Rallying set to star at this year’s Velocity Invitational

The American motorsport festival is back and bigger than ever for 2023, and DirtFish will be right at heart of the action


DirtFish and Subaru Motorsports USA will join forces to bring rallying to the very forefront of this week’s Velocity Invitational event at Sonoma Raceway in California.

Two-time ARA winner Brandon Semenuk makes his maiden appearance at Velocity, while Alister and Max McRae return to what’s fast becoming America’s go-to motorsport festival.

IndyCar star Benjamin Pedersen, James and Josie Rimmer and Michelle Miller and Nate Tennis will also be driving some of rallying’s finest and most famous machinery.

Doors open to Velocity Invitational on Friday, but Saturday and Sunday are the big days for the rally action.



Semenuk will be driving his Vermont SportsCar-built Subaru WRX on a gravel stage at the venue, demonstrating the partnership which totally dominated this year’s American rally scene.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Semenuk. “It’s always cool to go to these events and show people what the car can do – but at the same time it’s going to be rad to have a look at what else is there and who else is there.

“It’ll be good to check in with Alister and Max and, of course, to see what other Subarus DirtFish is bringing along. It’ll be really interesting to compare them with our WRX from this season.”

Both big mountain bike fans, Max and Alister are similarly keen to meet Semenuk.

“What he does on a bike is unreal,” said Max.

“Aye, and he’s not so bad in a car as well,” added Alister. “It’s great to meet guys like Brandon to understand a bit more about the crossover between the two sports.


“I really enjoyed Velocity last year and I’m sure this year’s going to be great. As usual, Steve Rimmer [DirtFish owner] is providing some exceptional cars for us to drive. It’ll be a lot of fun.

Talking of those cars, DirtFish will run the Subaru Impreza WRC Tommi Mäkinen used to conclude his glittering career, an ex-Travis Pastrana Impreza, the replica Hannu Mikkola Ford Escort RS1800 and the wild 800bhp Ford Fiesta Marcus Grönholm drove at Pikes Peak in 2009.

DirtFish is also providing a pair of Subaru BRZs to run thrill rides throughout the event.

Head of strategy Jose Rimmer said: “We’re big fans of Velocity Invitational here at DirtFish. We worked with the organizers last year and there’s no doubt the rally element was one of the most popular aspects of the 2022 event. This year we intend to build on that.


“Coming to Velocity alongside Brandon, Subaru Motorsports USA and Vermont SportsCar is a fantastic way to take the rally side of things to the next level.

“What we’re doing this year is showing people what the sport’s all about with some of the biggest stars and best cars – but we’re also offering the opportunity to actually get in a car and be taken sideways for real.

“It’s going to be a great weekend!”

Further details of the event are available here.