The grassroots rally contest that’s ideal for all

DirtFish hosted NorthWest Rally Association's Rallycross Fest last weekend – a perfect example of grassroots competition


We love Rallycross Fest. We love the competition, the people, the camaraderie. We love the learning, the progress, the dirt. These four days give us all a reason to pack up our day jobs and head into the dust.

This year’s event came and went in the (very hot) blink of an eye. Set at DirtFish, Kito & Katie of NorthWest Rally Association hosted two days of advanced and novice workshops, two race days, and a whole lot of fun.

Battles were had in every class. Some drivers competing for milliseconds, final laps and clean runs became essential, and seeing through dust became a superpower we all desperately craved.

I got to pull out my ‘86 Merkur XR4Ti (lovingly named Lady Avocado) for race weekend, running alongside the legendary ‘74 Volkswagen Super Beetle, the ‘86 Toyota MR2, the ‘95 BMW 318ti, and so many other little rippers.

Each driver got to run two courses. The first course was tight and technical, utilizing DirtFish’s skid pad areas and giving drivers the opportunity to showcase their skills on all types of conditions: dirt, gravel, and pavement. The second course provided longer, sweeping gravel roads, allowing cars to gain some real momentum before their two hairpin spectator turns – during which I was very grateful for Lady Avocado’s new handbrake.

It was hot. With all four days inching towards 100°F (38°C), drivers also faced the challenge of overheating cars and overheating themselves. But this brought out the best in all of us too.

Teams had cases of water ready to be shared. Competitors leaned into others’ cars to ensure that its driver was feeling okay. Grid workers handed out ice cubes and course workers shared umbrellas.


This is the part of rallycross that I love the most, I think. That despite us all clenching our jaws with the desire to win, we get to jump out of the car, talk to our line-mates, and really know that we’re looking out for each other.

That at the end of the day, we’re all just rally nerds sliding sideways with dirt in our teeth.

Oh, and the champagne. The podium-makers are pretty generous in their sharing of that too.

Words:Josie Rimmer

Photography:Karl Noakes & Peng Du