The American Rally Association hosted its seventh championship race October 6-7 in Shelton, Wash. The Tour de Forest Rally brought teams from across the nation for 110 miles of stage rally through wild PNW forests.
The Tour de Forest rally was a common event 35 years ago but was last run in 1983 by the Rainier Auto Sports Club. While it is run through the same are as Olympus Forest Rally, none of the roads were the same. Back in the day, it was a 4-year battleground rally between drivers Rod Millen and John Buffum (each taking home the win twice). In 1984, Tour de Forest Rally evolved into the Oregon Trail Rally, which still continues to this day.
“We’ve been working hard to add even more top-level rally events to our 2018 National Series calendar,” said ARA vice president Chris Cyr. “Bolstering our already strong 2018 event line up with the revival of Tour de Forest allows us to provide our competitors with even more quality, proven, and historic rally stage roads this year.”
The overall winners of the 2018 Tour de Forest Rally were Subaru Rally Team’s Patrik Sandell and Per Almkvist, followed by Sam Albert and Michelle Miller of DirtFish Motorsports (based out of Snoqualmie, Wash.) in second and Mathew Dickinson and Daniel Piker of El Diablo Rally Team.
“This was by far the best event of the season for us,” Albert said. “In the end, our strategy worked and secured us the class win and second overall. I couldn’t be happier to bring this victory home at our home event, especially with DirtFish serving as the presenting sponsor of the rally.”
The American Rally Championship overall winners were David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew of Subaru Rally Team USA, Jeff Seehorn and Karen Jankowski from Seehorn Rally Team with DirtFish’s Albert and Miller following in third.
According to Albert, their vehicle performed perfectly against the conditions. Satuday was fast while Sunday was rain-filled and slick.
“It was a new and exciting experience to compete in a full season championship, seeing the roads throughout the United States!” said Miller. “In addition to racing hard, we always had the championship strategy in the back of our minds, thinking about the big picture and the final outcome of the season. I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring.”
The next American Rally Association race in next year in Missouri. The 100 Acre Wood Rally — held March 15 to 16 in Salem, Steelville, and Potosi — will start the 2019 season. For more information about the 2019 American Rally Association championships, please visit https://www.americanrallyassociation.org.
Images courtesy of Subaru Rally Team USA and DirtFish Rally Team / DirtFish Motorsports.