USRC: Rim of the World Rally preview

23nd ANNUAL LANCASTER RALLY IS BACK IN THE HIGH DESERT ONE WEEK EARLY - APRIL 28-29; RIM OF THE WORLD COURSE TO USE NEWLY-GRADED FOREST ROADS LANCASTER, Calif. - April 17 - The 23nd running of the Subaru Rim of the World Rally coming up April...

23nd ANNUAL LANCASTER RALLY IS BACK IN THE HIGH DESERT ONE WEEK EARLY - APRIL 28-29; RIM OF THE WORLD COURSE TO USE NEWLY-GRADED FOREST ROADS

LANCASTER, Calif. - April 17 - The 23nd running of the Subaru Rim of the World Rally coming up April 28 - 29 will be the most exciting, most entertaining high performance auto rally ever held in Southern California, with two days of dynamic programs running at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds and on the fire rim roads of the Angeles National Forest.

"In the history of the Rim of the World Rally, the Forest Service staff of the Angeles National Forest has been a vital part of the event, and the grading of the entire course this year - with both organizations working as a team - has result in the best forest roads we have ever had," said Ray Hocker, from Ridgecrest, chairman of the event.

Combine that with the more than 50 race cars, special closed racing stages at the 7,500-seat Antelope Valley Fairgrounds arena, and day-long entertainment including world-class drifting competition will make the weekend a favorite destination for Southern California families. Extreme motorcross champion Travis Pastrana, who has made the transition from bikes to rally cars quite successfully, will lead a large group of experienced rally competitors in his Subaru WRX STi.

The sport of Performance Rally, which attracts more racing fans worldwide than Formula 1, Indy Car or NASCAR, takes place on every continent, but the Subaru Rim of the World Rally, presented by Autosport Engineering, is the only rally in North America that takes place in a major metropolitan market, giving it the tag as "the Super Bowl of Rally."

In the Subaru Rim of the World Rally, the cars race one-at-a-time against the clock on closed ridge-top fire roads - each time trial is called a stage - in the Angeles National Forest, with the cars recording the lowest total elapsed time at the end of the event being the winners in each class. The co-driver, who sits in the passenger seat, has stage notes which guide the team through the course turn-by-turn, and has a rally computer to aid him or her by keeping track of mileage intervals and elapsed time. The driver will go as fast as he or she can - no speed limits - with coaching from the co-driver describing the road configuration ahead.

The drivers meet their crew back at the Fairgrounds every couple of stages for service on the cars, and drivers must obey all local traffic regulations when their cars are not actually driving on the closed stage road. Unlike traditional racetrack driving, where repetition on the same course can lead to the "best line" or "best setup" for each corner, rally drivers must react to blind conditions at racetrack speed.

This event is sanctioned by the United States Auto Club (USAC) and presented by the National Auto Sports Association (NASA). Parts of the event count for points in the Western States Rally Championship (WSRC) and the California Rally Series (CRS) as well. The rally will cover 272 miles including 93 stage miles.

On Friday, April 28, the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds in Lancaster opens to the public for free ($3.00 for parking per car) until 5:00 PM to view technical inspection and meet the rally drivers ($10.00 admission after 5:00 PM). Ongoing activities include rally video games, car show, remote control car races, an all-wheel drive dyno, more than 30 booths featuring auto racing accessories and memorabilia, and more. Drifting competition in the Nitro2Go Drift Invite throughout the day. The rally action starts at 6:30 PM with the opening ceremonies and Super Special Stage I (side-by-side racing) in the arena. Besides the racing stages inside the fairgrounds, fans can view the rally at designated areas in the forest as well. Spectating details are available at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds during the event or on the event's website www.rimoftheworldrally.com.

On Saturday, April 29, the fairgrounds open to the public at 10:00 AM, with admission $15. Fans can visit the Rally Expo vendor displays, walk through the pits, meet the rally teams, browse the Auto Show, purchase food and rally merchandise, and watch radio controlled car racing. The hottest tuner cars in Southern California will be on display in the Rim of the World Car Show. Several trophies and awards will be given out, including Best of Show, Best Custom, Cleanest Engine Bay, Best Paint, etc. Also going on all day will be the U.S. Army climbing tower-wall, several inflatable jumpers for the kids, and the R/C Nitro Car Demonstration from HPI.

The Rim of the World Drift Invite, which will be happening both Friday and Saturday, hits full stride on Saturday as there will be an invitation-only event that pits the country's #1 "OG" drifters against each other in head- to-head elimination rounds. Drift Invite will also feature one of the nation's first Team Battles in which Drift teams of 2-3 drivers compete together in an array of matching slides and sequenced burnouts judged in an X-Games style ceremony to crown the top

The event will be broadcast on HDNet, the channel available to high definition subscribers on DirectTV, the Dish Network, and many cable systems. The USRC is the only rally series in the world to broadcast all its events in high definition. The event will also be covered on local Adelphia Cable Channel 3 - check local listings for broadcast times. The Subaru Rim of the World Rally will also have a radio network online at www.rimoftheworldrally.com, with broadcasts starting at 5:00 PM on April 28.

-www.rimoftheworldrally.com

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Travis Pastrana