Duquette, Minnesota (November 30, 2018)
The first event of the 2019 ARA Regional Championship season kicks off tomorrow at the Nemadji Trail Winter Rally. Headquartered 40 miles southwest of Duluth in Duquette, Minnesota; this weekend's Nemadji Trail will mark it's twenty-first running and the rally's fifth consecutive year on its now traditional first week of December date.
Snow is on the ground in Duquette and teams are gearing up for the challenge of 36 miles of winter weather over 4 stages. A single day event, Nemadji Trail opens the rally with a morning of recce before competition begins in the afternoon. The rally takes place on a 9 mile road run as a turnaround stage. Competitors will leave Main Time Control and run the stage eastbound before regrouping to rally it westwards. A single 40 minute service then splits up the day ahead of a repeat of the turnaround loop to close out the event.
A CPD Racing reunion will take place at Nemadji, sort of. Lauchlin O'Sullivan will drive the CPD Racing USA Subaru for the first time in over a year. O’Sullivan and Scott Putnam last competed with each other at the 2017 Muscatell Ojibwe Forests Rally, where Putnam secured the 2017 ARA Production 4wd class title. At Nemadji, Putnam’s children Alexander and Spencer will take turns co-driving for O’Sullivan. They'll be driving head to head against Mark Williams and Ben Peterson in the Open 4wd class. Williams and Peterson retired early from Ojibwe this year after a minor engine fire, but everything looks good now.
Bringing out three 2WD cars to Nemadji is the Tower City Race Team of Al Dantes Jr. He and Brandon Snyder will be showcasing Rexine, the team's FC RX-7, while Adam VanDamme and Terry Verbrigghe show off their MK 1 VW Rabbit, and Elwood Niemi Jr. and Marty Passuello drive their MKII VW Golf GTI.
Also in the O2wd class are Scott Parrott and Ian Holmes in their Chevy S10 pickup, a crowd favorite from Ojibwe earlier this year. Paul Johansen and Susi Little prove that hard work pays off for rally organizers. Little is the Chairperson of the Nemadji Trail Rally, and she will be co-driving for Johansen in a Hyundai Tiburon GT.
A bonus for competitors, Nemadji is offering up to $1200 in cash prizes to the top three teams in AWD (O4wd, NA4wd, and L4wd), and 2WD (O2wd and L2wd) drive train divisions. The fastest AWD car will receive $300, the second quickest $200, and the third $100; same for the 2wd cars.
Keep an eye on ARA and Nemadji Facebook pages for updates on the rally as the come in. We will update you throughout the day. Event information can be found at Nemadji-Rally.com.
Photo Credit: Alex Wong
About American Rally Association
American Rally Association is a member-driven organization dedicated to the sport of Stage Rally. The ARA provides a transparent, inclusive, and growing sanctioning body to competitors throughout America. A 501 (c)(3) non-profit and wholly owned subsidiary of the United States Auto Club (USAC), ARA is led by seasoned Stage Rally professionals who work hand-in-hand with an experience Board of Directors to deliver a framework for: safety, competition, promotion, and education for all aspects of the sport. The common goal for our members, volunteers, and organizations is a thriving Stage Rally program in America. To connect with ARA, go to americanrallyassociation.org.