56 OCTOBER 2020 scca.comFEATURE
The United States RoadRally Challenge is back, and this year’s eventis shaping up to be an offeringyou won’t want to miss. Aftera year’s absence, the USRRChits the streets over the Nov.
13-15, 2020, weekend, with thesoutheast Michigan communityof Whitmore Lake serving asthe event’s rally headquarters.
Designed as a celebrationof rallying, the USRRC annuallybrings together SCCA National,Divisional, and RegionalRoadRally teams from acrossthe country for a weekendof rallying, socializing, benchracing – or in this case, “bench”rallying – and camaraderie. Thisyear hosted by SCCA’s DetroitRegion, the 2020 USRRC willfeature National Touring rallieson Friday and Saturday, Nov.
13-14, and a Divisional Courserally on Sunday, Nov. 15.
The Detroit Region lasthosted “the Challenge” in 2012,when Whitmore Lake also servedas the rally’s headquarters.
The community was notonly the focus of the 2012
USRRC, but because of itsproximity to great rally roads andsoutheastern Michigan scenery,it also often serves as thelocus for other Detroit RegionRoadRally events, observesveteran Detroit Region rallyistand 2020 USRRC committeemember John Fishbeck.
“Here in south-centralMichigan, we’ve got a variety ofroads that twist and turn, and
MOTOR CIT Y,HERE WE COME
For the 2020 USRRC, SCCA’s Detroit Region promises a RoadRallyweekend full of thrills | WORDS James Heine | IMAGES Jeff Fishbeck
a lot of unpaved roads that are
fun to drive and challenging
sometimes to stay on time on,”
he says. “We run them again
and again, and everybody
continues to have a great time.”
The pace on Detroit Region
rallies tends to be quick enough
to be entertaining without
becoming unsafe, Fishbeck adds,
which makes the rallies engaging
for drivers and navigators alike.
“We are going to have threeexcellent events that I thinkpeople will enjoy,” Fishbeck says.
And south-central Michigan’sweather in early November?
Well, it can be anything, from
80-degree F days to suddensloppy snowstorms, so beprepared, warns Fishbeck.
For teams concerned aboutthe coronavirus, Fishbeck notesthe Region’s USRRC committeeis working hard to amelioratethe vulnerabilities posed byCovid- 19. “We’re doing ourbest to mitigate that, and tokeep people safe,” he notes.
To that end, this year’s
USRRC will probably be a bare-
bones event in terms of social
gatherings, Detroit Region rally
director Piotr Roszczenko had
noted earlier this year. “Looking
at the coronavirus situation,
I think we would do a bare-
bones event – no gatherings,
no meals together, online-only
registration and waivers,” he
had said. “Handouts [would
be] packaged three days in
advance and quarantined.”
“Michigan is actually in pretty
good shape,” Fishbeck notes
(this is early August). “We went
through a surge back in the April
timeframe. But our governor,
Gretchen Whitmer, was forceful
in clamping down activity in the
state to contain the virus, and
that’s been fairly effective.”
As for the rallies themselves,
all three – To Hell and Back
(Friday), Pavement Ends
(Saturday), and Are You
Territorial? (Sunday) – will
be helmed by experienced
rallymasters, Fishbeck reports.
“Scott Harvey Jr., longtime
stage rallyist and rallymaster
for Son of Sno*Drift, one of
our Region’s most popular and
longest-running RoadRallies, is
the rallymaster for To Hell and
Back. John Kytasty, whose work
ethic and smarts are an asset
to rallying and the Region, is
the rallymaster for Pavement
Ends. And Bruce Fisher, now
the longtime rallymaster
of Press on Regardless
and the 2019 recipient of
the SCCA’s Robert V. Ridges
Memorial Award, is organizing
Are You Territorial? All three
rallies will be great events.”
For those unfamiliar with
Michigan geography and history,
the “hell” in Friday’s To Hell
and Back National Touring
rally refers to Hell, Mich.
Because of the coronaviruspandemic, all three rallies willlikely use Richta GPS checkpointapps for timekeeping (readmore about that in the lastissue of SportsCar), maybe in
SIGN UP NOWCHALLENGES APLEN T Y
The 2020 United StatesRoadRally Challenge willsee competitors coming andgoing on a variety of thrillingMichigan roads (ABOVEand RIGH T), witnessinghistorical points of interestalong the way (FAR RIGHT).