The final event of the American Rally Association (ARA) winter rally season season kicks off today with the brand new one-day regional event Missouri Ozark Rally (MOR).
Based in Eminence, Missouri and the nearby Echo Bluff State Park, today's competition at MOR is a perfect primer for Missouri-based teams ahead of March's 100 Acre Wood Rally. The event today will see competitors tackle 48 stage miles split in 4 competitive stages. A single service will divide two out-and-back sessions along the single stage road. The road itself will be familiar to any long time 100 Acre Wood Rally fans, it's Camp Zoe Road, a former 100 Acre stage from the event's first incarnation.
Run by the 100 Acre Wood Performance Rally Group (100 Acre PRG), MOR is a brand new addition to the ARA calendar for 2019. The same organizing teams that help put together Show-Me Rally and the 100 Acre Wood Rally set up this weekend's event to give Missouri-based rally teams and fans even more opportunity to get out into the woods.
11 competitors will set off this morning to take on MOR in a terrific mix of vehicle marques and classes. 4 Naturally Aspirated 4WD (NA4), 4 Open 2WD (O2), and 3 Limited 2WD (L2) vehicles will compete this weekend in cars produced by Subaru, Ford, Lexus, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Honda, and Volkswagen.
Some notable competitors will compete at MOR today, like Michael Hooper in his Lexus IS350. This weekend's rally will be his first since last year's LSPR and his first ARA event since NEFR 6 months ago. Always fast, Hooper will be a threat for the overall podium in his Open 2WD class car.
Missouri rally veterans Ryan Rethy and Rachel Rethy will take on MOR in their venerable Subaru Impreza Wagon. The team has been competing at 100 Acre PRG events since 2015 and took a win in the NA4 class at Show-Me Rally this past year.
Local favorites Travis Clark and Kendal Clark are set to compete at MOR in their Audi 4000 Quattro. The 100 Acre Wood veterans have competed in Missouri since 2013 and know the local roads well.
Be sure to keep an eye out on ARA social media channels for updates on MOR throughout the day. There will be no live tracking for the event this weekend. We will update with scores when we have them.
Photo Credit: Tedrick Mealy