New England Forest Rally Details Announced
25 Jun, 2018
The New England Forest Rally (NEFR) is an annual two-day stage rally race taking place on the back roads and logging roads of Western Maine and Northern New Hampshire on July 20-21, 2018. Competitors come from across the US, Canada, and beyond to drive street legal vehicles on high-speed competitive stages held on temporarily closed roads.
Residents and visitors to the region may view these cars at high-speed on designated stages and will also see these cars travelling on public roads, observing posted speed limits to reach their next competitive stage. The Rally is a favorite among competitors due to the challenging and technical demands of the local roads. Competitors travel hundreds of miles over two days, reaching speeds over 100mph.
Several internationally-known competitors are expected to compete. Ken Block, founder/driver of the Gymkhana internet-video series will bring his recently built vintage European 1991 Ford Escort Cosworth to the event. The Subaru Factory Rally team will field two 2018 Subaru WRX STI’s consisting of 6-time North American champion David Higgins and former Subaru World Rally Team driver Chris Atkinson. Other notable drivers expected to compete include Tim O’Neil, Barry Mckenna, Jeff Seehorn, notable action sports, automotive personalities and more.
Based out of the Sunday River Ski Area in Bethel, ME, fans can enjoy free spectating and festivities right at the resort base area. “Parc Exposé” is held each morning where teams parade their cars into an open area, fans can gather, mingle with the competitors, get autographs, and see the cars up close. There are also service areas where spectators can watch cars return from the day’s stages. The teams then have a short period of time to work on their cars, allowing fans to see the teams in action from only a few feet away. Music, food, and fun are also part of the Rally Village featuring vendors, exhibitors, food, and more both Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday night culminates with the awards ceremony, Volunteer Appreciation All-You-Can-Eat BBQ (ticket for food required), and other festivities and giveaways as well.
The event would not be possible without the help of over 200 volunteers. Volunteering is the best way to see the action up close and learn more about the sport. As a thank you, volunteers receive a gift bag, free t-shirt, free ticket to Saturday night’s BBQ ($25 value), entry for several large giveaways from competitors/sponsors and much more! Those interested can learn more by visiting www.newenglandforestrally.com.
Spectating at the rally is fun and free. As the event gets closer, a free spectator’s guide will be produced and will be available at www.newenglandforestrally.com and at area businesses. The guide provides details on designated spectator locations and an updated schedule of events. Due to the nature of the sport, attendees should check this guide in advance to ensure an enjoyable and safe spectating experience.
For those new to rally or seeking a more tailored rally experience, there are Rally Buses that bring spectators to exclusive spectator spots via coach bus. The bus includes lunch and sells out quickly every year. To learn more about the Rally Bus Experience visit www.newenglandforestrally.com. Media is also invited to cover the event and can get access to competitors, photo locations and a media/shakedown stage on Thursday evening.
NEFR is sanctioned by the recently formed American Rally Association (ARA). NEFR is Round 4 of 7 in the ARA National Championship series. In addition to the two-day national competition (which draws competitors from all over North America) the event also includes two one-day regional competitions that are held concurrently with the national. Many local and regional enthusiasts compete right alongside the top national competitors. To learn more about rallying and the American Rally Association, visit www.americanrallyassociation.org.