It was an exciting weekend in Montmorency Co. with the normally serene woods filled with the rumble of engines and hiss of turbo’s. On January 28-29th a county typically void of traffic and containing not a single traffic light was filled to capacity for the 2011 Sno*Drift Rally.
The first of six events on the Rally America National tour, Sno*Drift is always a challenge; the ever changing conditions are a crew’s nightmare and the road surfaces are enough to make a seasoned driver tremble. Spread over the course of two days the event is compromised of 18 stages totaling 129-miles of closed road used for all-out racing.
Day one of the event saw temps in the mid-20’s and road conditions that were slushy to say the least, but as night fell so did the temps and day two dawned with clear skies and temps that barely rose into double digits making for some very slippery and rough roads.
Sno*Drift is a definite test of abilities for crews and drivers alike and the team of Travis and Terry Hanson proved to hit every mark perfectly. The father/son team drove their 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STi #523 machine into victory lane with an accumulated stage time of 2 hours 31 minutes and 13.6 seconds, which was 3 minutes and 53.1 seconds faster than the second place team of Dave Mirra & Marshall Clarke in their #40 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STi; a huge margin of victory atypical of this event. By winning the event in a Super Production car (versus the typical Open class) the Hanson & Hanson team made Rally America history and got their 2011 season off to a stellar start.
Also making a statement at this event was the #70 team of Chris Duplessis and Catherine Woods. For the 2011 Rally America tour the duo will be competing in a factory backed 2010 Scion xD. The team competed in the 2WD class, yet managed a 10th place overall finish which was impressive considering Scion’s new emergence onto the rally scene and their disadvantage with their Mitsubishi and Subaru counter-parts at an event that loves to chew up and spit out anything other than a 4WD model. I am looking forward to seeing what this team has in store at future non-snow events including the 100-Acre Wood Rally next month in Missouri.
This event is one that I look forward to each and every year; rally racing can only be described as auto racing in its purest form. It’s about nothing more than taking a real street-legal car and testing it for speed and endurance on very real roads.
If you’ve never witnessed a rally race I would highly encourage you to check one out, and to beat some of the winter blues 100-Acre Wood is just around the corner (February 26-27th). For more information you can check them out at http://www.100aw.org/ and for rally racing info, pics, and video check out http://rally-america.com. A recap of the 2011 Sno*Drift can also be found on National Speed Sport News online at http://www.nationalspeedsportnews.com/media/video-snodrift-rally-recap/