With the United States being one of the largest car markets globally (roughly 800 cars for every 1,000 residents), there is no question that auto manufacturers worldwide have their eye on the USA.
When it comes to rally, the US has a rich history in the sport. In the past, the US rally championship attracted multiple manufacturers including Subaru, Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi. They have all fought for the title with the likes of Hannu Mikkola, Björn Waldegård, Travis Pastrana, Ken Block, Rod Millen, John Buffum and many more.
However, the US rally stages in recent years have failed to capture the attention of multiple manufacturers willing to implement factory rally efforts for this market.
In a bid to combat this, Rally media powerhouse DirtFish and the American Rally Association (ARA) have created a new partnership to cultivate a more promising future for rallying in the United States.
DirtFish CEO Justin Simpson, says ‘Our plan is to help put the ARA championship on the global stage and provide recognition to the incredibly diverse terrain in our nine national rounds. We will do this through expanded media coverage and marketing support for the championship in 2021 – all while the USAC and ARA continue supporting the competition elements of the series.’
The two organizations will work together to elevate the US championship to the same level as other national series worldwide. While DirtFish Media will assume responsibility for marketing, media, and branding, the United States Auto Club (USAC) and ARA will still focus on the championship’s competition and sporting side.
USAC President Kevin Miller, commented, ‘The media partnership with DirtFish builds on both parties’ strengths in a joint effort to grow rallying in North America. USAC has a storied past in organizing many forms of motorsports, and DirtFish is a world-recognized media brand in the sport.
The combination of our efforts will boost the presence of American rallying globally overnight. I am truly excited to put 100% of USAC’s efforts into bettering the competition side of rallying, including timing, scoring and safety initiatives we have planned to roll out in 2021!’
2021 is poised to be the most competitive US championship fight to date with Subaru Motorsports USA drivers, Pastrana and (Brandon) Semenuk looking to take the crown from ARA Champion, Barry McKenna who will be returning with title defence in mind. There will also be an influx of R5/Rally2 cars this year – five registered for SnoDrift and nine registered for 100 Acre Wood.
This partnership aims to reignite that manufacturer passion and create a stage for them to showcase their latest models and technologies in the future. Check out the highlights if the American Rally Association’s 2020 season in the video below.