Shortened STPR Still Going Strong
Disappointment fell over the US rally community earlier this year when it was announced that due to permits not being given by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, organizers would have to restructure Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally into a one-day regional event.
Despite this, Wellsboro, PA is in for a treat as many of the best drivers in the area will still be Here's everything you need to know about STPR as it runs a rare shortened schedule.
STPR has a long history spanning over four decades. The rally started in 1977 with Eric Jones and Roger Sieling winning the inaugural event.
Having run every year from 1977 to 2019, 2020 was the first year the rally had a year off. Over the years the rally has been won by many of the US rally greats, including Paul Choiniere, John Buffum, and Ken Block to name a few.
When promoted by the SCCA ProRally championship, it was voted the best ProRally on the circuit eight different times.
In the ARA, STPR has ran as a national round every year up until last years cancellation, and this year's setbacks. Organizers and hans are fighting to have the event returned to national status next year as well.
While typically the rally would be held predominantly on its iconic forest roads, this year it will be held exclusively in the Waste Management area, typically known for super special stages and one of the biggest jumps in the ARA circuit.
These stages have been described as car killers due to the nature of the roads in the Waste Management area, and have historically been extremely tight and technical with endless hairpins and short straights.
What happened last year?
While the 2020 event had to be called off, the 2019 running of STPR saw Oliver Solberg win by almost a minute over David Higgins for a Subaru 1-2 finish.
Third place was taken by Barry McKenna who at the time was still campaigning his Fiesta S2000 Turbo, with Piotr Fetela and Cam Steely rounding out the top five.
Ramana Lagemann had been sitting comfortably in the fourth position most of the event, but had to retire around SS10, letting Fetela come in for the fourth spot.
The 2021 entry
2021 will see some of the biggest names in the region take each other on for an exciting battle.
Patrick Brennan and Johnny O'Sullivan are each entered at the top of the O4WD class. Brennan in a Ford Fiesta Proto and O'Sullivan in a Fiesta R5 are sure to be some of the main threats for the overall win.
Just behind them in speed factor sits Arek Bialobrzeski in his NA4WD Subaru Impreza hatchback. The H6 swapped, sequential transmission car has proven itself to be killer in the past, and with some of the high-dollar teams absent, Bialobrzeski might be able to rise to the top.
Also in a six-cylinder Subaru is Hoonigan Jon Kramer who has also been known as a threat on stage despite his GC Impreza's innocent looks.
Daniel Downey and Cian McCormack are a few of the highlights of the 2WD competitors, and across the whole field a theme of Fiestas VS BMW 3-series seems to be forming. It should be interesting to see which cars are able to perform better on the stages of STPR.
The 2021 itinerary
The one day event will still be packed with plenty of action. The 55 stage miles are split into eight stages that will be run as two loops of three, and one loop of two.
Parc Expose will kick off the event on Saturday at 10:30 AM at The Green in Wellsboro. This is a great chance for fans to see the cars up close before heading to the spectator areas at Waste Management.
Racing is expected to be finished by 8:00 PM leaving plenty of time for podium celebrations, and the ever-important champaign spray to finish off the event.