To someone who has never experienced spectating a rally firsthand, the idea of getting up before the sun to drive hours to stand in the remote backwoods possibly being cold or wet--and hungry if you didn't bring enough snacks--for the chance to glimpse a few seconds of a car slide as fast as the laws of physics allows it to go through a muddy corner may sound crazy and boring. To be a fan of rally and to spectate a rally is to be part of a very small--but growing--niche. Rally won't capture the attention of the masses the way NASCAR or Formula Drift will in the U.S. But it doesn't need to. It feels special to be out there in the woods, exploring, laughing, drinking with friends new and old as you excitedly wait for each car to slide by. The sense of family and comradery between competitors and spectators is energetic and thick. I think part of the reason for this is the fact that most of the cars competing are home built passion projects and not the multi-thousand dollar "unattainable for the average bloke" monsters that you see in other race series. It gives the series a warm soul. You can tell that most of the competitors there, while they would love to win, are really there to have fun with their rally family going crazy fast through the woods. When you experience this passion, this comradery, the sense of adventure traveling deep into nature, the exciting of almost being pelted by gravel spray from passing cars, and endless COWBELLs ringing, you begin to understand why rallying has such an excitement and following behind it. Having worked as an instructor at DirtFish Rally School for several years now, going to events like these always serves as a great reminder of how lucky I am to be a part of this nutty family.
I wasn't able to cover the whole event but here is a small gallery of photos I was able to snag from my time out there at Parc Expose and on the WildCat stage Saturday morning.
Here are the final results of the American Rally Association Olympus Rally 2017