One of the coolest rallies in the United States is this weekend. No its not in Florida. If you go to watch, you will be cold. Very cold. But you will be in the woods with hundreds of other rally fans parting your ass off as rally cars come thru the night sideways. I can promise that part is awesome. And its something you can only see at a rally. Snow Drift Rally Starts Friday afternoon and continues through Saturday evening this weekend.
Keep in mind there is a second, generally better way to see rally. You can sign up to volunteer for the organizers. You usually get cool assignments out on stage and generally a lot closer to the cars - especially if you ask. You also get to the meet the teams and crews which can be a decent way to go if you want to get more into rally and not just stand in the woods. Some events let you split days. Give back the first day, party the second.
I'm running with Wyatt Knox this year. You guys might recognize his rail slide in a car below but Wyatt is an instructor at Team ONeil Rally School, a 2WD National Rally Champion, and spends his free time racing in places like Patagonia, Columbia, and writing articles on how to drive in strange situations.
The plan is for us to take turns driving. The rules allow for drivers and codrivers to swap places so why not? We're entered in the regional rally and just planning on having fun. I've never codriven before and it should provide some good perspective. I wish it was for someone a little slower but the snow and ice has a way of slowing everything down. Well it speeds it up when you don't want it to, but you get the idea.
There's a super special in a rock quarry and usually this awesome bus system that for a small fee gets you...All I know is my friends used it and said it was awesome and took them everywhere they needed to be. I saw homemade sleds with a keg of beer in the middle surrounded by propane tanks and massive outward facing heaters. Like a massive version of those heaters at outdoor restaurants. Except this one had an endless supply of beer in the middle.
We are running the 1999 318ti that we used here at ESPR but with the S50 3.0ltr from the WRC Mexico 2012 car. The motor seems to be running better with new electronics and hopefully this luck continues through the week. The smoke in the video below was the current motor starting to fail so it needed to be swapped.
As for tips for watching/ working the rally? I can tell you to bring something to stand on. Like an milk crate or insulated matt. Something that removes your boots from direct contact with the snow. It will keep you way warmer. I would bring massive moving blankets and wrap myself up. I would bring a ski mask and I would bring ski googles. Maybe even my ski helmet because music is already wired in. Yeah pretty much dress like you are going skiing or snowmobiling. Bring extra food and water. A small bottle of tequila never hurts either. Just make sure you have a sober driver.
I do know that the night stages are awesome. Huge bonfires in people's front yards and tons of music. Or at least there was the last time I ran Snow Drift back in 2010. You can find more event and volunteering information as well as stuff on lodging here. See you tomorrow.
Photos by Matthew Young(top) and Sam Smith.