|08/18/09 11:52AM||American Maple Museum, Black River Stages, NASA Rally Sport, Racing, rally, Sports Car Rally|
Black River Stages Now Second Largest Stage Rally in U.S. for 2009
Black River Stages, a stage rally located in Lewis County, New York, is already the second largest stage rally in the USA and is still growing. The current entry total stands at 49 car and motorcycle teams registered and paid for the event. Black River Stages, which is sanctioned by NASA Rally Sport and will take place the weekend of September 19 and 20, is still accepting entries.
Black River Stages has surpassed last year’s entries (48) and with six weeks left is expected to keep growing. Anders Green, the event organizer, says ‘We only count and show paid entries on our web site. Until the final week, there’s usually half a dozen teams that have paperwork in but haven’t paid yet. I’m confident we’ll set new records. It’s great because each new team adds to the economic impact for the area. It also makes for a great show for the fans.’
‘An event this size is challenging.’ says Jeff Denton, Chief of Scoring for the event. ‘Each team adds another time card to be counted, another vehicle to be inspected, another car or bike to be tracked by the radio net, or another vehicle for sweep to watch for on stage. Even though it’s more work for the volunteers all around, it’s still loads of fun.’
This year has been a tough year for rally racing across the country as the declining economy has hit home for many racers. Most stage rally events have seen a decline in entries of 20 - 30%. The only other events to have grown in 2009 are Rally Tennessee, posting a modest 6% increase, the New England Forest Rally, which had a significant 45% increase in entries, and the Idaho Rally, which had a massive 90% increase in entries. The New England Forest Rally’s jump moved it to third largest rally overall in the U.S. The largest rally, for the second year in a row, is still the Sandblast Rally, which had about 20% more teams participate than any other event in 2009.
Black River Stages is growing in more than entries. Last year the event added a new stage to the mix. This year, by moving both racing days to the weekend — a move requested by the towns that support the event — the schedule was able to expand to allow an additional running of the Friday night stages. The total racing distance is now around 90 miles.
The race follows the traditional stage rally format. Multiple racing sections, each called a ’stage’, are connected by ‘transit’ sections. The stages are closed gravel roads with flat-out, full speed racing. The transits are on open public roads, where the street-legal cars and motorcycles are given plenty of time to leisurely make their way to the next closed, timed racing section.
Spectators wanting to come out and see the race should get more information at blackriverstages.com. There will also be time to meet the competitors just before racing begins on Saturday at the American Maple Museum in Croghan, NY.