BREAKING NEWS: Oregon Trail Rally joins American Rally Association for 2017

Another domino falls in the USA rallying sanctioning body saga as the Oregon Trail Rally announced this morning that they are switching from Rally America to the newly formed American Rally Association for 2017.  Rallying in the USA has had peaks and valleys over the years, but recently has been gaining popularity.  The new sanctioning offers a number of potential opportunities for continued growth, and we at Open Paddock are excited to see how it develops.


Full press release below.





Oregon Trail Rally Announce 2017 Partnership with New Sanctioning Body


PORTLAND, OREGON (September 30, 2016) – The Oregon Rally Group Board have announced that for 2017 the Oregon Trail Rally will run under the newly formed American Rally Association.

Oregon Rally Group President Dylan Hooker was excited to announce the transition to a new sanctioning body which he feels will strengthen rally racing in the USA and help the Oregon Trail Rally to reach new heights.

“Over the last sixteen years the Oregon Trail Rally has grown into a premier Northwest motorsport event and one of the top rally events in the country. Our past sanctioning bodies have provided a stable platform with a high level of safety and competitiveness from which to run our event. We are confident that the new American Rally Association will continue this work and help our sport grow”, Hooker said.

For a tenth consecutive year the Oregon Trail Rally will return to the beautiful Columbia River Gorge region. Oregon Trail Rally Chair Rebecca Ruston is excited about this new partnership. “Each year we continue to grow and improve our event, making it a competitor and fan favorite while providing an economic benefit to the local community. I look forward to working with the ARA team and feel confident that together we will deliver another great rally for both participants and spectators in 2017.”

The inaugural 2017 ARA National Championship series currently consists of five rallies: Oregon Trail Rally in Portland, Oregon dates TBD, the Olympus Rally in Shelton, Washington in May, the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) in Wellsboro, PA in June, the New England Forest Rally in Newry, Maine in July, and the Ojibwe Forests Rally in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota in August. Additional events and the fully event calendar for 2017 will be announced later this fall.


Additional news and event dates for 2017 will be posted on the event’s web site,, and Facebook Site, as the event draws closer. Information on the new American Rally Association and the inaugural 2017 ARA National Championship series can be found on their site –


About Rally Racing

Rally racing is one of the world’s most challenging and popular motorsports. It is considered by many as the extreme sport of automobile racing and it’s often described simply as “real cars, real roads, real fast.” Unlike any other type of car racing, rally teams compete in any weather, on challenging forest, mountain or desert roads.

Racing takes place only on “special stages,” using demanding back roads temporarily closed by local authorities for the event. “Transits”, driven at normal highway speeds with teams fully subject to all traffic laws, connect the “special stage” sections together speeds. Vehicles can only be serviced and repaired at designated “service” locations and for set periods of time.

Rally vehicles are production-based cars and trucks from manufacturers around the world. All competition vehicles are equipped with mandatory safety features to protect the competitors. They compete both for the overall victory and wins within a class structure that groups together vehicles with similar performance.

Each vehicle carries a driver and a co-driver/navigator. Using a detailed route book and a sophisticated rally computer, the co-driver keeps the team on-course and advises the driver of any hazards ahead.  This role is as critical as the driver’s skill, since the team is traveling at full racing speeds over roads they have never before seen, in any type of weather.

About Oregon Rally Group

Based in Portland, Oregon, the Oregon Rally Group is a non-profit organization that organizes and promotes all forms of Rally (Stage Rally, Rally Cross and Road Rally) events in Oregon and beyond.


American Rally Association (ARA) is a member driven organization dedicated to the sport of stage rally and is a transparent and inclusive sanctioning body. As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit ARA is led by elected and appointed board members who guide the sport in the best interest of the members. ARA is delivering a framework for safety, competition, promotion, and educational forums for all aspects of stage rally. The success of the organization is dependent on many experienced volunteers working toward the common goal of a thriving stage rally program in America.



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3 Thoughts to “BREAKING NEWS: Oregon Trail Rally joins American Rally Association for 2017

  1. Didn’t I read that Wild West was coming back as an ARA event in 2017? If so, that would make a 6-round championship with half in the Pacific Northwest. Thanks, Mike for staying on top of this story.

    1. And now we have the 100 Acre Wood announcement that they will remain with Rally America for the 2017 season. So if Sno*Drift and Colorado stay with RA as expected, that means RA is sitting on 3 championship rounds. LSPR would be the last hold out and we may not know about that one until after this year’s event. Being the last on the calendar, they have the advantage of time.

  2. Yes, ARA did announce Wild West for 2017, but that was before known confirmation of OTR. The date that Tim O’Neil let slip in their latest Facebook Live about Wild West I think would have conflicted with or been too close to OTR. I fully expect a future announcement that Wild West will be replaced with OTR now that they are on board. That means only 5 rounds so far, but now the championship scales have officially tipped away from RA and in ARA’s favor. What will Sno*Drift, 100 Acre Wood, and LSPR do? Will this announcement be the keystone that pushes them in ARA’s direction? We don’t know yet, but I can imagine some discussions going with this announcement today.

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