If you are a rally fan in the USA you are no doubt aware of the current situation. Another governing body has been formed to sanction rallies in the USA. The American Rally Association. Major sponsorship and team/driver support from Subaru means that the ARA will be running what amounts to the National Championship, with Rally America running what seems to be a championship of regional rallies spread across the nation. Five of Rally America’s events have switched allegiances to the new governing body and an arrangement with the Perce Niege rally in Canada means the ARA will have a six event championship that runs from February to August.
Rally America were left with three (of the admittedly more popular) national rallies, so they created three new events and upgraded a couple of popular single day rallies to form their own 14 event championship.
How things will pan out between the two organizations I don’t know. I hope there is enough room for all the events in the country without any butting of heads. It doesn’t look like that will happen this year though, there’s already a conflict between the ARA New England Forests Rally and Rally America’s Rally Colorado in July. The events are on different sides of the country so perhaps it won’t matter too much. Not many teams will drive from Oregon to New England.
With all this going on, what concerns me the most is. “What will it cost me?” With two governing bodies, it’s very likely that I will have to buy two licenses. I’ve already been approached about co-driving at one Rally America event next year. I’d love to compete at Ojibwe again in 2017 and that is an American Rally Association event.
The Rally America license is $170.00. There is no single event pro-rated fee that you could use as a downpayment to upgrade to a full season license if your situation changes, like there used to be. $170 wether you do one event or all 14. For 14 events $170.00 is a really good deal. For one event, not so. So that’s a bit of a disappointment.
The American Rally Association haven’t released their license structure yet. Perhaps they’ll have a single event option. They have said that they don’t expect license fees to change initially, so that’s another $150 or so.
Three hundred and twenty dollars. Like my Dad used to say. “It doesn’t sound much when you say it fast.” On top of that I really do need my own HANS and crash helmet. I can’t go on borrowing/renting those all year. I’m looking at $1200 - $1500 in expenses.
Perhaps I should get some sponsors. Jeremy? James?
Header photo: Dan Little and I on Nemadji Trail Winter Rally. Matt Todd photo