48 Hours of Snowy, Gritty, Grueling Rally Racing

 

 

 

 

” At first blush, rally racing—or, simply, rally—is a pretty innocuous pastime. You buy a car. You install a roll cage and safety equipment, including a fire suit and a helmet. You find a friend to ride shotgun and navigate. You drive off into the woods—and then things get exceptionally weird. Races start in the morning and last well into the night. They are staged in asphalt-melting heat or face-freezing cold. Lasting two or more days, they require driving flat-out on unfamiliar roads—many of them unpaved and rutted—guided only by your reflexes and the shouted instructions of a co-driver.

Wrecks are common and can be severe: Roadside hazards include 100-foot drop-offs, Airstream-size boulders, and stout hardwoods. The course, more than 100 miles long, is completed at highway-travel speeds. If you are slow, you lose. If you kill your car and don’t make it home, you lose. And if you don’t have fun, you miss the point. Now take all of this mayhem and stick it in a deep freeze in Atlanta, Mich., 25 miles northeast of nowhere. This is the location of the Sno*Drift Rally, held for two days almost every January since 1973. Entrants range from six-figure Subarus and Mitsubishis to $500 hoopties held together with duct tape and Bondo. “

 

 

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