For years, Americans driving Subarus very quickly in the woods have had to go through the for-profit Rally America organization. As of today, the country’s top events have broken off and formed their own non-profit American Rally Association. Here’s how it all works.
Before I go into too much of this, let me say that if you are a rally competitor yourself, go to The Rally Takeover to read this great article on how exactly this will affect you, who you need to talk to, and what you’re getting out of this:
For the rest of us who are only casually interested in cars flying through the air next to trees at speeds best described as ‘troubling,’ this whole thing is interesting in that the for-profit organization seems to have largely failed to make the sport massively popular while also failing to make life any easier or cheaper for the people competing in its series. Costs went up, entries went down, and now four events have seceded from the series itself.
The new American Rally Association will run the New England Forest Rally (NEFR), the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR), the Ojibwe Forests Rally, and the Olympus Rally. The ARA is in talks to get more events, and they told me over the phone they’d be happy to run all eight events currently in Rally America. You can read the ARA’s own press release here:
What’s interesting to me is that ARA is made up of rally organizers themselves, working as a non-profit just to support their operation and help make life easier for regular competitors. As a sometimes amateur rally competitor myself, I’m very excited about this news. As someone who covers motorsports professionally, it’s also a very interesting turn in the industry. I’m extremely interested to see how this non-profit model turns out after the erosion of their for-profit predecessor.