Speedway, Ind. ~ With extremely high Interest by teams to compete in next month’s Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, event organizers and the American Rally Association have been working over the past few weeks on an agreeable plan to include as many competitors as possible for the national event.
On January 22, a bulletin was submitted by 100 Acre Wood organizers that the entry limit of 75 had already been met, but that they were considering expanding the field. In the coming days, that total jumped to 107 before registration was closed on February 7th.
Over the past few weeks, the 100 AW group worked tirelessly to reconfigure the schedule and stages to accommodate additional entries. Factors in the decision making including, but were not limited to, the availability of stage roads (one road had to accommodate the districts school bus schedule), ability to run additional cars on back-to-back stages, and the use of stage roads and facilities.
“We are happy to have so much interest in the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood,” said Curt Faigle. “We increased by more than 30 entries from last year, and that meant we had to go back to the drawing board and rework several stages and have difficult conversations with residents, schools, as well as city and county officials. In the end, those talks allowed us to increase our entries up to 90 and still manage a safe and fun rally for everyone involved.”
The final decision was made (per event bulletin #2 released on February 10) to allow the first 75-cars that registered into the field, regardless of national or regional affiliation or registration information. In their efforts, 100 AW was able to rearrange its schedule to allow an additional 15 cars into the rally. The preference was given to those teams that registered as national entries due to the event being a national championship points event. The remaining entries will be put on a waiting list, and receive priority based upon entry date. To date, there will be 48 national and 42 regional entries.
“Having an event grow in entries by nearly 40-percent is wonderful, but new expectations have to be managed,” said ARA Series Director Doug Shepherd. “We have worked hard this off-season to grow and protect the national series, while being mindful of the importance of the East and West Regional platforms.”
While not an easy decision, officials with 100 AW and the ARA appreciated the support and interest in the event, as well as stage rally racing in the United States. In all, the ARA will sanction 19 events in 2020. This includes the nine nationals, and 10 Super Regional or regional events.