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I’ll try to keep this as short as possible, but there’s a lot to cover!

Southern Ohio Forest Rally (SOFR) – May 19/20, 2017 – Chillicothe, Ohio – a Rally America event. This could be called “Sunriser Returns” since the roads are all old Sunriser stages. Almost all stages are run at least twice during the same day, so you can get more than one spectating opportunity at most locations. There will also be a Super Special stage at the end of each day. There’s a lot of enthusiasm surrounding this event, but – since this is its first year – volunteers are really needed!

My buddy Kevin and I will be there and, if all goes well, this will be my WRX’s first rally assignment! We’re supposed to run as Car 00, which means that we’ll be on course ahead of the rally cars. We make sure that the course is clear and check all the controls (checkpoints) and marshal locations to make sure they’re properly set up and staffed and that their timing equipment is accurate.

We’d really appreciate it if you can come and volunteer. No experience is necessary for many jobs and you’ll get the obligatory free T-shirt and an invite to the after-party (parties?). Camping will also be available. I know that most of you on this forum are too young to remember the Sunriser stages in central Ohio, but take it from someone who raced on them – THESE ROADS ARE AWESOME!!! They’re very fast and technical and make for great spectating! If you’re not ready to volunteer, then come out and watch – the crowds are always friendly.
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Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) – June 2/3, 2017 – Wellsboro, Pennsylvania – an American Rally Association event. STPR is one of the oldest and best-known stage rallies in North America. For me, it’s a “must-do” every year. I think I’ve missed only one or two STPRs since 1985. The roads here are very challenging with varying surfaces (hard-pack dirt, lots of clay and some gravel) and fantastic elevation changes. This is STPR’s first year under the new ARA banner, so we’ll have to see how well their usually excellent organization transitions to the new ARA governing body.

I’ll be trading ends of the rally here – running Safety Sweep with my friend John in his WRX wagon. We’ll be following the last rally car and will have multiple responsibilities: look for and report any competitors who are off the road or broken down, provide basic first-aid to anyone injured and pull-out any competitor who requests help out of a soft-off. This job really tests your ham radio skills, as you’re in almost constant contact with Net Control. If I’m counting right, this will be my fifth year to run Safety Sweep at STPR, and yes, I love my job!

While STPR usually has a full complement of volunteers, a few more are always welcome; as are spectators. STPR’s website got hacked recently, but they also have a Facebook page which has all the info. You can get to either site through this link:

As above, camping will be available at the fairgrounds and there’ll be Super Special stages both evenings. Volunteers will get T-shirts and party invites, too. FWIW, EVERYONE shows up at these parties – drivers, co-drivers, crews, organizers and volunteers – so you get the chance to meet all kinds of new people!

Hope to see you at a rally!
Dave B. - AKA 5UBE
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