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Rally race in the states?


Well-Known Member
Following Dakar this year has got me thinking. Could a staged race in the states work?

My initial thoughts are.... NO. I doubt there are any promoters who would tackle a week long plus staged rally. The logistics and government dealings would be a nightmare.

BUT.... What if we used existing events over the year as stages to ONE BIG timed event?


1. Pick 5-7 races (stages) spread out during the season
2. Total Time over said 5-7 "stages" decides winner
3. Time penalties for DNF of stage.
4. Minimal time between stages to work on vehicle (30-60min)

Could it work? Maybe
Would it be fun? Absolutely

Obviously there would be some things to iron out, ie: how do you make sure the vehicle isn't worked on between 'Stages". But there's nothing that couldn't be overcome.

I guess what I like most about something like this is the perseverance and different mindset you would have to race with in order to make your equipment last an entire season on one prep.

Its probably just a pipe dream, but fun to talk about.


Baja Bobsled Team
I like your idea a lot!

I also think a multi-day rally (in succession) would be possible. A huge week long rally might be close to impossible at first, but what about starting off small(er) with a three day 'rally.' The cars would have to be different than current race cars because they would have to be street legal to connect via highway or transit to the special stages. So Raptors, trick Subaru's or frankly anything with a plate would be great. Eg...my old class 8 is street legal (sort of).

I think Nevada would be a perfect place to do this with some of bivouacs being in places like Beatty, Caliente, etc. Plus there are a lot of bikes with plates (Husky's, KTM Adventures and EXC's) that could fill out the ranks. Maybe even big trucks like trick Unimogs and converted LMTV M1078's could come out and play.

Lots of people think things like this can't be done, but guys like Casey Folks can move mountains. It would need to be quite a bit different than current desert racing, vehicle wise and to be more of a rally. Thanks for opening up this discussion BF. I love the idea of a US rally raid.

J Burleson

Well-Known Member
It wouldn't be a rally raid if weren't consecutive days. That is just a race season. No way you could keep guys from doing a full prep between stages unless you rent a warehouse to store them all in and only allow access 12 hrs before next stage. But even that goes against the idea of rally raid. The earlier you finish, the more time you have to work on the car before the following days stage. Some guys pull in the bivouac so late they only have time to poop and dust off before they take the green for the next stage. It could definitely be done in the states I think. It would just take a boat load of money and time Start in Vegas, zig zag to Colorado and back (ut, nm, az, maybe tx). Prolly the biggest roadblock to having a true Dakar style rally would be the ability to do off piste stages(everyone was pretty bummed with the first half of this years Dakar)
It would be awesome, but imo would def need to be consecutive days


Well-Known Member
BITD did this already Nevada 2000, Nevada 1000, Vegas to reno the long way all multi day stage races. Just take away the markings and GPS add a road book and its rally raid. The nevada 2000 was 6 days of racing over the whole state of Nevada.


Well-Known Member
Dakar allows work between stages except marathons. Street legal requires serial numbers. Engines have numbers. Or put tamper seals on them. Require the same numbers on each stage and allow work between stages.

Chris Tobin

Well-Known Member
Would have to have Darren and Hog Wild involved to be successful!!!

I'd say a great way to run it would be some private TX land for a stage or two, dip down into MX for a couple stages working west then cross back over into AZ and run a stage or two in AZ heading up toward Vegas and finish with a stage in Primm, Jean or Henderson (or all 3) then parade into Vegas for the finish festivities!!!

Would be an awesome event! Especially if it were more inclusive of the vehicles like the Sonora Rally so we wouldn't have to run restrictors and such! I'd love to run my truck in an event like that if I ever get it finished!

Short Bus

Well-Known Member
A raid format might actually be easier as far as land use issues go. Because you have several stages, you don't need a single location to plot out 250+ miles of race course. Smaller pieces of land that are not considered for a normal off road race could be used. There may be more land options like that available. You could have 2 or 3 shorter sections with road links in a single day's stage that together make up a reasonable stage distance.


Well-Known Member
There are plenty of dirt roads in the middle of no where in West Texas and New Mexico that could possible be used for such an event. And then head into Arizona for a stage or two and hit the dunes of Glamis for an off piste stage.
The vehicles being street legal would help I would think. However, getting permits to race on actual dirt roads in some places would be difficult.


Well-Known Member
You could do this probably much easier than you think just linking OHV areas in California, Nevada, and Az. If the stages were planned on existing race courses, and transits used legal roads by legal licensed vehicles, there really would be no additional need for permits for that movement. Where you would run into trouble is folks entering non-street legal vehicles that might rankle the law. I have actually already kind of thought this out over the years and have planned routes. This would be the most applicable way to get factories involved, a premier class of slightly modified trucks and SUVs.


Well-Known Member
Sonora Rally is as close to the US as you can be (registration is 1 mile from the border) and is going to be a 4 day cross country rally event this year with really great stages. It takes time to pull together events like this but our goal is to one day do an event that links the US and Mexico. We are taking the first steps this year working with the HP rally group to explore possible places we can run US stages long enough for a cross country event. I feel an event can happen as long as racers from different communities (off road car, UTV, rally and adventure motos) come together to support it.

One important thing to remember about the big raid events (Dakar, Silk Way, Africa Race) and rallying in general is that all the cars, bikes and trucks have to be street legal with current insurance. If we are to do a proper event in the US all the competitors will have to have street legal vehicles.
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Well-Known Member
The Nevada rally back in 95 or 96 was exactly what you are talking about but I don't remember why it wasn't successful. I like the idea and would love to see it happen!

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Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
Like Darren said the Sonoran Rally is as close as it gets. If you really want to see rally raid come to the states make the investment and support what these guys are doing.

There is also an all women's rally raid called the Rebelle Rally being put on by a former Gazzelles competitor that is coming to Nevada and California at the end of the year. So it would seem that it can be done.

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