Missouri awaits competitors for the second round of the 2011 Rally America National Championship, as the crews make their way to the rally base in Salem for the 100 Acre Wood Rally.
The current entry lists comprises some forty crews, who hope to embark on a solid points scoring event this weekend.
Canada’s Antoine L’Estage, the 2010 series champion, is aiming to get his championship defence underway after a disappointing retirement on the season opening Sno*Drift rally at the end of January.
Also looking for a good points haul will be the Subaru Rally Team USA pairing of David Higgins and Dave Mirra.
Higgins, the 2004 British Rally Champion also suffered on the Sno*Drift and failed to finish the event, whilst his team-mate Mirra went on to record his best ever finish in a National Championship event with second on the Sno*Drift.
Travis Hanson currently sits atop the championship standings after his record-making victory last time out.
Travis, alongside father Terry, guided their 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STi to outright victory on the Sno*Drift, the first time a Super Production class entry has claimed the overall victory in U.S. National Championship series.
The 100 Acre Wood features a stark contrast of stage conditions compared to those faced last time out in Michigan.
Moving away from the completely snow covered roads of the Sno*Drift, crews face a generally dry event, but one which often throws up some very changeable conditions throughout.
The host of tight and twisty, yet fast, roads can often fall foul to snow showers, ice and rain, and this weather factor will be in the back of the crews minds as they tackle the stages on their quest to score valuable championship points.
In 2010, Hanson claimed victory in the Super Production class of the 100 Acre Wood, finishing fifth overall, yet after his brilliant victory on the Sno*Driftt, will be looking to go better this time around in Missouri.
World Rally Championship convert Ken Block claimed the outright victory for the past four years, and this domination will cease with no entry from Block for 2011. L’Estage ran Block close in 2010, trailing by 20 seconds at the finish.
The 100 Acre Wood Rally takes places on the 25th and 26th February, and is set to be a truly community oriented event, with many locals in Salem offering their homes and places of business for use by crews taking part in the rally, a truly amazing show of support for the event.