LSPR – Rally America newsletter – How’s the Weather?

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How’s the Weather

The forecast is at the forefront as the Rally America Championship Series wraps up in the UP of Michigan
By David Gee

“If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, ‘cause it will change.”

You know what? People say that in lots of places around these United States. That refrain is heard often in Minnesota, they say it in Missouri and Maine, and they sure will be saying it Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan at Lake Superior Performance Rally; the final event on the 2008 Rally America calendar.

So what is the weather supposed to be anyway?

“They’re calling for a little bit of rain on Friday and Saturday possibly with high temperatures in the low 50s and overnight lows in the high 30s,” says Scott Carlborn, National Rally Chairperson at Lake Superior. It should make for good challenging conditions for the rally route.”

Ah, yes, challenging. Besides the weather, challenging is the other word that is used a lot in conjunction with the Lake Superior rally. There are a wide variety of roads, from the tarmac run up Brockway Mountain that is more reminiscent of a TT or hill climb than a traditional stage in a rally, to washed out logging roads that threaten to hook your car and pull you off the road.

And this year the roads are slightly different than the ones used in the recent past.

“We are running four roads on Friday that have not been utilized in the rally in the last four to five years,” stated Carlborn. “The older competitors might remember them though.”

Some of the older competitors – and rally fans – might also remember that this event has a long and illustrious history that goes all the way back to 1949.

The event began that year as the Press-On-Regardless Rally; a road rally organized by the Detroit Region of the Sports Car Club of America. It was was first run in 1949 as a 24-hour Time-Speed-Distance rally. In 1969, the Press On Regardless Rally became a stage rally. In 1972, the event was part of the International Championship for Manufacturers and then in 1973 and 1974 part of the World Rally Championship.

In 1994, the Detroit SCCA Region dropped out of the organization of the stage rally, and re-organized the Press-On-Regardless rally as a brisk TSD rally. This year marks the 14th year of the Lake Superior Performance Rally and the event still uses many of the old Press On Regardless roads once contested by the likes of rally legends – and POR Rally winners – John Buffum, Rod Millen, and former world rally champion Hannu Mikkula of Finland.

There won’t be any Finnish drivers battling at the finish, but Andy Mancin of Poland is here for the event. He hopes to at least have a good showing against the likes of Travis Pastrana, who has already clinched the 2008 Rally America Championship. Maybe Mancin can also play a bit of a spoiler role as Kyle Stargazing, Ken Block and Andrew Comrie-Picard, who are separated by just four points, use the forests of Michigan to figure out who will come second in the championship.

“The number of entries is down a bit from previous years, but the field still looks like a good one,” said rally chairman Carlborn. Whoever wants to win this rally will need to be good in all types of roads and conditions over 123 stage miles.”

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~ by lsprblog on October 18, 2008.

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