Thursday, April 08, 2010

The 2009 Ojibwe Forest Rally

When I noticed a post on the blog A Continuous Lean about Audi rally racing and how the Quattro four-wheel-drives changed the sport in the early 80s, I was reminded of a summer a few years ago when I got to watch a rally race in the Northern Minnesota forests near Bemidji.

The most exciting part was a nighttime section fo the race in dense forest. It would pitch black, and then you'd hear a rumbling. The trees would start to glow, like a UFO landing, and the rumbling would turn into screaming as a rally car reached the crest of a hill near where we were allowed to stand along the narrow dirt trail. All of a sudden, the car would burst over the hill with its rows of high beams blazing. The crowd would gasp and camera flashes would barely capture the action.

I'm still looking for some video online from that year's race, but I did find some great footage from other years in the Ojibwe Forest Rally.

Here's a high-speed rollover from 2009 in which both driver and navigator of this 2001 Dodge walk away unhurt:



And here's some dashboard footage from the same race. This Volkswagen Golf is negotiating some twists in the forest in a night stage.



And finally, here's a great video of an Audi in the Pike's Peak Rally in 1987 (the Audi action starts about 24 seconds in):

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