With just a few days left in 2021, the American Rally Association has announced its plans for the 2022 championship structure with a powerstage implemented for the first time, as well as the Regional event calendar.
Nineteen events will make up the calendar for 2022, with the usual mix of National, Super Regional, and Regional rallies taking place. Each National event will run alongside a Super Regional as per usual.
New to the calendar is the Bristol Forests Rally which held its initial running last year as a NASA Rallysport event but is stepping up to a two-day Super Regional former under the ARA for 2022.
The first Tennessee ARA event will take place on May 13-14 2022, and is sure to bring in a big field, with Seamus Burke and Martin Brady taking the event win in a Ford Fiesta R5 last year.
Returning to the calendar for the first time since 2019 is the Headwaters Regional Rally, run by the organizing committee for Ojibwe Forests Rally in Detroit Lakes, giving the northern central competitors another opportunity to race. Headwaters will take place on May 7 of next year.
The 2022 ARA Regional championships will for the first time be split into three regions instead of two. The addition of a central region will not only add a new regional championship into the mix, but will also affect how the National championships can be earned.
In the past, to win a National championship in the ARA – be it overall, RC2, LN4, etc – the team would have to compete in at least one east and west coast event in order to be eligible. While the Overall National championship still requires an event in all three regions, the subsequent class championships only require running in two.
This opens up the opportunity to many more teams to be competitive in their championship without having to shell out the money that competing on the other side of the country requires of them.
There also is now the opportunity to earn more points as every National round will add a powerstage for the 2022 season. The powerstage will award drivers based on finishing position in the same format as the World Rally Championship.
That means the top five overall in the powerstage will earn between one and five points toward the overall championship, and the top finisher in each class will earn three points toward their class championship on top of that.
Much of the rest of the championship structure will remain the same for 2022, with the best six of nine National rounds being counted toward the championship, and with the classes remaining split as they are.
The National calendar was revealed back in October.