Rally veteran Doug Shepherd has been named President of the American Rally Association for 2018. Shepherd will assume his new role immediately. He will also take on the duties of the National Series Manager and oversee daily operations of ARA.
Shepherd is one of the most experienced and well-regarded stage rally professionals in the U.S., both in the car and as an event organizer. Since 1975, Shepherd has worked as Clerk of the Course at a wide range of both established and newly created rally events.
Looking forward to leveraging his 43 years of experience, Shepherd plans to develop a practical and strategic road ahead for the future of ARA. Taking input from both established ARA committees as well as the U.S. rally community, Shepherd hopes to develop a plan that will create a strong and solid future for the sport, both in participation and in financial presence.
“I’m happy to be working with ARA and to bring my years of experience to the series,” Shepherd said, “We have a great opportunity to grow the sport of stage rally in the U.S. USAC’s reach across the broadest spectrum of motorsport helps our ability to benefit ARA, the events, the competitors, and the sport’s followers. I am excited to be able to use those assets and the input of the community to lead ARA in the best possible direction.”
Shepherd began his highly successful racing career in 1973 as a co-driver, winning four United States Rally Championships and three North American Rally Championships alongside legendary rally driver John Buffum.
In 1984, Shepherd changed his focus and began developing production-based front-wheel-drive rally cars with support from Dodge and Mopar.
In addition to driving to eight manufacturer championships over the years in Rally, Shepherd has also competed at several World Rally Championship (WRC) events as well as the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, where he has claimed two class wins on the mountain.
Featured image: Shepherd, with co-driver Karen Wagner, drove this Dodge Neon SRT 4 in the 2010 Lake Superior Performance Rally (Photo courtesy of Jerry Winker/ComicCozzie Autosport Photography)