HOUGHTON - The Lake Superior Region Car Club, hosts of the Lake Superior Performance Rally, was impacted by the recent federal government shutdown.
The Oct. 1 shutdown forced the closure of federal lands used in the rally racing event scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Houghton and Baraga counties.
As a result, organizers have constructed an alternative two-day event schedule that will operate roads not affected by the federal closure.
David Archambeau/DailyMining Gazette
The team of Allan Dantes of L’Anse and Matt Solka compete in the 2012 Lake Superior Performance Rally. This year’s rally, scheduled to begin Friday, could be affected by the federal government shutdown, as a portion of the rally was scheduled to take place in the Ottawa National Forest.
LSPR organizers had permission to use roads in the Ottawa National Forest located near Kenton for Friday's competition, but were recently advised by the United States Forest Service Kenton office their 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.
"The roads being used are unique as they are up hill and down, sandy and hard surface on both Friday and Saturday," said Dean Rushford, LSPR Chairman. "They offer what many rally drivers over the years consider some of the most challenging in the country. For over thirty years rallying has been running in the Houghton and Baraga counties and we know the roads continue to delight both the competitor and the spectator alike."
LSPR is the concluding chapter of the seven-round Rally America National Championship. Over the course of the season teams battled at the previous rounds across the United States, but an overall championship Rally America victor has yet to emerge. The LSPR Rally became the site to decide who will be crowned champion in the overall, Super Production and Two-wheel Drive categories.
A revised LSPR spectator guide with the alternate schedule and viewing locations is available for download here: http://bit.ly/1fsUkI5
Organizers may revert back to the original LSPR schedule in the event that the government resumes operation, and will make that determination by Wednesday. Information will continually be updated on www.rally-america.co and www.lsprorally.com.
Rally America is supported by Subaru of America, Ford Racing, VP Racing Fuels, Honda Development Research, GrimmSpeed, Exedy Racing Clutches and Teleblend.
Based in Williston, Vt., Rally America, Inc. sanctions the Rally America National Championship, which consists of eight national-level events located at a variety of venues across the country, from Portland, Oregon to Newry, Maine. Top competitors in the Rally America National Championship reach speeds of well over 100 mph driving highly modified street cars such as Mitsubishi Evolutions, Subaru WRX STI's, Ford Fiestas and Scion XD's on natural-terrain courses consisting of gravel, dirt, ice or snow. For more information regarding Rally America's National Championship or the sport of performance rally, visit www.rally-america.com.