America's bid for World Rally Championship shifts into high gear with Tennessee Rally

America's bid for World Rally Championship shifts into high gear with Tennessee Rally

Festus Chuma 20:00 - 05.05.2024

Tennessee Rally USA will showcase Chattanooga's potential to host a World Rally Championship round, aiming for inclusion in the 2026 calendar.

America’s bid for a round of the World Rally Championship will shift into high gear with the upcoming Tennessee Rally USA. 

Set to take place from June 14-16 in Chattanooga the event promises to showcase the potential for a U.S.-based WRC round a possibility eagerly anticipated since 1988.

Spanning three days, the rally features 14 challenging stages covering 68 competitive miles. 

Designed to mirror the format of a WRC round the event includes two loops of three stages on both Saturday and Sunday interspersed with service breaks. 

The action-packed weekend will conclude with a spectator-friendly stage near the heart of the city.

Entries for the rally are now open, with a cap at 45 participants, ensuring a focused and high-quality field. 

While the event adheres to American Rally Association (ARA) regulations, it does not count towards the national championship placing a clear emphasis on its exhibition nature.

The festivities commence on Friday evening at AT&T Field home of the Chattanooga Lookouts where a ceremonial start and parc expose will set the stage for the competitive action to follow.

 Both days of service will be held at Polk County High School, with the grand finale unfolding alongside the iconic Chattanooga Choo-Choo train.

Reflecting on the strategic approach to introducing a WRC round in the U.S., WRC event director Simon Larkin emphasized the importance of a meticulously planned entry into the American market. 

"The USA will not be ready for 2025, 100%," Larkin stated in a recent interview with 

 “When we go to the US, we want to do more than just hold a rally. We aim to create an event that resonates deeply, as this market is significant. We’re focused on establishing a legacy, not just making up numbers."

Larkin also highlighted the ongoing support from state and regional governments and noted that securing additional funding remains a critical step: “We have strong backing already. It’s now about putting the final pieces of funding in place.”

This progression from a demonstration to an exhibition rally represents a deliberate approach by the WRC to ensure that when a full-fledged round is held in the U.S. it meets all expectations for success and sustainability.

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