2016 Waste Management Winter RallySprint
February 20, 2016
Press Notes #1 – Friday evening
- Welcome to Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, and the inaugural running of the Waste Management Winter RallySprint, sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America as part of its new RallySprint program for advanced amateur rallyists. This new “rally light” class is designed to help bridge the gap between RallyCross for beginners and stage rallying for the more serious competitors, and is also a training ground for volunteers, organizers and race officials to get used to rally operations before working a stage rally. While the sensations of handling a performance rally car at speed on gravel roads are alive and well at a RallySprint, the stages are shorter, the roads do not have high-speed straights, the rally averages 70 mph instead of 80 mph, and the event is run entirely on private roads, minimizing the insurance risk. Because of the lower insurance costs, the competitor entry fee is down $300 from last year’s winter rally, and that has helped boost the entry, up to 22 competitors from 14 a year ago.
- Two late scratches to the entry list are both attributed to running out of time to prepare their racers. The #7 BMW of Matt Brandenburg/Amber Wetzel and the #929 Subaru Impreza of Matthew Chmielewski/Carrie Kieczkajlo will not be here this weekend.
- Here are the online and social media references for the event:
Event web site: http://wmwr.info (includes entry list and full rally schedule)
This year’s official event hashtag is #wmwr16
- The spectator area in Duncan was first established for the Waste Management event in 2014. Here, the 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. The gates will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 20, with the first cars passing by just after noon. There will be food vendors and portable bathrooms on-site – amenities will be minimal. Spectator entrance cost is $5 per person, free parking. Also, the cars will be at the Wellsboro Green at 11:00 am for a ceremonial start – part of the activity for this year’s Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce Winter Celebration.
- The weather is a big unknown – not that we don’t know the forecast, but we aren’t sure how the weather will affect the course. Today, it was cloudy, but cold – in the high 20s and low 30s F. The course workers bannering the stages today reported that the shady areas on the course were frozen and slippery, and were likely to remain so even as temperatures hit 50 degrees F tomorrow. The other parts of the course are firm now, but could thaw out with repeated rally car passes and the unseasonably warm temperatures. As the rally consists of running the same stage road five times (three times on way and two times in reverse), these soft areas could get really chewed up by the end of the event. There is very little snow on the ground – a contrast to previous winter rally events here.