New England: Round six pre-event notes

THE 2009 RALLY AMERICA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SHIFTS TO MAINE FOR ROUND 6 of 9 Regional Rally Teams come from all over to claim their share of the MaxAttack! cash awards (Newry, Maine) -- With the first five rally events of the 2009 ...

THE 2009 RALLY AMERICA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SHIFTS TO MAINE FOR ROUND 6 of 9
Regional Rally Teams come from all over to claim their share of the MaxAttack! cash awards

(Newry, Maine) -- With the first five rally events of the 2009 Rally America National Championship in the record books already, the top Regional and National rally teams from across the United States and Canada will soon be making their way to the tiny resort village of Newry, Maine for the New England Forest Rally -- home to the Sunday River Resort and round #6 of the 9-event Rally America National Championship.

Set for Friday and Saturday, July 17 & 18, 2009, as many as 45 or more top-level rally teams are expected to be competing on some of the fastest gravel and forest roads in the country for top honors at this always-popular rally event.

Sitting atop the Rally America National points championship right now and expected to be competing at this year's New England Forest Rally is 3-time Rally America Champion and Freestyle Motocross legend Travis Pastrana who drives for Subaru Rally Team USA -- the factory-backed rally team based in Colchester, Vermont. Along with his teammates Ken Block, co-founder of DC Shoes USA, and X Games & BMX legend Dave Mirra, the Subaru rally team will be looking for another overall rally victory at this year's New England Forest Rally.

Also expected at the top of the charts at this year's event will be Canadian rally Ace Antoine L'Estage along with his Co-Driver and fiance' Nathalie Richard driving their John Buffum-prepared & Rockstar Energy-backed Mitsubishi Evolution X. A former overall winner of the New England Forest Rally, L'Estage is a very technical driver as well as a multi-time Canadian Rally Champion who can't be overlooked regarding the overall victory in Maine.

New to this year's New England Forest Rally will be a large contingent of Regional rally teams from across the Northeastern United Sates and Eastern Canada. These teams will be competing for their share of $15,000 in prize money as the Maine-based rally will be just one of three rally events in the United States that make up the 3-round MaxAttack! Championship for Regional rally teams for 2009 -- the other two rally events include Rally Idaho and the Ojibwe Forests Rally in Minnesota.

Although the New England Forest Rally will be contested over two days and 125 plus miles of gravel and forest stages for the National competitors, the Regional rally teams will compete on the very same roads as the National teams, but in two separate 1-day Regional rally events run simultaneously with the National rally.

Friday's Regional rally will be known at the "Drive Your Future Rally" presented by the National Guard and will be highlighted by a "Super Special" in the town of Mexico, Maine. Taking place at the Mexico Recreational Area located just off Rt. 17 in Mexico, spectators will be have the opportunity to watch their favorite rally driver or team complete an entire gravel rally stage, complete with a jump, from start to finish right in front of them. Fans will also have the chance for an up-close look at the service crews as they take care of their rally cars at the Service Park which will also be based at the Mexico Recreation Area. As a special attraction for fans of all ages, National Guard units from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont will be on hand at the Mexico Recreation Area with a large display of state-of-the-art military vehicles to check out.

On Saturday, July 18, 2009, the rally action moves west along Route 2 to Coos County and the city of Berlin in Northern New Hampshire where rally teams will compete on a series of gravel and forest stages from Berlin north along the Androscoggin River to the sleepy village of Errol and beyond. A number of scenic spectator areas will be available along the competition stages where fans will be able to watch their favorite drivers compete. They will also be treated to a "Super Special" in Berlin on Saturday morning where teams will test their skills on a half-mile course that winds its way in and around the old Berlin paper mill site located on the north side of the city.

Also available throughout the 2-day New England Forest Rally will be a number of spectator buses provided by the Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine. The busses will depart from a variety of locations and take interested spectators out to the designated viewing areas along the rally course. Tickets for the spectator busses can be purchased the day of the event and will cost just $5.00 per person!

Amateur photographers will again have the opportunity to participate in Rally America's popular photo contest where they can submit their best shots from the New England Forest Rally for a chance to win great prizes -- visit www.rally-america.com for all the details.

For ongoing live updates through out the New England Forest Rally or for more information regarding a detailed event schedule, lodging and an on-line Spectator Guide, please visit the official Rally America web site at www.rally-america.com.

Sponsors for this year's New England Forest Rally include Subaru of America; DC Shoes; Endless Brakes; Exedy Racing Clutches; Q Racing Oil; the Army National Guard; Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine; the Team O'Neil Rally School from Dalton, NH and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Rally car racing is considered the extreme sport of automobile racing and is often described simply as "real cars, real roads, real fast." This all-season motorsport sees drivers and their co-drivers taking modified road cars to the limit as they achieve blistering speeds over courses that cover more than 100 miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads known as stages.

The 2009 Rally America National Championship series consists of nine exciting events that take place throughout the United States in many different weather and road conditions. Top teams in the Rally America Championship are also invited to compete in ESPN's Summer X Games, the leading action sports event broadcast live on ABC and ESPN. Eight top teams have already been invited to this August's contest. Among the marquees typically represented in Rally America events are Subaru, Mitsubishi, Dodge, Ford and Volkswagen.

-credit: www.rally-america.com.

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Series Other rally
Drivers Antoine L'Estage , Nathalie Richard , Ken Block , John Buffum , Dave Mirra