The Waste Management Winter Rally is now the Waste Management Winter RallySprint for 2016, reflecting a new format and a change of sanctioning body. The event, which is part of the week-long 2016 Wellsboro Winter Celebration, will be held on Saturday, February 20, with headquarters at the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville, Pennsylvania.
Retaining its title sponsorship from previous years with Waste Management and support from the Wellsboro-Area Chamber of Commerce, this year’s RallySprint will be sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).
“Our RallySprint was originally designed to provide a path to competition in regional stage rallying and give teams a taste of full stage rallying like the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally®,” said David Avery, event chair. “Its other purpose is to provide training for volunteers organizing and running stage rally events like STPR®.
Avery added moving to a RallySprint program and aligning with the SCCA fits the organizers’ goals.
“The rally will use the same course, on Waste Management property in Duncan township, which has been used since 2011. It is a short rally that consists of one stage run five times, covering a total of 44 stage miles that are also used as part of STPR’s stages,” Avery said. “Our winter rally’s total distance is just over 56 miles, including both transit and stage miles.”
Sports Car Club of America’s RallySprint – a new stepping stone for performance rally
Stephen Hyatt, SCCA’s RallyCross chair, pointed out the new RallySprint format gives the competitors and workers all the experiences of a full performance rally without the expense.
“The Sports Car Club of America, which has been sanctioning a variety of car rallying for more than 50 years, has been looking for a way to offer a middle ground between its RallyCross program and the STPR-type full performance rallies, which the club gave up in 2002. With this new RallySprint format, which features stage rallying on shorter stages on privately-owned roads (no public access), we have significantly reduced the insurance liability for both the competitor and organizer, thus opening the door for more affordable rallying. The Waste Management property is perfect for our ‘rally light’ season opener in Wellsboro, and we are pleased to work with the WMWR committee and the Finger Lakes Region of the SCCA to kick off the season. The Finger Lakes Region has a long history of organizing rallies, and the SCCA backs that activity with the stability and resources of the world’s largest amateur motorsports organization in the world,” Hyatt said.
The spectator area at 782 Antrim Road in Duncan Township was established in 2014. Here fans will see the cars at speed negotiating the course. The spectator area is close to the service area giving fans another opportunity to see the drivers, crews and cars up close. It will open at 10 a.m. on February 20. Map coordinates are: N41.644/W77.275. There will be food vendors and portable bathrooms on-site. Amenities will be minimal. Spectator entrance cost is $5 per person, free parking.
A major difference will be the cost for competitors.
“The entry fee will be greatly reduced from last year, by about one-third, at $300.00. Because of the lower entry fee, we are expecting our 30 team spots to fill up in 2016,” Avery said. “With more competitors there will be more on-course action and that should spark more spectator interest.”
Spectator information is available from the event’s website at wmwr.info, along with links for competitor and volunteer registration. The spectator area will open at 10:00 am on Saturday, February 20, and spectators should enter the gate located at 782 Antrim Rd. in Wellsboro, Pa. (map coordinates N41.644/W77.275)
As in the past, headquarters will be at the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville. The event will begin at 11 a.m. February 20 with competing rally cars parked at The Green in Wellsboro. That will give fans an opportunity to get up close to see the cars, meet the drivers and co-drivers and watch the ceremonial start. The first car will leave at 11:35am followed in one-minute intervals by the others as the battle begins.
The goal of each team is to finish the competition stages in the fastest time. Modifications to the RallySprint cars are based on the class they are in. All have to be street legal to allow them to get to the stage using public roads.
The latest RallySprint information can be found at the following links:
This year’s official event hashtag is #wmwr16
The Finger Lakes Region, Sports Car Club of America will organize the rally.