by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Jason Swoboda

A number of Rally America National Championship competitors return to action in this weekend’s Sno*Drift Summer Rally for the first time since May’s Southern Ohio Forest Rally or earlier. We’ll be profiling some of those competitors all week long leading up to the event!

The return of the Rally America National Championship to the state of Michigan has brought out a number of the Great Lake State’s top teams to play again. Blind Deer Rallysport has certainly met that description this year, as Jimmy Pelizzari and Kate Stevens have found themselves in the top portion of the results every time they’ve competed this year.

After ending the 2017 season with a pair of DNFs at Southern Ohio Forest Rally and Lake Superior Performance Rally, Pelizzari/Stevens bounced back with fourth place overall and third in the Open Light class at Sno*Drift. Having previously taken regional podiums in the Open class at the event, it was perhaps no surprise to see them contending for an overall podium at the national level after a few years of experience.

But the successes haven’t stopped there. Pelizzari teamed with Ryan Dunham at Rally in the 100 Acre Wood, an event where he DNFed two years ago and didn’t compete last year, for a 12th place overall finish; they were only 12 seconds short of Arek Bialobrzeski and Aris Mantopoulos for another Open Light class podium. Then, at SOFR, Pelizzari and Stevens reunited to finish 11th overall and a respectable sixth in what was a remarkably deep class at the event.

Saturday’s Sno*Drift Summer Rally will see Pelizzari/Stevens hit the road seventh, just behind fellow Open Light competitors Michael and Lauren Engle. While they didn’t finish SDSR in 2016, their most recent attempt at the event, this January’s results at what was a less snowy Sno*Drift than usual should foreshadow a competitive performance, and perhaps a solid points weekend.