Newry, ME – Now it its 26th year, the New England Forest Rally (NEFR) returns to the back roads and logging trails of Maine and New Hampshire from July 15-16, 2016. Headquartered at Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine, many race stages also take place in and around Berlin and Errol New Hampshire.
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND FOREST RALLY
NEFR begins on Friday, July 15 at 9:30am with Parc Expose, a chance for fans to see the rally cars up close, meet the drivers, co-drivers and crews, and get autographs. Racing begins at 11:00am. Day one of NEFR will see teams covering approximately 32 miles of stages, each testing the limits of their abilities and cars. Saturday starts with another Parc Expose from 7:00am – 8:30am. Saturday stages begin at 10:00am and teams will cover approximately 70 miles of stages during the day.
The New England Forest Rally is round six of eight in the Rally America National Championship Series where modified cars race one at a time against the clock, over closed roads. Speeds for more competitive teams can reach up to 100 miles per hour. This year, NEFR will welcome approximately 50 teams from all over the United States. In addition to the national rally, many regional and local teams will compete in the Maine Regional Rally on Friday, July 15 and/or the New Hampshire Rally on Saturday, July 16.
Like most rallies, NEFR relies on the cooperation of private landowners who allow the event to run on their roads. For this reason, NEFR asks rally fans to be respectful and obey all marshals’ instructions. “A few raucous rally fans got out of control last year and their poor behavior caused us to lose over 20 miles of roads. Landowners take on a lot of risk by allowing us to use their roads, so this year, many have stipulated that we keep fans out of certain stages,” said NEFR chairman and champion rally driver, Tim O’Neil. “There will still be plenty for rally fans to see, but we will have to limit access to some locations that have been open to the public in the past,” said O’Neil.
Rally is a great family sport and it affords anyone interested in seeing and learning more the chance to spectate free of charge. Spectators are welcome to drive themselves to three public stages over the weekend and NEFR offers additional access to guests via the VIP bus. Sunday River Resort, the host location, also offers low-priced shuttle buses to the public spectator locations. There is no charge to attend Parc Expose and public spectating accessed with fans’ own vehicles is also free. Fans may also spectate during service intervals at Sunday River and at JML Trucking in Errol, NH. Everyone is invited to attend the popular “champagne spray” at the conclusion of the Rally on Saturday at Sunday River after the last stage has begun – approximately 7:30pm. Other special events include a celebration and autograph signing at Sunday River Brewing on Friday night and a BBQ and Awards Ceremony on Saturday night.
EVENT SCHEDULE (for a full schedule, visit newenglandforestrally.com)
Friday, July 15
9:00-10:30am Parc Expose at Sunday River South Ridge Lodge
11:00am Ceremonial Start
12:00pm Public Stage – Concord Pond (arrive by 11am)
1:00-2:30pm Service at Sunday River
9:00pm Celebration and Autograph Signing at Sunday River Brewing, Newry, ME
Saturday, July 16
7:00-8:30am Parc Expose at Sunday River South Lodge
11:00am/1:30pm Public Stages – Fish Pond (arrive by 10am)
4:00-6:00pm Service, JML Trucking, Errol NH (680 Colebrook Rd.)
7:30pm Finish/ Champagne Spray – Sunday River South Ridge Lodge
7:00-8:30pm Victory Celebration/Awards/BBQ – Sunday River South Ridge Lodge ($15 per person, payable at the door)
Members of the media are invited to ride along and conduct interviews with rally drivers on Thursday, July 14 starting at approximately 6pm. Please contact NEFR at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or Rally America at email@example.com.
Download a free Spectator Guide here: http://www.newenglandforestrally.com/2015-spectators-guide/. Maps to spectator locations can be found in the Spectator Guide.
Notable entries for NEFR 2016 include defending champion, three-time NEFR winner and current Rally America National Championship Series Leader, David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew and teammate, Bucky Lasek and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino. Lasek, who will drive a 2016 Subaru Impreza, is best known to action sports and skateboarding fans for his six X Games gold medals. Lasek has driven for Subaru in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Championship since 2012 but had not competed in traditional stage rally until this year when he entered the Sno*Drift Rally in January. David Higgins- driving a 2016 Subaru WRX STi - will be going for his record sixth national title this year and a win at NEFR will bring him one step closer.
“My first rally I watched in person was last year at New England Forest Rally, so it will be a special experience to return there as a driver,” said Lasek. “Driving in my first stage rally earlier this year at Sno*Drift was intense and thrilling experience. Snow and ice are very difficult to learn on so I’m definitely looking forward to slaying some gravel!,” said Laskek.
Making their way up the championship ladder are Ryan Millen and co-driver Christina Fate driving a 2016 Toyota Rav4 and Troy Miller and co-driver Jeremy Miller in a 2011 Subaru WRX STi. Bangor Maine favorites John Cassidy and co-driver Dave Getchell will also make an appearance driving a 2003 Subaru STi.
Rally vehicles are production-based cars and trucks from manufacturers around the world. All competition vehicles are installed equipped with mandatory safety features to protect the competitors. They compete both for the overall victory and wins within a class structure that groups together vehicles with similar performance
In rallying, drivers and co-drivers are sent out one-car-at-a-time, at set intervals, to race against the clock and the wildly-varying stage road conditions. Co-drivers call out navigation information to the drivers over helmet intercoms to increase both speed and safety. Cars can reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour and make controlled slides around corners, to maintain speed and momentum.
In much of the world, rallying is considered to be the most challenging form of motorsports and is more popular than any other type of auto racing, including Formula One.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & CONTACT
New England Forest Rally website: http://newenglandforestrally.com/
Rally America website: http://www.rally-america.com/
Rally America New England Forest Rally information: http://www.rally-america.com/events/2015/NEFR
If you are interested in covering the New England Forest Rally, please let us know.
Rally America – Bill Fogg firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Maine Sports Commission - The Maine Sports Commission aims to promote Maine as a four-season destination for sports events and sports-related meetings and to increase their economic impact in the state by attracting new events or by growing existing sports-related events, including professional, collegiate, amateur, and youth sporting events.
The Maine Sports Commission was created in February 2012 in response to the growing demand for information regarding sports events and sports-related meetings in the state of Maine. The leadership of the Maine Sports Commission includes representatives from seven of the eight tourism regions, the Maine Office of Tourism, representatives from the Bangor and Portland Convention & Visitors Bureaus, and representatives from the sports, education, and tourism industries. The seven tourism regions participating in the commission are the Maine Beaches, the Greater Portland & Casco Bay Region, the Mid-Coast Region, Western Maine's Lakes & Mountains, Aroostook County, the Kennebec River Valley, and The Maine Highlands.