FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Indianapolis, Indiana (November 17, 2004)
American rally alive and well with the formation of a new 2005 championship series featuring FIA Calendar listings
American rally fans can continue to celebrate the fastest growing form of motorsport with the debut of the 2005 United States Rally Championship series. Four premier and established rally events will comprise the series made possible through the cooperative partnership of the United States Auto Club (USAC) and the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). The four FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) Calendar listed events will form a highly anticipated championship series that will represent and sanction both international level competition along with regional and sportsman levels.
The United States Rally Championship kicks off its 2005 season beginning with the Cherokee Trails International Rally in Cleveland, Tennessee in early March. The series races across the country to the Subaru Rim of the World International Rally in Lancaster California in May, returning to the east coast in September with the International Rally New York in Monticello, New York. The championship points will then be determined at the series finale in December at the Ramada Express International Rally in Laughlin, Nevada.
All events in the series will have FIA Calendar listing, allowing entries from international teams within North America along with other teams from European and Asian countries. USAC will sanction the International level competitors in the United States Championship Series. NASA will place its emphasis on the sportsman competitor through its NASA Rally Sport program. The regional rally event calendar is divided into Rally Sport East, with the NASA Rally Sport Eastern States Rally Championship, and Rally Sport West with events in the California Rally Series and the Western States Rally Championship. Each regional Rally Sport series includes two of the United States Rally Championship events in its calendar.
"The United States Rally Championship represents a true evolution of American rallying," says Ray Hocker, Board Member of the United States Rally Championship. "With a focus on both grassroots and FIA international level competitors, the USRC is the only premier rally organization in America with strong, proven events and an even stronger vision for growth through our partners at USAC and NASA."
"The United States Rally Championship brings together what were formerly very separate, diverse elements," comments John Lindsay, Chief Regional Director of the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). "I think this unique combination of levels is one of the great strengths of this series. The four Championship events are the best of America's stage rallies, and its four-event format also makes this a very affordable series for the grassroots competitor. What a thrill for the NASA Rally Sport regional competitors to personally meet and compete with the finest competitors in America, and the International teams as well."
"There is nothing like the excitement and thrill that comes from being part an international level rally with the involvement of top-notch drivers and navigators," states Johnny Capels of the United States Auto Club (USAC). "With Rally Mexico now on the World Rally Championship calendar, there is a new awareness of America's rally events. For the same reason the four event series is feasible for the grassroots teams, the same can be said for the International teams. With four events, there is a unique opportunity for further involvement in the United States Rally Championship. USAC is proud to be part of this new development in the motorsport of rallying."
The 2005 United States Rally Championship calendar:
March 6-7 Cherokee Trails International Rally, based in Cleveland, Tennessee www.cherokeetrailsrally.com
May 5-6 Subaru Rim of the World International Rally, in Lancaster, California www.rimoftheworldrally.com
Sept 30-Oct 1 International Rally New York, based in Monticello, New York www.rallynewyork.com
December 1-4 Ramada Express International Rally, based in Laughlin, Nevada www.rallyusa.com
Rally vehicles are street licensed and modified for safety and strength to endure flat-out, against-the-clock racing over closed sections of gravel roadways known as stages. The two-person teams of Driver and Navigator are provided a bit of a breather as they negotiate transit zones on open, public roads at normal, legal speeds. Transits link the stages together, providing what is truly cross-country racing in its purest and most exciting form!
Each United States Rally Championship event is able to bring rally action directly to the spectators, television crews, and other members of the press. The Subaru Rim of the World International Rally presented by Autosport Engineering includes daily stadium competition on their Super Special stage at the Lancaster Fairgrounds, while the Ramada Express International Rally has a Sunday SuperStage® finale in the Laughlin Special Events Arena. Both rallies design a challenging dual-action dirt course with side-by-side rally stage competition, fully open to the public. International Rally New York and Cherokee Trails International Rally include fully-monitored spectator viewing areas within their event stages. Several of the events offer spectator-area bus service.
More information on the United States Rally Championship is available at the series website at www.usrallychampionship.com. More information on USAC is available at www.usacracing.com and on NASA at www.nasarallysport.com.
Wilson von Kessler
United States Rally Championship Series
National Auto Sport Association
United States Auto Club