McKenna, Higgins praise “mega” ARA’s growth

Series champions impressed by ARA's expansion prior to coronavirus outbreak


Leading American Rally Association drivers David Higgins and Barry McKenna have praised the development of the premier Stateside rally series.

The organizer of the ARA took over as the country’s top-flight rally championship in 2017 and was looking at another strong season until the current coronavirus took a grip of global motorsport.

The 100 Acre Wood Rally has been called off, while the following two rounds of the series – the DirtFish Olympus Rally and DirtFish Oregon Trail Rally – have both been postponed, meaning the next scheduled event is the Southern Ohio Forest Rally in June.

McKenna won the season-opening Sno*Drift Rally in January and was looking forward to challenging for his maiden title this year.

“It’s such a shame for this year,” McKenna told DirtFish, “especially for 100 Acre Wood. Coming off the back of [Rally] México it would have been good to jump in the car for that one.

“We’re all in this boat now, but ARA is definitely building nicely. When we started four years ago, you could say it was fairly weak, but it’s just been getting better and better since then.

“We’re now renting cars out regularly and we’re getting calls from people all around the world asking about coming over to the events. It’s great and the guys behind the ARA are giving it a big kick.”

Higgins, the 10-time American champion, agreed with those sentiments, adding: “These are some of the best rallies in the world and the stages are just fantastic. When it started in 2017 it wasn’t the best, but it’s just been getting better and better ever since.

“When you look at some events in the UK, good events like the Cambrian, they’re offering 45 miles or something – we’re going and doing that in a loop of stages in America. It’s mega.”