American Rally Association has added a seventh event to the 2018 National Series. The Tour de Forest Rally (TdF), based in Olympia and Shelton, Washington, will take place October 6-7, 2018.
“We’ve been working hard to add even more top-level rally events to our 2018 National Series calendar,” said ARA vice president Chris Cyr. “Bolstering our already strong 2018 event line up with the revival of Tour de Forest allows us to provide our competitors with even more quality, proven, and historic rally stage roads this year.”
The revived event, last run in 1983, represents an exciting new challenge for ARA competitors, placing teams on stage roads unseen in rally competition for 35 years.
For 2018, the TdF Rally will return to the tree-covered roads south of Seattle positioned as the final event of the ARA National Series, the potential Championship deciding round.
The TdF Rally will be a Saturday/Sunday event, covering approximately 110 stage miles, and Friday, Oct. 5, is set aside for the competitor’s to have Recce to prepare stage notes. Service will take place in a single location for the weekend in the forest near Shelton, Washington.
Stage conditions and road types will be similar to the nearby Olympus Rally, though the two events are distinct and will not share stage roads. The organizers said to expect a combination of fast and technical gravel roads through forests and low mountains.
Started in 1978 by the Rainier Auto Sports Club as a regional event, TdF quickly rose to national prominence. Becoming part of the SCCA Pro Rally Championship with its 1979 running, the Tour de Forest Pro Rally saw talented competitors duke it out over the next five years. The event was a contested battleground in multiple championship battles between legendary rally drivers Rod Millen and John Buffum. Each took two wins on the Olympic National Forest stage roads over a four-year fight. The following year, in 1983, TdF moved south to Tualatin, Oregon. That year’s Tour de Forest, the final running, saw rising star Steve Millen win his first-ever Pro Rally event.
In 1984, the Tour de Forest Pro Rally evolved into the inaugural Oregon Trail Pro Rally, the precursor to the first event of the 2018 ARA National Championship Series, Oregon Trail Rally.
Detailed information regarding the Tour de Forest Rally, as well as associated regional rallies sanctioned by the American Rally Association, will be released in the coming months.
The 2018 ARA National Championship Series schedule is now finalized at seven events: