Saturday, January 28, 2012

American Rally Season Kicks Off with Sno* Drift

So I am now into my second martini and still watching the Rolex 24. However, yesterday marked the start of a two day rally event that officially launched the 2012 Rally America championship. The event just ended a couple of hours ago and Subaru Rally USA driver David Higgins drew first blood in the title race against Antoine L'Estage.

The championship is comprised of six events across the US with a large variety of talent. Some like Higgins have won championships in other countries, while others are pure gentleman racers with the love of rally racing. This championship used to place host to the likes of Travis Pastrana and Ken Block.

The first round takes place in the most northern sections of Michigan for the Sno* Drift rally. The unique aspect of this event is the tire selection. While many rally championships across the world allow for the use of studded snow tires, Rally America outlaws these tires and forces the competitors to use street winter tires. Needless to say the product is always entertaining and yields some rather interesting results. Last year's event had very high attrition which seen Travis Hanson win in a super production (SP) class car. It marked the first time ever a SP car would win an event outright.

As far as the 2012 chapter went, the attrition was not as high and the pre rally favorites were able to keep the car on the ice. There were initial concerns with the amount of snowfall, but the solid sheet of ice that is typical of the event was there in full. Cars spent yesterday and today slipping and sliding in the pursuit of traction. It was the 2012 Subaru STi of David Higgins that would take the overall win with Canadian star Antoine L'Estage and his Rockstar sponsored Mitsubishi EVO X finishing runner up. Travis Hanson would take third place after Crazy Leo Urlichich was handed an eight minute penalty for missing a catalytic converter on his car.

Another fantastic Sno* Drift event and another fantastic start to the 2012 Rally America campaign (Hell no I am not talking about politicians). The next event will be the 100 Acre Wood rally in Salem MO. Judging by the crazy winter we have had so far, this will probably not have snow. Here is hoping at least! 

1 comment:

The Speedgeek said...

Sumbitch! Missed the whole thing! I guess this is what you get when you don't bother to go to the actual website to check the schedule and just figure you'll watch some of the event on Sunday morning.

Anyway, you oughta see how the teams run in snow tires to better deal with a dusting of snow on top of a sheet of ice. It is, let's just say, an extremely sketchy least if you're a team comprised of just a couple dudes working out of some very nice, accomodating folks' garage for the weekend. Maybe the bigger teams have a better way of doing it, but I'm not aware of it.