Welcome to the Waste Management Winter RallySprint
Headquarters: Tioga County Fairgrounds (just outside of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania)
The event is managed and organized by Finger Lakes STPR® Motorsports; sanctioned and insured by the Sports Car Club of America and hosted by the Finger Lakes Region, SCCA, the event became an SCCA RallySprint in 2016.
Launched in 2011 as the Wellsboro Winter Rally, the event was a Regional stage/performance rally, part of the Rally America Eastern Championship. Waste Management came on as the title sponsor in 2012 and the event was renamed the Waste Management Winter Rally.
WMWR Chairman Dave Avery explained briefly why the switch from a performance rally to a RallySprint fits the objective of the event.
“Our rally 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®,” Avery said. “That’s why we decided to become a pilot RallySprint program with the Sports Car Club of America as our new sanctioning body. It fits exactly with our goals.”
The course is the same as used in the past, run on private property owned by Waste Management in the Duncan township consisting of one stage run five times, covering 44 stage miles and just over 56 total miles. This is also used for the Waste Management STPR® in June.
“Waste Management, Inc., is most gracious as both sponsor and host of this event. They have allowed the creation of roads and spectator areas on their property as well as hosting this event,” Avery said. “We thank them and the management of Danzer Forestland LLC for their permissions and efforts.”
The Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce is the other sponsor of the Waste Management Winter RallySprint. This year the RallySprint is again part of the Wellsboro Winter Celebration.
“Our parc expose on The Green in the center of town will allow you to join the festivities and for the festival goers to see your cars, meet the teams, and learn about the sport,” Avery added. “Visit the Chamber’s website for more information on the beautiful, historic, and friendly area.”
Avery also said a major decision to switch from the event being a performance rally to a RallySprint was the lower cost to competitors as it lowered the entry fee substantially, which serves as encouragement for potential entrants.
Because of the lower entry fee, we expect our team spots to fill up,” Avery said. “With more competitors, there will be more on-course action and that should spark more spectator interest.”
The spectator area will be the same as in previous years. There is ample parking available that is close to the viewing area. There will be an entry fee into the spectator area, the price of which is yet to be determined; in the past, it was $5/person and the organizing committee is looking into pricing per car versus per person. The amenities will be rustic, but there may be porta-potties available and a food truck that will sell hot and cold food and beverages.
What is RallySprint?
RallySprint is a motorsports event in which one vehicle at a time navigates a clearly defined course, with elapsed time plus penalties for course deviations being the determining factor for awards. Although side-by-side competition is not allowed, more than one vehicle may be on course at the same time provided they are separated on course by adequate time and distance to eliminate any possibility of a passing situation.
RallySprint is similar to a rally-type stage but with a relatively short stage length and lower speeds than typically encountered in stage rally. RallySprint events are run on sections of dirt, gravel or snow-covered roads or trails that are closed to the public.
What is performance rally?
In the United States, performance rally teams have a driver and co-driver (or navigator) for each car, and the competitors race in segments (or stages) on closed public roads, trying to get from the beginning to the end of the stage as fast as possible. Unlike other forms of motorsports, there is no practice allowed and teams are only allowed one pass to review the course at the public speed limit before the event. In competition, the navigator then barks out the route instructions while the drive proceeds – sometimes at speeds exceeding 100 miles-per-hour – through forest, desert, and logging around at events around the country. The cars, all street legal to allow driving on public roads between racing stages, are cars (and sometimes trucks) with varying amounts of performance modifications depending on the class in which they are running. The sight of these cars, running at speed through the woods to beat the clock, makes exciting spectating for the fans who come out to watch performance rally.