100 Acre Wood Rally
Real cars, real roads, real fast. That’s how many fans define the sport of rally car racing, an all-season motorsport where drivers and their navigators tackle courses that cover more than 100 miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads at blistering speeds.
On Feb. 26-27, Salem will again play host to the 100 Acre Wood Rally, the second race of the Rally America National Championship Series. Marked with high speeds, tight turns and tricky roads, the course is an extreme test of skill, speed and endurance for the world’s best drivers. Drivers even have a chance to go airborne with their cars, as Chris Greenhouse of Cincinnati, Ohio, did in his 1995 Plymouth Neon during Stage 6 of the 2009 event (shown at right).
While the course may be challenging, Missouri’s quickly changing weather makes racing the 100 Acre Wood Rally an adventure. Last year, a blinding snowstorm covered the area with up to a foot of snow in some areas on the second day of racing, causing race officials to cancel the final stage after conditions deteriorated. Despite the shortened event, the race through the Ozark foothills still went on to share honors as the 2009 Rally of the Year.
Like other motorsports, spectators are afforded access to both the racing machines and the drivers. A daily “Parc Exposé” allows fans an up-close look at the cars before the rally begins. However, unlike other racing contests, there is no cost to attend the 100 Acre Wood Rally. Spectator areas along the course provide fans a chance to stand mere feet from the action, and service stops both days offer a glimpse of crews at work.
For more information on the 100 Acre Wood Rally, visit www.100aw.org or www.rally-america.com. Or, call the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce at 573-729-6900.