Higgin-New-England-Rally-7-10-13Williston, VT (July 10, 2013) — The fifth round of the Rally America National Championship resumes at the New England Forest Rally on July 26-27th in Newry, Maine with 57 national and international teams – one of the largest entry fields since 2010 – slated to tackle some of the smoothest, fastest competition roads on the calendar.

The New England Forest Rally (NEFR) has been hard at work the past year improving road conditions and gaining permission from land owners to expand the race for a better fan experience and a less punishing race for the competitors. The event promises more spectator viewing options allowing fans to choose to drive to free viewing areas, purchase a Sunday River Resort shuttle pass ($10 per person on Friday and $15 per person on Saturday) to more viewing areas or take an all-inclusive catered VIP Bus to private locations.

The Dakar got well and truly underway today with Team Husqvarna by Speedbrain in the thick of the action. Joan Barreda, the Spanish rider won the Pisco – Pisco second stage, commanding the 242 km (151 miles) of special test. The stage proved to be really tough, with plenty of opportunities for errors and loss of time. Barreda on his Husqvarna TE449RR set an imposing pace from the start of the special test, coming in more than three minutes ahead of the nearest rival. ‘Gregarious’ Matt Fish put in a fine performance too, managing to finish among the leaders in third place.

Conversely, Goncalves and Botturi lost a lot of time in seach of the correct route some 100 km into the race, as did Viladoms who was the fastest of the three once back on the right track.

The 34th edition of the Dakar Rally gets underway on January 5, 2013 in Lima, Peru. Kärcher is present for the first time as the official partner of the KTM Rally Factory Team, which starts the toughest rally on the planet with top favorite and title defender Cyril Despres.

For many KTM customers all over the world, the combination of orange and the Kärcher yellow is a natural thing. Now for the first time this partnership has been secured in the KTM factory team with a sponsorship partnership. So at the Dakar 2013 the factory bikes of Cyril Despres und Ruben Faria, Joan Pedrero and Kurt Caselli (the replacement rider for the injured Marc Coma) will feature the Kärcher brand directly under the KTM logo. The common goal for the partners: KTM’s twelfth consecutive Dakar victory!

Cyril, how do you rate your chances of being able to defend your title and take your fifth Dakar Rally victory without your team colleague and hardest opponent Marc Coma? “Well I would say they are as good as they have been on previous years. I have been training hard and although I didn’t do so many races this year I won both the big ones I entered. After that there are so many things that could happen, so many things that in a race like the Dakar you can’t predict, that I am always cautious. I always say that my biggest rival on the Dakar isn’t the other competitors but the desert itself. That is the thing on the Dakar that no one can master!”