Dakar-THUMB-Desert-Challenge-12-23-13The Dakar Desert Challenge is a trans-Saharan expedition without competitive nature, which bridges two continents, Europe and Africa, through Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and ends in Dakar, Senegal. The event aims to recreate the great moments of escape and adventure of the mythical race “Paris-Dakar” with the possibility of participation of various types of motor vehicles and people with different levels of experience in long trips.

A 2nd Edition of this event, as in the earlier, will have the prologue from Coruche. On December 26, apart from the formalities, the caravan will make a route of about 40km around the municipality of Coruche, seizing the moment to make known the landscape of Ribatejo, rural zone of Portugal. The characteristics of the territory is a sufficient reason to make this first step a exciting prelude to the fantastic journey that will take your final destination in January 9, 2014.

David-Higgins-Rally-America-Champion-10-25-13CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew were crowned the 2013 Rally America National Champions, with a spectacular victory at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR); the final round of the 2013 Rally America Championship.   Higgins entered LSPR locked in an epic season-long battle with rival Ken Block.   Block needed a win at LSPR to steal the championship away from Higgins, who had led in points nearly all season.  Higgins and Block both drove flat-out at LSPR, with Higgins edging ahead of Block near the mid-point of the rally. After sustaining heavy damage by rolling his car,  Block retired, handing Higgins the rally win and more importantly the Championship, his third Rally America Driver’s Title in a row.

“It was the fastest that we have ever gone,” exclaimed Higgins at the podium.  “Our Subaru has just been brilliant again. We’ve enjoyed this weekend and that was really the biggest, most important factor. Sure there was a lot of pressure, but we really went out there to have fun.  Rally is a team sport and I’m so proud of the one we have behind us in Vermont SportsCar and Subaru of America. I’m so happy Craig (Drew) and I could step up our game to deliver for the team.”

Rallye-Aïcha-des-Gazelles-Dinner-10-22-13The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles hosted its first US based event held at Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe, CA Wednesday, September 25th. A small intimate affair, select media and business leaders celebrated the rally and honored the event’s founder, Dominique Serra who attended from Avignon, France.

The evening showcased all aspects of this significant women’s event with a mix of mainstream media, regional corporations, and past and future rally participants present.  Guests included the rally’s title sponsor representative, Aïcha General Director Dan Devico, Qualcomm CMO and Rancho Valencia owner Jeff Jacobs, powerhouse sports agent Circe Wallace, representatives of ESPN and several San Diego radio and television reporters and personalities.

Attendees were treated to highlights on the history of the rally, its continued and significant support from King Mohammed VI, environmental initiatives and extensive humanitarian aid through the rally’s non-profit “Heart of Gazelles.”

Rally-Diablo-Off-Road-10-22-13Long Beach, CA – Rally Diabolico is an extraordinary event that will test the limits of every competitor who dares to embark on the four day event. Held April 2-5, 2014 in some of the most remote desert dunes of Sonora, Mexico, it will traverse terrain only equaled by epic rally stages found in South America and on the African continent. There will be no arrows, no burned in track and no secret lines developed during hours of prerunning. Those who brave the challenge will have only a road book, compass and their wits to guide them. If you’ve ever dreamed of running the Dakar or have plans to, this event is for you.

Rally Diabolico is the brainchild of Dakar veterans Darren Skilton and Scott Whitney who wanted others to share the incredible adventure and daunting challenge of navigating rally style through enormous dunes and remote, never raced upon roads. “There will be a central bivouac or pit area for support so multiple chase vehicles will not be needed,” said Darren Skilton, “The location is isolated yet only a half hour or so south of the US/Mexico border. Competitors will get the ultimate challenge without the risk or huge expense of competing on a different continent.”

The rally is open to bikes and cars that will be making their way over untracked, open terrain to reach a series of waypoints. Each competitor will have a GPS but it will show no roads, no course to follow, just mileage and compass headings to guide you.

Andy-THUMB-Grider-Baja-Rally-10-14-13ERENDIRA, BAJA CA, MEXICO – The Inaugural BAJA RALLY de MOTOS Presented By KLIM ended Sunday in San Quintin on the sand dunes of the Santa Maria Hotel and has been deemed a full success with all riders accounted for and safe. Baja Champion and 5 time DAKAR entrant Andy Grider (#36) owns the title for the first ever navigation based rally raid staged in BAJA, Calif., with Cameron Steele and Chilly White rounding out the podium.

Quinn Cody (#39) enjoyed a comfortable lead from the first mile of the rally until his engine blew up only 10 miles from the finish line. Andy Grider crossed the finish line and waited for Cameron Steele, Ned Suesse and Nino Rojas to finish. After reviewing rider data, Grider, who ran all of stage 3 without the essential odometer, was deemed the champion over rally rookies Cameron Steele and Chilly White. Grider beat Steele by a mere 6 seconds after a 30 minute penalty Grider suffered for not navigating into a dune section near Costa Brava.

Rally-America-Logo-10-22-12The Lake Superior Region Car Club, hosts of the Lake Superior Performance Rally, was recently impacted by the recent Federal Government shutdown that forced the closure of Federal lands used in the rally racing event scheduled for October 18-19th in Houghton, MI. As a result, organizers have constructed an alternative two-day event schedule that will operate roads not affected by the Federal closure.

LSPR organizers had permission to use the Ottawa Forest roads located near Kenton, MI for Friday’s competition, but were recently advised by the USFS-Kenton Office that the issued permit was invalid as long as the Federal Government remained unfunded.

The new LSPR event schedule will reuse Saturday’s stages for a total of 96 stage miles, a decrease of 29 stage miles compared to the original plan. Friday service will still take place first at the Copper Country Mall then in Covington, MI.

Rally-America-2014-Schedule-10-3-13Williston, VT — Rally America officials are proud to release the eight-round Rally America National Championship calendar for the 2014 season and continue the tradition of bringing the nation’s best rally talent to the nation’s best rally racing events.

Rally America returns all of last year’s seven rally events for 2014, and for the second consecutive year will extend the championship season with an additional Rally America National Invitational only event to be announced at a later date. The championship increased from six to seven rounds in 2013, and will become an eight-round championship in 2014. More information will be posted on www.rally-america.com in the coming weeks.

Toomas-Heikkinen-SYLVANIA-Cup-Rally-9-24-13Charlotte, N.C. – Toomas “Topi” Heikkinen took home the inaugural SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Cup, which came with a $20,000 prize, at Sunday’s SYLVANIA-sponsored Global Rallycross (GRC) competition at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

SYLVANIA Automotive Lighting provided extra incentive for drivers competing in domestic GRC events in 2013 with the inception of the $20,000 battle for the SYLVANIA SilverStar zXe Cup. New to the GRC series in 2013, the SYLVANIA zXe Cup was awarded to Heikkinen since he was the driver that earned the most championship points in four of the series’ U.S.-based events this season. The fight for the SYLVANIA zXe Cup commenced with the July 11 race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, included races in Bristol and Atlanta, and wrapped up yesterday at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s famous dirt track.

David-Higgins-Subaru-Rally-America-9-19-13Williston, VT — The seven-event Rally America National Championship will conclude at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR) in Houghton, MI on October 18-19th and all but one Rally America Championship will be decided at the final event. Crowning the overall, Super Production, Two-Wheel Drive and Manufacturers’ champions makes LSPR the most anticipated finale in recent memory, and promises to be an all-out shootout with national teams vying for a last chance at victory.

At the season’s midpoint Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew amassed enough points to position the team just one win away from locking up their third consecutive Rally America National Championship title. But their title has remained elusive when the Hoonigan Racing Team suddenly staged three event wins since the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) in June to force a title showdown at the final round.

Song-Gorman-Rally-9-3-13Lebec, Calif. — The team of Tingwu Song, of Denver, Colo., and Ireland’s Martin Brady, took their Mitsubishi Evo 8 to the overall victory last Saturday at the Gorman Ridge Rally, presented by Dirty Racing Parts, in the Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreational Area.

This was the first win for the team and although it was their first time running this event, Song and Brady had the best times of all 12 stages.

“This was our first win, ever,” Song said, “and it was the smoothest rally ever!”