Why is Stateside Rally Dead?

E.Hagle

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Rally is arguably the most underrated Motorsport in the states. With all of the UTV guys running around I’d think there would be a decent series running. I plan on going out to Gorman this year in my UTV between Baja racing just to support it and make a go at it.

If there was more fun events floating around in the southwest would you guys go?
 

Buellracer

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Idaho Rally in July was one of the first to include UTV classes starting back in 2011. I am debating running my UTV rather than my STI stage car this year. Everyone should check it out
 

michael.gonzalez

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Rally is arguably the most underrated Motorsport in the states. With all of the UTV guys running around I’d think there would be a decent series running. I plan on going out to Gorman this year in my UTV between Baja racing just to support it and make a go at it.

If there was more fun events floating around in the southwest would you guys go?
I'd be interested in Southwest Rally!
 

E.Hagle

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Idaho Rally in July was one of the first to include UTV classes starting back in 2011. I am debating running my UTV rather than my STI stage car this year. Everyone should check it out
My girlfriend has family up near Boise and we may do the same thing as you, depending on scheduling.
 

Klaus

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Rally is arguably the most underrated Motorsport in the states. With all of the UTV guys running around I’d think there would be a decent series running. I plan on going out to Gorman this year in my UTV between Baja racing just to support it and make a go at it.

If there was more fun events floating around in the southwest would you guys go?
This is the question I ask myself constantly.
I grew up in Germany where there is no desert racing so I come with a bias. One has to drive down to Africa to see deserts and people do. Its call Rally Raid > Dakar.

To me Rally Racing is about precision driving. Like a sniper. Desert Racing on the other hand is more like a machine gun. Both effective and appealing.
 

E.Hagle

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This is the question I ask myself constantly.
I grew up in Germany where there is no desert racing so I come with a bias. One has to drive down to Africa to see deserts and people do. Its call Rally Raid > Dakar.

To me Rally Racing is about precision driving. Like a sniper. Desert Racing on the other hand is more like a machine gun. Both effective and appealing.
Growing up my dad constantly talked about racing Baja in the 80s so when I came of driving age I naturally tried to replicate the path, albeit it was with a 2 door jeep through local ranch and orchard roads. No matter what I did I always ripped components from the chassis. I started to enjoy the smoother faster stuff even with a short wheelbase and ride height. I learned the balance of my vehicle, down shifting for weight transfer because of my lack of HP.

Long story short I started to appreciate the finesse and precision of rally. Desert racing was a long shot because of the amount of money needed to even begin building something to withstand the beating. It still seems odd to me that the rougher a course is, the more “prestige” there is. I, like you, admire the skill set of rally and always thought my best shot at being a wheelman would come from a shoestring budget Jeep Comanche that I attempted to build in the garage as a rally truck for the few races in the southwest region. That all came crashing down when my grandpa decided last year that it was time to buy an Alumicraft class 10 car and get back to Baja after a 30 year hiatus, we only have so much space in the garage.

Now that we have a UTV as a prerunner it’s really opened my eyes to how incredible it is to drive on rally style roads with the single gear CVT setup. Butter smooth weight transfer and an extremely linear torque curve. You’d never imagine the vehicle was rear engine, it feels incredibly balanced.

I have half a mind to start drawing out plans to start a southwest series of my own just so I know there will be somewhere to race these style of events in the coming future
 

Whip1a5h

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It's dead because most, yes most, Americans that are into cars only seem to care about maximum horsepower per dollar so they flock to drag racing like it's their messiah or something


Then there's the outliers that like anything on dirt that doesn't just go in a circle, has jumps, and the vehicles can actually take a hit and keep going (unlike oval cars that hit the wall and fold all of the suspension like an accordion or get thrown into the air in a rolling motion)
 

E.Hagle

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I believe if properly advertised you could have a fun and successful series in the southwest because so many people have UTVs that are “race ready”. The amount of people willing to dedicate their time and money into building a rally car is very niche. I know it’s not a purist form of rally, but if you could get the UTV guys to front the bill then it would still create opportunities for the hardcore guys to come out and race.
 

BRINGTHERUCKUS

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From what I seen on the rally side of things in the US is just a lack of organization. Too many people trying to go different directions. We did the Prescott Rally in our prerunner a few years back and it was a blast. 2 years ago (give or take) it was supposed to have a UTV class added and we were going to do that as well, however I think the series folded.

The SW has a lot of great locales for rally, it just never really got a toe hold.
 

Bredbaker

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I've been involved in rally for over 30 years wearing every hat and sitting in every seat you can. Rally in America goes through ebbs, but right now we have two different sanctioning bodies. Now, to an off road racer, this is status quo, but for a long time rally was SCCA. Then Rally America came along, SCCA went away, and some people who did not cotton to the ways of Rally America started their own series with USAC. Then it bounced around for a while, but Rally America (RA) was the recognized playground of the factory teams. Then RA was sold, that didn't go well. Then another group formed the ARA, which is now the recognized playground of the big dollar teams. But ARA, which started with such promise, just flopped back over to control from the original group from RA. Customer Service has suffered since.

The SXS rally racers set some amazing times, they look fast, and everyone seems to be having fun. But, and I cannot stress this enough, double check the safety regulations on your build! Rally Idaho had over 20 entered, then ARA changed the rollcage rules after everyone powder coated their rollcages. Idaho lost a lot of entries. The Idaho organizers are so great at what they do, it was massively unfair what happened costing them all those entries. But, if the event is run under NASA sanction, then everyone should be fine.

Having run Gorman a few dozen times I can say you will have a ball, it is well worth going. Great organizers, great roads, and you'll feel genuinely welcome. See the California Rally Series website for everything you need to know.
 

stephenrjking

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Wasn't dead at the rallies I've gone to in the last two years. Is it big time? No, but it's running and fun. Ken Block is back, and Barry Mckenna keeps trying to bring new equipment from overseas. It's fun.

I don't have enough history to compare to how things "used to be." The rules allow for UTVs to run in the regular ARA rallies, and occasionally one will show up, but it's not common. Not yet.

Might have a hard time getting traction in the southwest with the desert racing scene vacuuming up dollars and attention, though. It's basically coast-to-coast but doesn't get further south that Missouri.
 

scottm

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The Prescott rally will supposedly be held this year after a 2 year break. I don't remeber what org is putting it on, but it's someone different than the recent past.
 
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