41st EDITION OF WASTE MANAGEMENT SUSQUEHANNOCK TRAIL PERFORMANCE RALLY PUTS WELLSBORO IN INTERNATIONAL AUTO RACING SPOTLIGHT
WELLSBORO, Pennsylvania – May 18, 2017 – Dozens of amateur and professional rally teams, including Subaru Rally Team’s Travis Pastrana and defending champion David Higgins, will bring national attention to the 41st Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally® (STPR®), which returns to north central Pennsylvania June 2 and 3, 2017, in Wellsboro.
The STPR event, which is round four of the six events that form the 2017 American Rally Association Championship, is put on by a unique rally organizing committee – based in both Wellsboro and Rochester, N.Y – and is the oldest, continuously running motorsports event in the state of Pennsylvania.
The rally, promoted by the Finger Lakes STPR® Motorsports LLC committee, is chaired by Meridith Croucher, from Newark, N.Y. (Rochester area), and she reports the committee has found that the competitors not only enjoy STPR, but that new people are coming into the sport – a sign of growth that benefits both the local community and the event sponsors.
“With thousands of people coming to Wellsboro and the Tioga County area to participate in the rally, and thousands more coming to spectate, this event brings millions of dollars into the area’s economy and supports the other events and attractions that are important to North Central Pennsylvania,” said Ms. Croucher, whose organization also put on the recent Waste Management Winter RallySprint this past February.
She pointed out that Waste Management and other sponsors make the event truly accessible to the public
“Our event sponsor, Waste Management, hosts our Friday competitive stages on their company property, and realizes the goodwill in the community that being associated with this kind of an event brings to their company reputation. Combined with Citizens & Northern Bank, an original sponsor of STPR when the event began in 1977, and Subaru of America, we have a good selection of regional and national support,” said Ms. Croucher.
She also noted, that unlike other types of racing, STPR offers activities for all kinds of fans and everyone in the family.
“This has become a very popular family event, especially with the Tioga County Fairground stages in Whitneyville, where kids can get up close to the rally cars, meet the drivers, enjoy some refreshments, and then watch the cars battle on a closed course for competitive times and a chance to win the event,” she said, “while others like to go into the woods and watch the cars, view the cars on display at the Wellsboro Green, or watch the teams work on their cars at service areas during the event on Saturday,” she said.
The Fairgrounds stages cost $5 per person, Children under 12 free for admission each day (with a $5 donation per car to a local church youth organization for parking), with event tickets on sale in advance at the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce (info at 570-724-1926).
With the infusion of millions of dollars to local area businesses rivaling a national convention, a good blend of internationally-known drivers and local competitors, and the American Rally Association championship points chase all highlight the arrival of STPR® to the state forests near the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon, again announcing the coming of spring in Tioga County.
Waste Management returns
With title sponsor Waste Management back for its seventh year, and the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce, which has helped the event in Wellsboro since 1977, and the sponsorship from Subaru and Citizens & Northern Bank, the STPR® Committee is able to offer both accessibility and community support to both competitors and fans. Besides the 400 volunteers who work the rally – many of whom come in from out of town and use local services – another estimated 10,000 people come to the Wellsboro area either as spectators or workers for the various teams and their sponsors.
Waste Management also hosts the opening stages of the rally on its expansive grounds just outside Wellsboro (in Duncan, Penn.) on Friday afternoon, June 2. Admission for the spectator area at Waste Management is $7, and tickets are available only at the gate. Details are on the event website at www.stpr.org.
American Rally Association – a new and different sanctioning body
A sanctioning body, the group that organizes the points championship, creates and enforces the rules, regulates the safety of the event, and insures the rally for liability risks, is a very important part of the weekend. This year, STPR decided to team with the newly-formed American Rally Association (ARA), headquartered in Plymouth, New Hampshire and headed by former STPR competitor and rally school director Tim O’Neil.
ARA is an enthusiast-driven organization dedicated to the sport of stage rally and is a transparent and inclusive sanctioning body. As a 501 (c)(3) non-profit ARA is led by elected and appointed board members who guide the sport in the best interest of the members. ARA delivers a framework for safety, competition, promotion, and educational forums for all aspects of stage rally. The success of the organization is dependent on many experienced volunteers working toward the common goal of a thriving stage rally program in America.
As described on the ARA web site (www.americanrallyassociation.org), the sport of performance rally has always been a “low-profile” sport in the US despite the presence of name brands such as Travis Pastrana and Ken Block and Subaru of America. Although the sport cannot exist without competitors, conversely it cannot survive without events. Hence a small group of organizers started to consider if there was a better way of “managing” the sport. Those considerations pointed to the creation of a Non-Profit Corporation as the “Better Way”, a path followed by a number of sport governing bodies including the NHRA, SCCA, USAC etc.
What is STPR and Performance Rally?
The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally was first conducted by the Finger Lakes Region, SCCA in 1977, with the assistance of members of other sports car clubs in the Rochester, N.Y area. Members of these clubs (Triumph Touring Club, Corvair Owners Club, MG Car Club and others) had experience with previous performance events such as the Snowblower and Lunar Lunge which ran out of Rochester as early as 1965 and were part of the M.O.N.Y. series (Michigan, Ohio and New York), the forerunner of the SCCA ProRally series.
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 they can. 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 compact and subcompact sports cars with varying amounts of performance modifications depending on the class they are running in. 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.
STPR® was the last of the great endurance events on the national schedule maintaining the one day format and is designed with a high stage/transit mileage ratio and, thanks to the outstanding cooperation of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), some of the best and most demanding roads in the country. With the additional of the Waste Management stages and the Fairgrounds, the Rally went to two days in 2008.
The Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally is a National Championship Rally of approximately 259 miles long with approximately 125 miles of competitive stages.
Within the overall event, there are two regional rallies.
The Sherwood Forest Rally [MC1] includes Stages 1 – 8, and is approximately 50 stage miles. The Finger Lakes Rally includes stages 9 – 16 and is approximately 75 stage miles. Stages 4 and 5 on Friday, June 2 and Stages 14 and 15 on Saturday, June 3, are closed course, Super Special Stages at the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville. Combined, the two nights at the Fairgrounds attract between 2,000 and 3,000 people.
Rally Headquarters are once again located at the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville (Route 6, Wellsboro, PA 16901).
Friday afternoon, June 2, the start of the Rally will be from the backside of the Green in Wellsboro. Saturday morning’s start, as always, will be on Main Street in front of the Green.
In 2008, STPR® changed to a new two-day format to better utilize new competitive content, and give spectators more daylight viewing options. The Super Special Stages at the Tioga County Fairgrounds will once again run once on Friday evening and again on Saturday evening. In all, STPR® has six spectator locations to show the sport to maximum advantage in all its exciting aspects to the public and media.
An event schedule, maps and directions to the spectator areas, entry list and other rally information are available from the digital STPR 2017 Spectator Guide, which you can download at www.stpr.org.
A complete rally program, which includes driver biographies, stage descriptions, and other information is available at the event for five dollars (at the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce, on the Green when the rally activity is there, and at Friday’s Waste Management spectator area as well as the Tioga County Fairgrounds in Whitneyville starting Thursday, June 1).
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stpr_rally (@stpr_rally) #stpr17
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stpr_rally (stpr_rally)
Web site (entry list, spectator information, volunteer info, schedule): www.stpr.org
Live event track and sanctioning body app: https://www.americanrallyassociation.org/ara-live
2017 WASTE MANAGEMENT SUSQUEHANNOCK TRAIL PERFORMANCE RALLY SCHEDULE
(Subject to change – all times are approximate – latest schedule at www.stpr.org)
FRIDAY, JUNE 2:
11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – Parc Exposé at The Green in Wellsboro.
2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Stages 1 and 2 action at the Waste Management spectator area.
$7 per person admission to the Waste Management spectator area.
7:00 p.m. – 8:20 p.m. – Super Special Stages 3 and 4 at the Tioga County Fairgrounds begins. $5 per person admission to the Super Special Stage. $5 per car donation for parking.
SATURDAY, JUNE 3:
8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. – Parc Exposé opens at The Green in Wellsboro
8:45 a.m. – Parade of Flags at the Green in Wellsboro
9:10 a.m. – Singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” (and “Oh, Canada?) at the Green
9:46 a.m. – First car leaves the Green in Wellsboro
10:25 a.m. – Stage 5 (Asaph) action at the Asaph Picnic Area spectator point (all stages times indicate first car passing)
10:58 a.m. – Stage 6 (Painter) action at the Colton Point spectator point.
11:22 a.m. – Stage 7 (Thompson) action at the Wilson Point spectator point.
12:00 noon to 1:15 p.m. – Service at Germania
12:41p.m. – Stage 8 (Lebo 1) action at the Twelve Mike spectator point.
1:44 p.m. – Stage 9 (Randall 1) No spectator area.
2:19 p.m. – Stage 10 (Cedar) action at the Wilson Point spectator point.
2:55 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. – Service at Germania
4:25 p.m. – Stage 11 (Lebo 2) action at the Twelve Mike spectator point.
4:50 p.m. – Stage 12 (Randall 11) No spectator area.
5:22 p.m. – Stage 13 (Mine Hole) No spectator area.
6:50 p.m. – Parc Exposé at the Tioga County Fairgrounds.
8:20 p.m. – Super Special Stages 14 and 15 at the Tioga County Fairgrounds begins.
$5 per person admission to the Super Special Stage. $5 per car donation for parking.
9:45 p.m. – Podium and champagne spray at the Tioga County Fairgrounds.