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STPR Returns Summer Stage Rally to the PA Forests

Wellsboro Penn. ~ This weekend the American Rally Association sets up in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania as East Coast competitors prepare for the 2024 Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally.

STPR has some of the most exciting history of any rally on the ARA calendar, with roots dating back to 1965 with the M.O.N.Y (Michigan, Ohio, New York) series, which predates even the SCCA Pro Rally series.

First held in 1977, STPR has had the likes of John Buffum, Paul Choniere, Ken Block, ARA Safety Director Antoine L’estage, David Higgins, and Oliver Solberg all take home the gold on the infamously fast and tight roads. The event has only ever missed one year of running in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be running for the 47th time this weekend.

The 2024 running marks the first time STPR returns to its original June month since being moved to September in 2019.

This year STPR is offering Rallysafe for competitors to use. The high-tech rally tracking and safety system is used on all National ARA events but is optional for regional rallies to provide.

“We decided to put on the best rally possible,” STPR co-chair Philip Barnes said. “It's a Super Regional in name only. We have the mileage to qualify as a National event, so we decided we needed to have RallySafe to go along with the package.”

“It gives regional competitors who might not have the opportunity to use RallySafe a chance to experience the utility of the system, both for the organizers and competitors.”

The forest stages of STPR are some of the craziest the US has to offer. Extremely fast and narrow with drastic elevation changes, and long straights broken up by tight hairpins.

These stages are mixed with the rough and rocky Waste Management stages to make a perfect combination of driver skill and car quality necessary to complete the rally.

The two-day, 108-mile Super Regional East event starts on Friday, June 28th with a Parc Exposé in Galeton, Penn. at the Galeton Waterfront Park. From there, the 28 teams of competitors head into the forests for the Mill and Phasa stages, with a 700ft and 850ft elevation change respectively, before contesting WM and Rattler to finish off the first loop.

Repeating that loop one more time ends day one of the rally and puts 58 competition miles behind the competitors as they reprep for Saturday.

After a fan favorite Parc Exposé at The Green in Wellsboro, another 50 miles await teams on the second day, as they push themselves for positions through the Patterson Hungry, Shepard, and Wilson stages.

After running each stage twice with one service between both loops, competitors will head to the Tioga County Fairgrounds for podium celebrations, and catch up with their fellow rallyists after completing the 46th Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally.

Gondyke Goes for Two in a Row

A total of 28 teams will be competing in the third round of the ARA East Championship this weekend, including Southern Ohio Forest Rally Regional winning driver Dylan Gondyke in his NA4WD 1998 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS. Joining him in the passenger seat will be Dan Downey, co-driving for the first time since 2020.

“SOFR was a hard push with Ben [Chuong] and an incredible start to the season,” Gondyke said, “so naturally we're immediately going to mix up the formula for STPR with Dan Downey sitting shotgun with me instead.”

“Dan's a very talented guy so I'm sure we'll get up to speed quickly, but it's still a new variable and something for me to have to adapt to.”

“I love the roads here and the technical challenge of navigating the Waste Management stages, so I can't wait to go hot on Friday! Perhaps most importantly though, we fixed the horn while regrouping from SOFR!”

Gondyke currently sits in second place in the East Region Championship standings, and as the three-time reigning champ and last year’s winner, he finds himself in a great position to take the lead back from current points leader John Farrow, who will be absent from STPR.

Also returning after an impressive run at SOFR, Chris Cyr and Glen Ray hope to have a strong rally as the standout entrants of the L2WD class in their Ford Fiesta ST. While they didn’t land on the podium at SOFR, they led the highly competitive class most of the rally before an off lost them 18 minutes before they got back on the road. Afterward, they still managed wins on most stages for the remainder of the event.

“I have a lot of history with STPR,” Cyr explained. “Coming to STPR 2013 was the first task I undertook just before formally getting hired at Team O'Neil. I met Wyatt Knox and Richard Duplessis (rest in peace Richard) and they taught me what it was like behind the scenes of a rally.”

“STPR 2017 was my first stage rally as a driver, 14 years after promising myself to go rallying. The first stage Saturday morning our Ford Fiesta R1 burned to the ground in a fuel fire.”

“Now 2024 is the first time I have been back since 2017. It's nervous excitement to put 2017 fully behind me and complete this event.”

“I'm excited to get the share the stages with Tim [O’Neil]. After Ohio we have surpassed him in speed factor so we get to start in front of him for the first time ever. I always have so much fun when we get to race together. I owe Tim so much and the best way I can think to repay him is by finishing ahead of him.

“Starting 2nd on the road is a whole new experience for me and I'm excited for the opportunity. I don't think I have the ability to pressure [Gondyke] and [Downey] at the front but I'm not giving them too much of a lead this weekend. Dylan is such a machine behind the wheel and happy we get to race again.”

Joining them in the battle for the L2WD class win, Chris and Sara Nonack will be returning once again in their Subaru BRZ. This crew won their class at STPR in 2021 with the same car, and also have at least one East and a Central Region championship to their names. The BRZ will be the underdog to the Fiesta, but shouldn’t be counted out.

Looking to join in the L2WD podium fight, the teams of Alan Edwards and Daniel Baker, Julio Rodriguez and Santiago Alban, and Sandy Liversidge and Josh Zapsky among others will be ones to watch as eight cars compete for the class win.

While Gondyke and Downey are fighting for the rally win, they’ll also be fighting for the NA4WD win, as six other cars look to take him down. Ryan Pryzbylkowski took the class-silver home last year at STPR, but this year Stefan Trajkov could be different if they play their cards right.

Other entries looking to make the NA4WD podium include, but aren’t limited to Greg Healey and Cindy Krolikowski’s 2002 Impreza, Dan Shirley and Nathan Lybarger’s “War Weasel” Impreza Wagon, and the 1993 Impreza of Andrew Williamson and Julia Stewart.

In O2WD, Tim O’Neil will be competing in his first event of the year with his V8 1969 AMC AMX alongside co-driver Kate Hansen. Competing against them, Derek James will be making his ARA rear-wheel-drive debut in a 1971 Ford Escort MkI alongside KJ Miller.

Returning after an insane drive at SOFR, Mike Cessna and Jamie Lambert’s BMW M3 will be looking to set the pace while also setting the farthest distance on the Waste Management jump. Other notable entries include the 2004 Mini Cooper of Adam Noyes and Kelsey Stone, the 1966 Porsche 912 of Scott James and Michelle Donovan, and the 5-cylinder 2003 VW Beetle of Timothy Thomas and Ethan Chuong.

Finally, in the L4WD class, 2023 East Region L4WD champion Sumit Panjabi will return to STPR in his 2008 Mitsubishi Evo X with co-driver Stephen Kurey at his side, but Tom and Karl Mayer will be close in pace with their 2002 Impreza WRX, and are sure to put the pressure on.

The 2022 East Region L4WD champion James Pryzbylkowski will also be looking to land atop the podium with Ethan Curtis at his side in their 2004 WRX.

Welcoming First-Time Competitors

While this weekend’s entry offers a wealth of experienced rallyists from around the region, it also will play host to a few first-time rallyists looking to make a strong impression on the world of the ARA.

Making their first start this year after retiring with a DNS in 2023, the team of Luke and Emanuel Mozes known as Ghost Face Racing is back to finally compete for the first time a year later.

Upgrading from a VW Golf last year to a 2005 Subaru WRX STI this year, the pair have been supported by a diehard crew and are carrying their confidence into the weekend with them.

“The backing I have this year is a group of hard-working individuals that all have their part in this team,” Lucas said.

“Kimberley Watson, Emanuel Mozes, Sophia Raboin, William Petrow, and Saheed Persad are all people who have non-stop helped get Ghost Face to compete this weekend. With all the help, I have been able to grow confidence in myself, the car, and the co-driver.”

“I'm hoping to be able to learn the balance of forming the car around the driver and forming the driver around the car. Our main goal this weekend is to finish, but coming home with hardware is also a goal!”

Also making their debut this weekend, the duo of Charles Watson and Logan Bair will be taking the stages in their NA4WD 1995 Impreza.

Perhaps most notably,

Imogen Thompson will be making her rally debut just a few days after her 15th birthday this weekend driving a Ford Fiesta in the L2WD class.

Imogen is the daughter of Ryan Thompson, founder and owner of Thompson Racing Fabrication, one of the main rally car builders in the United States.

She enters the rally world this year with experienced co-driver Bryce Proseus at her side guiding her each step of the way, and she has been testing and learning at Team O’Neil to get ready for this weekend.

Fellow competitor Chris Cyr is excited to see Thompson’s debut as well, stating, “We got to spend some time with her at Team O'Neil this week. I love getting to see her work for the opportunity. It was hard-earned on her part and I can't wait to congratulate her after she finishes her first rally.”

To follow along with STPR stay tuned to our website and social media. You can also see live results once the rally starts HERE.

For more information about the American Rally Association, and to get involved, visit our


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