2016 Recap & Looking Ahead
There is little time to reflect throughout the year – work, racing, working some more, you know how it is. But the new year has us feeling a bit reminiscent, excited to start building in 2017 and we want to share a bit with you all. As we look back, there were more times than we would like to admit where ‘Why the heck are we doing this?’ was uttered under our breath.
Kito: I think that was just you.
Let’s be real… During the long days and late nights, we sometimes have to check back in with why we started: We are driven to build Rally as a sport and community in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
In 2016, we officially became the Northwest Rally Association and took giant steps toward fulfilling the mission we set out for. During the big leaps and swings, we stumbled but also learned a ton. Too much happened than we could possibly recap but we want to highlight what we consider the best highs, the one real low and of course, the excitement and plans we have for going forward.
We hosted our first RallyCross
Kicking off the summer with the first RallyCross Fest at DirtFish Rally School was a dream. We brought together new and seasoned competitors for a successful RallyCross school, followed by an amazing day of racing. As we build, education will continue to play a key role in helping all of you become your best. Look out for an announcement very soon – we will be sharing the dates for the 2017 SCCA RallyCross school and race weekend!
30 of you raced in your first RallySprint
Sprints make us come alive. Offering an elevated level of competition (and speed!) with affordable requirements/entry fees is a key part of the NWRA mission. In 2016, 30 new drivers and co-drivers took a chance, forked over their hard-earned money and raced their hearts out. During the off-season, we have talked to so many of you about your projects to build RallySprint cars and we cannot wait to see you out there running!
We had some great partnerships
Like, really great. When working with other companies, striking a balance to create a mutually beneficial relationship is hard work. We have been endlessly fortunate to get the opportunity to work with some amazing brands.
JMDM Creative: Jake Magraw recently launched his own creative studio and we have been thrilled to work with him since the beginning. He and his team are the masters behind our incredible race videos, capturing the big and small moments of each event. Our personal favorite:
LEDLENSER: These guys set the bar for future sponsors – TONS of swag, great support and so easy to work with. LEDLENSER not only provided awesome prizes, they outfitted our crew and volunteers to make sure we had an ultra safe night stage.
DirtFish Rally School: Aside from being one of the coolest venues for racing, they opened their facilities and worked with us to host the first SCCA RallyCross School. Their top-notch instruction and support made the RallyCross Fest weekend a huge success. We are pumped to be teaming up with DirtFish again in 2017!
Riverdale Raceway: Dan at Riverdale went above and beyond for us at every event. Our courses were beautifully tended to, camping on-site was a breeze and he worked with us to make the tough call to cancel a race (stupid tornadoes). Our calendar already has events at Riverdale booked so be sure to clear your schedules!
OUR ONE LOW
Using a custom built timing system has serious advantages, the biggest one being the ability to roll out exciting features to enhance the race experience (hey live results!). The downside is that we are on the hook for identifying and resolving bugs and issues that seem to only present themselves at the least desirable times. In order to execute smooth events, we have put it a ton of work during over the winter to iron out the wrinkles so that 2017 races are bug free.
THE ICING ON THE CAKE
As we evaluate the year’s highs and lows and put pieces together to improve, we are struck with immense pride when we think about YOU – our competitors, volunteers and supporters who took a chance on us. You took a lot of risk, whether by building a RallySprint car, taking the plunge as a novice RallyCross driver or giving us your precious weekends. We are honored and humbled to be a part of your journey and cannot wait to see what you bring to the table in 2017!
If you are as excited as we are and want to get involved, here are some helpful links: