Speedway, Ind.~ Heading into the final national event of the 2019 American Rally Association, presented by AMSOIL season, one might wonder what to expect with all five national championships already having been decided. But rally fans who head to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for this weekend’s Lake Superior Performance Rally won’t have to dig deep, or look very far to see flat out racing and off-season bragging rights.
For the past 25-years, LSPR has been the last stop on the national tour and the world-renowned event is a favorite of many followers of the ARA. Fans flock to the Keweenaw Peninsula to see the top rally drivers in the country operate through 128-miles of gravel stages amidst the colorful back drop provided by the fall foliage. While the mid-October weather can be tricky, mid-50 temperatures and mostly sunny skies should provide a near perfect weekend of racing.
As for the racing, a second-place finish at last month’s Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) wrapped up the overall championships for Subaru Motorsport USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew. That’s good news for rally fans as Higgins said that clinching his second-straight ARA title and tenth career championship will allow him to “let loose at LSPR”.
A flat-out Higgins won’t be the only show at LSPR. His teammate Oliver Solberg was reunited with co-driver Aaron Johnston at STPR, and the pair capitalized on their second overall win of the season. Fans heading to Houghton may be getting a final U.S. glimpse of the prodigy, who has also been racing events in the WRC this season and has yet to announce his 2020 schedule.
In the meantime, Solberg is looking to bounce up the leader board, trying to finish the season second overall. He currently sits nine points behind Barry McKenna and Piotr Fetela, who are in a dead heat behind Higgins. Cameron Steely is also in the mix for the second spot, just four points behind Solberg. Fans will also be treated as Ramana Lagemann will be pushing for another podium and the Seamus Burke-Martin Brady duo will be flying around LSPR stages in their iconic 1977 Ford Escort.
In all, 61 teams are registered for LSPR, with 30 teams having a national points distinction. All teams will be on display at Friday’s Parc Expose in Houghton at 2:00 PM and Saturday in L’Anse at 9:00 AM. First car out on Friday is schedule for 4:50 PM. There are several spectator areas set up, and fans are encouraged to see the popular Lakeshore Drive Stage, the final stage of the rally, in Houghton on Saturday at 5:00 PM ET.