRC's return to Europe is here, where rallycross fans will get the opportunity to see the best GRC has to offer, including the series' signature 70ft table top jump, on our purpose-built rallycross track. We always receive great support from the motorsport fraternity, and I'm sure the fans will be out in force once again as we pull out all the stops to ensure the GRC season-finale is a sell-out success."

Red Bull GRC's debut at Lydden Hill will mark the first rallycross event in Europe for the series since 2013, and the first-ever visit for many of its drivers to the continent. Expected participants include three-time defending series champion Scott Speed and past Lydden Hill race winner Tanner Foust. Alongside the top-level competition, this year's Red Bull GRC Lydden Hill will also serve as the inaugural season finale for the series' new Polaris RZR® class.

"Bringing Red Bull Global Rallycross to Lydden Hill's historic venue makes perfect sense for the series' long-awaited return to Europe." said Red Bull GRC CEO Colin Dyne. "Our teams and drivers are looking forward to battling it out for the championship on the circuit where the sport first began, so fans will be sure to see some of the most intense racing of the year over this double-header weekend."

Tickets for Red Bull Global Rallycross Lydden Hill, taking place this October 27-28, are on sale now at http://www.redbullglobalrallycross.com
To preview Red Bull Global Rallycross click here

Monday, February 12, 2018

Naylor Elected Motorsport Ireland President for 2018





Image result for John Naylor hill climb

John Naylor - Elected Motorsport Ireland President for 2018



At a meeting of the Motorsport Commission (ruling council) on 16th January last 55 year old John Naylor from Carnew, County Wicklow, was elected President of Motorsport Ireland.
This is not the first time for John to fulfil this role as he served as president from 2004 – 2009.
John is a long-time supporter of the sport as a competitor, organiser and sponsor of the Motorsport Ireland Hillclimb Championship through his own business, Naylor Engineering,

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Canada is the latest country to confirm interest in pursuing a place on the FIA World Rally Championship calendar




The Rally Promoter Association of Canada today (Thursday) launched a five-year plan to bring the WRC to the country for the first time since 1979.

“We started looking at this idea in 2011,” said founding director Keith Morison. “Recently things have started coming together and we think this is the right time to put a real effort into making this idea a reality.”

The association will undertake initial investigations to establish the event foundations, supported by the Canadian Association of Rallysport, the sport’s governing body in the country.

“The next year will be spent meeting with a wide range of officials and potential partners to make sure this foundation exists. Once we understand where the support for the event is, we can then start fleshing out the details,” added Morison.

CARS president John Hall pledged his support to the association. “A WRC event is a huge undertaking and something that must be well thought out, well prepared, and engage a broad base from across the country if it is to have a chance of succeeding.

“I have complete faith that RPAC includes the right people with the right approach to bring a WRC event to Canada,” he said.

The WRC has visited Canada four times previously. Sandro Munari was victorious at the Rally of the Rideau Lakes in 1974, while the Criterium Quebec was won by Timo Salonen, Walter Röhrl and Björn Waldegård between 1977 and 1979.