Sno*Drift pre-event notes

Sno*Drift Kicks Off 2010 Rally America Championship Storylines abound in the upcoming 2010 Rally America Season that opens in two weeks with Sno*Drift, the series' traditional "bad weather" event, January 29-30 in Atlanta, Michigan. The ...

Sno*Drift Kicks Off 2010 Rally America Championship

Storylines abound in the upcoming 2010 Rally America Season that opens in two weeks with Sno*Drift, the series' traditional "bad weather" event, January 29-30 in Atlanta, Michigan.

The Sno*Drift Rally is held in the middle of winter in northeastern lower Michigan. It takes place where snowmobiles and Elk probably outnumber cars. Winter conditions in Michigan are hard to predict, but some combination of fresh snow and glazed ice can always be expected.

The conditions at Sno*Drift are the most immediate storyline in the Rally America news cycle. But there are more including a change in the Rally America format. Last year there were nine events on the calendar in forests from Maine to Washington plus the highly visible and invitational X Games 15 competition in suburban Los Angeles.

This year there will be six forest events from Maine to Washington before X Games 16 plus three new European style rallycross events after X Games all based in Southern New Jersey. You can see the complete schedule at the Rally America website (www.Rally-America.com).

In all those events, starting with Sno*Drift, is the introduction of a new factory supported rally team operated by Action Sports and web video icon Ken Block. Block, a co-founder of the iconic Action Sports brand DC Shoes, has finished as high as second in the Rally America national championship and last year finished fourth running for the Subaru America Rally Team based in Vermont.

This year Block has put his own team together. The Monster World Rally Team (MWRT) will compete with a Ford Fiesta at Sno*Drift. After Sno*Drift Block's MWRT team will prepare for Rally Mexico in March, the team's first of several World Rally Championship events with a Ford Focus based in the United Kingdom.

But the storylines don't stop there! For example:

* Pre-event entries at Sno*Drift are up 35 percent over last season, an encouraging sign for Rally America and the Sno*Drift organizers when other motorsports entities are struggling in a difficult economy.

* The Subaru Rally Team will continue as one of the favorites to keep the championship Action Sports legend Travis Pastrana has won four straight years. After Pastrana's world record rally car jump on New Year's Eve, he'll be joined on the Subaru Team by another Action Sports pioneer Dave Mirra who graduates to the powerful open class rally machinery after several years learning in the sport in slower Super Production machinery.

* Former Canadian and North American Rally Champions Antoine L'Estage and his co-driver Nathalie Richard have committed to running the entire Rally America championship in a Mitsubishi Evo, a third factory supported effort in the championship

* Returning for 2010 is the 2009 Rally America Super Production champion Jimmy Keeney who won the title in the last event of 2009 by one point over 2008 Super Production champion Patrick Moro.

* Also returning for 2010 is the 2009 Rally America Production champion Dillon Van Way, a 17-year-old who learned enormous speed from his Ford Focus last year on his way to his championship.

These are just samples of the storylines available at Sno*Drift, the first event in the 2010 Rally America Championship. There are more as you might expect from fifty teams starting the season in the brutal cold and icy snow of the northeastern Michigan winter.

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 take 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.

Top teams in the series are also invited to compete in the Summer X Games, the leading action sports event broadcast live on ABC and ESPN.

-source: rally america

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Series Other rally
Drivers Travis Pastrana , Antoine L'Estage , Nathalie Richard , Ken Block , Dave Mirra , Jimmy Keeney