New England Forest Rally 2007

Last year I caught word of a somewhat local but big exposure rally on NASIOC.  I did a little digging and found out that the Maine Forest Rally was right around the area that my parents and I have been going on vacation since I was a little kid.  The Maine Forest Rally took place around Bethel, Maine which isn’t far from Rangeley.  As luck would have it my aunt and uncle bought a house in Rangeley a couple years back and were generous enough to offer it up any time I’d like.  So what did I do?  Head on up for a free place to stay and watch cars rocket through the woods on dirt roads.

Dave Forsberg and I left work a little early on Thursday for the Friday and Saturday race.  We went up through Maine on I-95 and went to Rumford and then got on Rt. 17 to hit Rangeley.  On our ride up there we saw a bunch of moose.  Maybe 4-5 and 3-4 deer in there too.  That was cool because it had been a while since I was up in Maine and seen one.  Dave had never seen one so that was good for him too.  The drive up was long but basically comfortable.  We were pretty careful once it got dark for the moose, but no problems arose.

Friday dawned and we headed down to Sunday River to get our assignments.  We volunteered for the event because it is much easier to spectate when you have special access to the course.  We were placed on spectator detail for the weekend which didn’t turn out too badly.  At first I was a little disappointed but in the end it was fine.

The first stage was in Mexico Rec Park and was the Red Bull jump.  The stage was only half a mile long but run twice.  The first time through we were on the second half of the stage near the finish.  It was good because the cars came through and did some drifting while spitting up rocks.  The second time through we went over to the jump.  Unfortunately the jump was getting a little eroded on the front and that caused a lot of cars to take it easy.  That and these stages were only the first mile of a 101 mile special stage race.

The second stage we worked was at Concord Pond.  This was a little more like I envisioned when we signed up.  We followed our crew chief down the course and parked our car in one of the little roads entering the course.  After a while some people from the three camps down the road came up to watch the race.  They were great to hangout with and brought us some chips and salsa, thanks guys!  After that stage we headed back to the house for some sleep because Saturday was going to be a long day.

Saturday we had to meet at Sunday River at 7:00, requiring us to leave the house around quarter of 6.  From Sunday River we headed to Berlin, NH.  This stage was interesting because it started on the tarmac in town and eventually went into the woods.  At this stage we got stationed at one of three streets entering the course.  Luckily this street wasn’t the crowded one and we didn’t need to flex our volunteer muscles.  This left lots of time for taking pictures.

After the Berlin stage we were done with our duties.  There were four stages left near Middle Dam in Maine.  With our volunteer access we were able to drive down the course to park our cars for spectating.  Others had to walk in.  These four stages had a common section to them.  This was great because we got to see the cars go by at speed a bunch of times.  Because of this we were able to walk up the road a bit and check the race out from a few different spots.  Our crew chief was on the ball and had us follow immediately after the course closed car on the last stage.  This allowed us to bypass all the traffic that would be going out of the stage.  It was kind of fun too because we were driving down the course when there were still a lot of spectators.  Kind of made me feel like a competitor.

Even though we put around 1200 miles on the Subie over the weekend it was lots of fun.  We got to see tons of Subarus and some fast driving.  I’ll be planning on going again next year.

Results and other info  

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