The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally, round seven of the American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National series, has been changed to Regional event status due to restrictions on the use of roads.
STPR, scheduled for September 17/18, hasn’t run since 2019, when Oliver Solberg took his second of three ARA wins for Subaru, as it was one of many rallies in America and around the world to fall victim to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.
The organizer has been working extremely hard over the last few months to ensure the Pennsylvania event could return for this year, but increasing restrictions on the use of roads and pubic areas has made it impossible to obtain the necessary permits to have sufficient stage miles for an ARA National event.
Instead, STPR will run as an ARA Regional event, counting towards the ARA East Regional series.It will be a single-day event on Saturday September 18.
“It has been a roller-coaster trying to secure the permits we needed to run STPR in 2021,” said James Monks, STPR chairman.
“Every time we made positive headway, we had to take another step or two back.
“It is frustrating to be so close and to have to cancel the national event for the second-straight year, but we are so grateful that our partners at Waste Management stepped up and gave us permission to use their roads this year.”
The removal of STPR from the ARA National schedule slims the series to eight rounds, with the next of those – Ojibwe Forests Rally – taking place at the end of this month (August 27/28).
It will be followed by Lake Superior Performance Rally (October 15/16) and Oregon Trail Rally (November 5/7).
Despite his penultimate stage retirement on last weekend’s New England Forest Rally, the news strengthens Travis Pastrana’s bid for a sixth US rallying title and second in the ARA.
The Subaru Motorsports USA driver has won three of the first five rounds and currently holds a 23-point advantage over his team-mate Brandon Semenuk. Reigning champion Barry McKenna is another 10 points adrift.
ARA rules allow scores to be dropped, and previously a competitor’s best six scores from the nine rounds would create their final points tally. Drivers are only afforded two dropped scores with the loss of STPR, with the six best scores from eight now to count.