It's the first weekend in March. Spring is just around the corner here in South Carolina. And once again, it's time for rally cars and bikes to converge on the small town of Patrick and go racing in the Sand Hills State Forest. If you've never been to a rally before, though, there are a few important things you should know.
A 10 STEP GUIDE TO YOUR FIRST RALLY
1.) You will be driving, a lot - well, if you plan to see anything you will be. Make sure you have a full tank of gas at the beginning of the day. This particular event has seven stages.
2.) Have that cooler loaded down with drinks and snacks. There aren't any concession stands out in the woods.
3.) Speaking of being out in the woods, don't drive your stanced Civic to a rally event. You will be in off-road situations. You will encounter mud, sand, water, holes, and ruts. Drive an appropriate vehicle, such as a Subaru.
4.) You most likely will be speeding around all day just to keep up with the leaders. Stay safe out there.
5.) Bring a radio; it makes it much easier to keep up with the event's progress during the day and lets you be aware of delays.
6.) Bring a chair, unless you like standing on your feet all day.
7.) Buy a program or spectator guide. It will be your saving grace.
8.) SAND! Everywhere! Did I mention the sand? It will get everywhere - clothes, hats, sunglasses, vehicle, eyes, mouth, and in your hair. It will take some time to recover.
9.) Try to see all that you can. There's more to the event than just the race; go by the awards ceremony after the final stage; check out the cars, see them close up; get sprayed with champagne, celebrate with the winners.
10.) Have fun! That's what it all comes down to. Use your schedule to make the most of your day. Don't forget, use your head and stay safe out there. Motorsports are dangerous enough as is. Rally can be to a degree more for than the norm for spectators. Just think, stay in the designated spectator areas, and keep close watch on your kids if you bring them along.
(Secret no. 11.) Don't give your young children cowbells or a Vuvuzela - YOU WILL REGRET IT!
SANDBLAST RALLY 2016 RESULTS
1st - Toyota RAV4 no. 88 Ryan Millen/Christina Fate 1:01:28
2nd - Dodge Neon no. 36 Christopher Greenhouse/Daniel Norkus 1:05:07
3rd - BMW M3 no. 5 Lajos Jonas/Villa Cseh 1:06:34
1st - Mitsubishi EVO 9 no. 30 Patrick Brennan/Aaron Crescenti 56:00
2nd- Subaru Impreza WRX no. 85 Duncan Smith/Katherine LindrothGendron 56:12
3rd - Subaru Impreza WRX no. 70 Eric Wages/Sarah Montplaisir 58:02
Motorcycle Heavy Class
1st BMW HP2 Enduro no. 166 Joe Warner 1:24:14
2nd KTM 990 Adventure no. 159 Anthony Spingola 1:26:12
3rd BMW R100RRS no. 135 Jason Adams 1:34:12
Motorcycle Medium Class
1st Husaberg FE570 no. 114 Bobby Wooldridge 1:06:10
2nd KTM 530EXC no. 101 David Gilbertson 1:10:07
3rd KTM 500 XCW no. 117 Ken Anderson 1:12:29
Motorcycle Dakar Class
1st KTM 450 EXC no. 102 Malhon Godwin Time: 1:11:53
2nd BMW G450X no. 165 TJ Jarret II Time: 1:16:07
3rd KTM 450 XCW no. 164 Petr Vlcek Time: 1:21:36
Motorcycle Light Class
DNS Husqvarna TE310R no. 136 Mandy Rinne