Rally In The 100 Acre Wood is coming up next weekend.
I first attended 100 Acre Wood in 2016, which is a fancy way of saying I’ve been twice. How did I find myself standing in the rain in a Missouri forest on a cold Spring day?
ESPN introduced me to Colin McRae and his “if in doubt, flat-out” philosophy. I was a bored college student with eight-to-twelve classes and afternoons free, while ESPN was a 24-hour network filling slow periods in its programming with obscure European sports (coming in July — LE TOUR!). Turbo-charged compact sedans dodging trees at 100mph on gravel roads punched all my inner-redneck buttons. As the most accomplished rally driver of his generation, McRae throttled Subaru into the hearts and minds of the next generation of drivers. Certainly into mine.
20 years after careening down forested roads with Colin McRae, and right in time for my mid-life crisis, I found myself in the virtual backseat with David Higgins and Craig Drew, careening around rural America. Subaru’s cinematic YouTube series, Launch Control, became part of the research for purchasing my Subaru WRX. One of the episodes featured 100 Acre Wood. Watching American rally online, you get used to words like “Oregon”, “Vermont”, and “Susquehanna” (okay, maybe you never get used to that last one — hello, spell-check), so an event within driving distance piqued my curiosity.
My first 100 Acre Wood was a last-minute, chaotic event. Subaru Rally Team USA brought Higgins & Drew, as well as Travis Pastrana and co-driver, Christian Edstrom. The presence of Pastrana attracted the Nitro Circus/X-Games fans, which meant large crowds and no rooms in town. With nothing resembling a plan, I booked a room 30 miles away, picked up a copy of the spectator guide at parc exposé, and proceeded to follow-the-leader to the organized spectator points. The trip from stage to stage was driving in a disco, as every oncoming Subaru flashed its high beams at my showroom new WRX. I left Missouri invigorated and determined to come back better prepared.
For my second trip to the event, I recruited a friend for company on the road, booked the same hotel in the nearby town of Licking (because you should never underestimate a clean hotel room in a town with an interesting name), and, most importantly, broke out Google Maps. Better organization meant we were able to enjoy more rally. Although SRTUSA was not present, Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive insures the brand’s popularity with rally teams, and it was well-represented among both racers and fans.
This year, not only is Subaru returning with Higgins and Drew, they’ve signed 17-year-old Oliver Solberg, RallyX Nordic champion and son of legendary Subaru driver, Petter Solberg. Also, YouTube viral video maestro, Ken Block is bringing his latest project — a rally classic Ford Escort Cosworth. With this kind of action lining up, I figured I’d better bring my A-game. I hit up Airbnb back in January, booked a place almost on part of the course, and, as soon as race organizers released the spectator guide, back out came Google Maps.
And, in the communal spirit of rally, I’m sharing my own version of the event organizers’ spectator guide. The adventure of following the race is part of the fun. So, if you’re in the area, come out and join in the mayhem. I hope you find the following helpful (as well as this). Finally, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and look for me on the road; I might have some goodies for you.
11:30 – 1:45 PM — Parc Expose’ & Welcome Ceremony — Potosi — Washington County Fairgrounds
1:49 PM — Stage 1 — Potosi Super Special — Spectator Stage
2:10 PM — Stage 2 — Floyd Tower
2:40 PM — Stage 3 — Pigeon Roost — Spectator Stage
3:00 PM — Stage 4 — Little Moses
4:00 PM — Stage 5 — Westover-Pandora — Spectator Stage
4:25 PM — Stage 6 — Huzzah Super Special — Spectator Stage
4:35 PM — Huzzah Valley Resort — Friday Service 1
6:00 PM — Stage 7— Floyd Tower
6:35 PM — Stage 8 — Pigeon Roost — Spectator Stage
6:50 PM — Stage 9 — Little Moses
7:50 PM — Stage 10 — Westover-Pandora — Spectator Stage
8:30 — Parc Exposé — Salem — 4th Street
10:25 — Stage 11 — Elders-Crooked Truck N — Spectator Stage
11:05 — Stage 12 — KP-Ollie Long — Spectator Stage
12:00 — Service 1 — Dent County Commons
1:30 — Stage 13 — Loop Southern
2:10 — Stage 14 — Scotia North — Spectator Stage
2:50 — Service 2 — Dent County Commons
4:20 — Stage 15 — Elders-Crooked Truck N — Spectator Stage
5:00 — Stage 16 — KP-Ollie Long — Spectator Stage
6:10— Victory Celebration— Dent County Commons