The Best Jumps in the ARA
As much as rally requires a long-suffering type patience and perseverance from teams as they travel hundreds of miles through the harshest roads, few things get spectators as excited as the brief few seconds of airtime that sometimes occurs.
Despite their ability to break cars if taken too fast, jumps are one of rallying's most famous parts! Any time there's a sharp crest in a high speed section of the stage, you can expect plenty of spectators waiting eagerly to catch a glimpse of a car taking off.
With many ARA rounds welcoming spectators back, what better time to highlight some of the places fans can see cars fly?
While far from comprehensive, here's just some of our favorite famous jumps on the stages of the ARA.
Cattle Guard Jump - Rally in the 100 Acre Wood
The Cattle Guard jump looks unassuming as you approach it, but don't be fooled. Some of the top cars are known to fly well over 100 feet off of this high speed jump.
The landing area slopes smoothly away from the crest, but as Piotr Fetela will profess, there's still danger in hitting it too hard. In 2016 Fetela flew over the cattle guard just fine, but after landing he didn't have enough time to adjust, clipped the inside of the next turn, and went flipping down the stage.
Micah Nickelson 2020: Nickelson usually tries to hit the Cattle Guard Jump as hard as possible, watch for his name in the running order because his MkII Golf is capable of flying just as far as the likes of Pastrana and Block
Kevin Schmidt 2021: Sporting a Rod Millen tribute livery on his Mazda FC RX-7, Schmidt and co-driver Kyle Roberts decided to go all out earlier this year over the cattle guard. Listen to the rotary sing! Video is timestamped to 4:12, but if you have the time, the whole thing is worth a watch.
Concord Pond - New England Forest Rally
Though theres more like 3-4 great jumps on this stage, the last is typically where spectators go to watch, as it's close to where the spectator busses park. With a huge run off and plenty of room, drivers are typically able to go totally flat over this jump
NEFR is the next stop on the ARA National championship this year as well, so expect to see fans back out there again! Barry McKenna is already looking forward to seeing how well his new Fiesta flies.
Jeff Seehorn 2018: Though only running in the L4WD class, Seehorn is able to fly almost as far as Travis Pastrana and David Higgins! He shows no fear and proves he knows what he's doing behind the wheel. As always, the whole video is worth a watch if you have the time.
Barry McKenna 2019: Sporting his Ford Fiesta S2000, McKenna flew way further than anyone else in 2019. It should be interesting to see how well things go next month in the new car.
Boyd Loop Jump - Oregan Trail
Easily the most scenic jump on the list, the Boyd Loop Jump is in a wide open field for easy viewing with a beautiful mountain in the backdrop. Drivers are able to hit this one flat out, making for some of the longest jumps in the ARA.
Travis Pastrana 2019: Taking home the bragging rights for the longest jump of the rally, Pastrana flew 134 feet before touching the ground again.
Redbull Jump - Ojibwe Forests Rally
One of the sketchier jumps for sure, the famed RedBull Jump on the Crossroads stage is a popular spot for spectators. The crest here is steep and sharp, and leads into a left turn that requires some slowing down. Not paying attention here could prove fatal to someone's rally.
The spot is also known for having a giant inflatable RedBull arch to jump through (hence the name) adding to the spectacle.
Barry McKenna 2020: First time jumping his Skoda R5+ in competition, McKenna overshot the landing a bit on one of his passes here, and nosed in hard. Can't bee seen in footage, but can definitely be heard.
Lauchlin O’Sullivan 2015: A perfectly clean pass through this section. O'Sullivan jumps about as far as you can while still setting up well for the next corner.
Yoctangee Park Super Special - Southern Ohio Forest Rally
The Yoctangee Park Super Special ran a new course in 2021 that ended with a fast jump on tarmac to a flying finish, all within view of a crowd of spectators in the adjacent school parking lot.
First year concerns about harsh landings kept most drivers playing it safe, but after running the stage at speed most drivers found the jump smoother than expected. If the stage is run again in the future, expect to see more air.
Keeping it short as it has only ran once, Ken Block and Ryan Booth both ran this jump near flat out despite the harsh landing concerns. Their jumps can be seen at 0:24 (timestamped) and 2:43 respectively.