Rally – Rally America 2010 Schedule

The Rally America series has released its 2010 schedule and there’s a mix of good and bad for rally fans. First of all the bad: there will only be six instead of nine events for the national championship. Ojibwe Forests Rally in Bemidji, MN, Rally Colorado in Steamboat Springs, CO, and the Lake Superior Performance Rally in Houghton, MI will remain as regional events, but they will not be part of the national championship. The six events that will be part of the national prize are

  • Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta, MI – January
  • Rally of the 100 Acre Wood in Salem, MO – February
  • Olympus Rally in Olympia, WA – April
  • Oregon Trail Rally in Hood River, OR – May
  • Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally in Wellsboro, PA – June
  • New England Forest Rally in Newry, ME – July

The reasoning behind the truncation of the season was to cut operating costs and permit more teams to take part in the national championship. This cost-cutting theme is all to familiar in motorsports, and its sad to see the series shortened in this way. At least the events are remaining, even if they’re only regional events.

Now for the good: three new European-style rallycross events at the New Jersey Motorsports Park. They will be exhibition events only, and will not count toward the national championship, at least this year. Considering how the event is received by spectators, competitors, and the promoters, it may be part of the 2011 championship. I’m all for rallycross being a part of the Rally America season, since it makes for much more television-friendly racing. Don’t get me wrong, traditional rally events are fantastic. They’re tremendous fun to watch, but they’re difficult to broadcast well. Rallycross events, like the X-Games event, offer a much more TV-presentable product where competitors can be seen fighting side-by-side and one can see the entire race from start to finish. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the New Jersey events work out well and that someone like Discovery HD Theater, Versus, or ESPN recognizes what a good thing this will be and airs the events.

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