Okay, so we aren’t getting a WRC round anytime soon. But on the plus side we are getting a special visitor to USA rallying. The world renowned “Voice of Rally”, Colin Clark of WRC Live Radio, is making his first visit to a rally in the United States next week for the Oregon Trail Rally. The event is thankfully a somewhat convenient stop on his way to the next WRC round in Argentina, and we Oregonians are honored to have him as our special guest! If you don’t already know Colin Clark, the best I can describe is that he is the most passionate and enthusiastic rally fan there is. His rally knowledge rivals most historians because in many cases he has actually been there and witnessed what happened. It was listening to Colin’s coverage along with his partners in crime on WRC Live that got me so interested in stage rally. I even have to thank him for my ability to write on this web site as it was Colin’s interview two years ago with our Editor in Chief Shaun Pechin that eventually got me involved with Openpaddock.net.
The Oregon Trail Rally is the only west coast round of the Rally America National Championship. The 3 day event is known to be the longest and toughest rally on the calendar. Oregon Trail has all the hallmarks of a classic rally featuring a challenging combinations of rough and tough stages in the forests shadowed by the magnificent Mt. Hood south of Hood River, as well as the fast and flowing roads in the rolling hills to the east near Dufur. Before the teams get to the forests and hills though, the action gets underway in the much more urban environment at the Portland International Raceway Friday May 2nd.
So far there are 64 teams entered including Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana where you will see just how fast manufacturer backed cars can be. By far the closest competition will be in Super Production and 2wd though. I’ll be posting up a full event preview this weekend with details on the stages being run and who to watch. In the mean time, here’s a YouTube video from Rally America:
If you are in the area and plan on coming to the event, might I suggest you become a volunteer instead of just a spectator? Volunteers always get the best view of the action and the Oregon Rally Group could use a few more, especially for the stages out east on Saturday and Sunday. Volunteering is quite easy and you even get to enjoy a nice awards banquet at the end. For more info on volunteering go to http://oregontrailrally.com .