Sunday at DirtFish? It’s May-Hem

The Northwest Rally Association kicks off its 2024 season at DirtFish Rally School this weekend - and almost anything goes


Ever wondered where you could race a stock Ford Focus at the same event as a full on Impreza WRX rally car? Or where you could take your Tesla Model 3 and throw it around in the dirt?

May-Hem at the Mill, that’s where.

Rallycross has become an important part of the DirtFish calendar, and the Northwest Rally Association knows all about creating events where people can have fun in just about any car, all while sharing their passion for racing on the dirt.

This Sunday it kicks off its 2024 rallycross season with May-Hem at the Mill, which uses just some of the awesome roads available to us at DirtFish. We’ve been working with NWRA for 10 years hosting rallycross events, including the annual Rallycross Fest, which will take place for the ninth time this July.


RX Fest is a popular summer event - and it's just for Subarus

But this week it’s all about the May-Hem.

Following on from the successful finale of the 2023 Winter Series, this weekend’s event will use a very similar format. Two separate courses are located within the 315-acre DirtFish property, with a transit section between them.

It’s a unique approach for rallycross and gives the event a touch of that rally feeling, as competitors will have to carefully navigate transit between their runs.

Each course is 0.75 miles long and before the racing starts, competitors will get the chance to walk both and decide just how hard they dare to push themselves and their cars.


Fancy taking your Corvette onto the stages? Be our guest

The runs themselves are separated into two groups, Run Group 1 and Run Group 2, which take place in the morning and the afternoon respectively.

This system means that competitors spend half the day racing and the other half volunteering. If they start the morning behind the wheel, in the afternoon they will be running start and stop lines, taking care of timing and helping to move cars safely around the grid. Those working in the morning then get their chance to drive in the afternoon.

This is proper grassroots racing. It’s the passion of the competitors, and their willingness to take off their helmets and volunteer, that makes it all possible.

It’s popular too. The 150 entry slots sold out almost immediately, showing just how much demand there is for affordable motorsport, and how important grassroots rallycross is to finding the next generation of drivers, volunteers and fans.

Entry-level events like May-Hem attract a big range of cars, so the grid is split into four categories. There is a class for almost everyone, no matter what they want to race.


The humble Ford Focus is a popular choice among the front-wheel-drive fraternity

The Stock category is for street cars that are almost 100% as they rolled out of the factory. Prepared allows some light modifications, while Modified is for the highest-spec builds and is where you will find full-on rally cars. The final category is Open, which is for more specialized stuff like sand rails, UTVS and one-off builds.

Each of these is further divided into front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, with the Modified AWD class also split for turbocharged and normally-aspirated engines. Open is slightly different, and is simply divided into two- and four-wheel drive.

As you would imagine, Subarus feature heavily in the AWD classes, but the overall variety of cars shows just how diverse rallycross is. Whether you’ve bought an old beater to race until it breaks, or have built your dream competition car, it will find a home at May-Hem.



Feast your eyes on the Toyota Celica GT-Four ripping up the roads

To prove the point, this weekend you’ll see a World Rally Championship icon in the shape of a Toyota Celica GT-Four, while the Ford Focus is a popular FWD choice. Then there are Porsches, Datsuns, BMWs and, yes, even a Tesla Model 3.

Adding some extra interest are a number of DirtFish entries, including our newest instructor Jack Ramie, who will be driving a Volvo 240 DL in Stock RWD. He is joined by fellow instructor Kip Tischer in his Modified RWD BMW 318ti, while head instructor Jack Harrison will also be taking part, driving a normally-aspirated Subaru Outback in the Modified AWD class.

With such a great mix of cars and drivers, and it all taking place on the challenging roads of DirtFish Rally School, May-Hem is sure to be a fantastic day.

Registration for this weekend’s event is already closed but, if you would like to spectate, more information is available on the NWRA website. Spectating is free, you just need to sign a waiver when you enter the property, and then enjoy the May-Hem.