Together They Bring Season Celebration to Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier the Weekend of February 17 – 19

For the 2017 Waste Management Winter RallySprint, 15 competing rally cars have registered as of this date with the organizing committee hoping for more by Saturday, February 18, the day of the event. Visitors to the Wellsboro area will have plenty of choices between viewing rally cars at speed and participating in winter activities in town.

The rally is held in conjunction with the February 16-19 Wellsboro Winter Celebration with events for the whole family.

“We expect to see more cars enter. Last year 18 cars started,” said Rallymaster David Avery. “The event was well received by competitors although some had issues with tire choices,” Avery said. “They didn’t bring tires appropriate for the weather. This year we have eased up the rules on tires a bit offering more choices to the teams. We are all learning.”

Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville is the rally headquarters on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18.

The contest will begin at 11 a.m. on Feb. 18 with rally cars parked at The Green, a park located in the heart of downtown Wellsboro. That will give fans an opportunity to get up close to see the cars, meet the drivers and co-drivers

For the ceremonial start, the first car will leave The Green at 11:35 a.m., followed in one-minute intervals by the others. The goal of each team is to finish the competition stages in the fastest time. Modifications to the rally cars are based on the class they enter. All have to be street legal to allow them to get to the stage using public roads.

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 near the service area giving fans another opportunity to see the drivers, crews and cars up close. It will open at 10 a.m. on Feb. 18. There will be food vendors and portable bathrooms on-site. Map coordinates are: N41.644/W77.275.

This closed-course rally will be run on Waste Management property in Duncan Township, the same as it has been for the past six years. It consists of one stage run five times or 44 stage miles with a total distance of just over 56 miles, including transit and stage miles. That same area will be used as part of the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally’s stages on June 2 and 3 this year.

“We held our first winter rally in 2011,” Avery said. “It was designed to provide a path to competition in regional stage rallying and give teams a taste of full stage rallying to support Wellsboro’s Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally in June and other performance rallies,” he explained. “Our rally’s other purpose was to provide training for volunteers organizing and running a stage rally event like STPR,” Avery said.In 2016, the Waste Management Winter Rally was renamed the Waste Management Winter RallySprint to represent its affiliation with the Sports Car Club of America, according to Avery.

That February, the Wellsboro RallySprint kicked off the SCCA’s new national ‘rally light’ series, which included 12 events hosted by various SCCA regions across the country.

The Waste Management Winter RallySprint is managed and organized by Finger Lakes STPR® Motorsports, sanctioned and insured by the Sports Car Club of America and hosted by SCCA’s Finger Lakes Region.

“RallySprint is now a full SCCA program with complete support of the RallyCross Board and SCCA national staff,” said Stephen Hyatt, SCCA RallyCross chair.

“The SCCA is very pleased to have the Waste Management Winter RallySprint and the Finger Lakes Region continue within our program,” Hyatt said. “As this part of the SCCA family grows, we hope to have the Finger Lakes as a long-term partner to help grow this series.”

According to Avery, while the rules and classes are similar to what spectators are used to from the former Waste Management Winter Rally, the affiliation with the Sports Car Club of America adds additional safety and structure, and makes the event part of a national series – not unlike a AA or AAA minor league baseball league, giving experience to competitors and workers alike. For the competitors, the class rules require minimum modifications – helping to keep costs down – and, best of all, much reduced entry fees because of the large insurance pool provided by the more than 67,000 SCCA members nationally.

“Being aligned with SCCA RallySprint fits exactly with our goals,” Avery said.

Competitors and volunteers can register by visiting wmwr.info. For other information about the WMWR RallySprint, visit Facebook
, Twitter and Instagram.

The Saturday festivities for the Wellsboro Winter Celebration include 19 competitors who will face off in a chili cook-off in downtown Wellsboro.  Other events include:

  • a chance to win a drawing for one or more of 19 baskets full of chocolates;
  • a hunt for 101 snowballs, each with a prize, including the top prize of $101;
  • watching an ice carver create six different sculptures from six 450-pound blocks of ice on Main Street every hour on the hour;
  • a free winter brew tasting;
  • cookie decorating and hot chocolate;
  • free winter games and activities on The Green, such as a cross-country skiing mini-clinic for beginners with free skis available for children and adults to use;
  • snow golf between noon and 3 p.m.;
  • tubing contest at 2 p.m.

Other events include a jazz concert series between Feb. 16 and 19, Wine 101: Learn to Select and Pair Wines Like a Pro seminar on Feb. 17; three performances of a one-man show, Feb. 17-19; and the Mt. Tom Challenge on Feb. 19.

For further information, visit the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.