Meet Sno*Drift, the USA’s premier winter rally

On your mark, get set… cars line up during the ceremonial start for day two of Sno*Drift. [credit:
Gregory Leporati ]

There’s something special about a winter rally, from the snow-covered forest views to the crisp, chilly winds—and, of course, the colorful cars hurtling past snowbanks at 100 miles per hour. Scandinavian countries have long enjoyed a winter rally tradition, which includes Finland’s inimitable Arctic Lapland Rally and the long-running Rally Sweden. But the USA has also staked its own modest claim to winter rally. Sno*Drift, held in Atlanta, Michigan, is the American Rally Association’s first race of the calendar year and starts the season off with a bang, as drivers face freezing rain, icy roads, and even raging bonfires—all while racing in street-legal cars.
“Winter conditions are the great equalizer,” said Mark Rokus, one of this year’s competitors who chatted with me while proudly showing off his ’85 Volkswagen GTI during Parc Expose. “There are a lot of cars here with more horsepower than mine,” he said, “but in conditions like these, what matters most is being able to drive it into a corner without scaring yourself to death!”
Unlike European rallies, Sno*Drift does not allow studded tires, making for particularly grueling conditions as drivers struggle for grip heading into each turn. “The main reason for this rule is that we run on state roads,” said Alex Berger, who served as chairman of this year’s Sno*Drift. “In the state of Michigan, you need special permissions to do that, and we’re trying to minimize our impact on the community.”Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments
Source: Car news one

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