With just over a month to go before the American Rally Association descends on Michigan for the season opener, ARA competition director Preston Osborn has talked about the excitement building for 2024.
The Atlanta-based Sno*Drift Rally kick starts an eight-round season that features Tennessee’s Overmountain Rally for the first time.
“There’s a real buzz about this season,” Osborn told DirtFish. “We have Travis [Pastrana] back with Subaru, which is fantastic. It’s going to be fascinating to watch his battle with Brandon [Semenuk, team-mate and defending champion] play out.
“Travis is somebody who’s so enthusiastic about the sport and a great ambassador for us. As well as that, he’s an amazing driver – it’s very cool to have him back in the car.
“But the action doesn’t just come at the front of the field. Don’t forget, our limited four-wheel drive class went down to the final powerstage of the season last year – it was an absolute thriller. Time and again we’re having national and regional fields decided by tenths of seconds – the action is super-close and really exciting.”
Osborn admitted discussions were ongoing in an effort to return 2C Compétition to America.
“We saw what those guys did with Ken Block a couple of years ago,” he said, “and we would be delighted to welcome them with Rally2 cars. 2C is a team which operates at a really high level and they have a real enthusiasm for ARA.”
Talking about the inbound Overmountain event, Osborn added: “The roads in Tennessee are really technical – that event has run at a Super Regional level and it will add something quite different to the calendar. We have a good spread of stages in ARA, but Overview will be a real challenge; I would say it’s going to offer the lowest average speed of the season – I love the technical aspect it’s going to bring.
“Sno*Drift is right around the corner now and I’m as excited as ever for it.”