by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Rally America

It may only be a one-day event, but don’t sleep on the importance of Sno*Drift Summer Rally to determining the 2018 Rally America National Championship.

At eight stages and 46.38 stage miles, it’s certainly shorter than the two-day event at Rally Colorado that ran last weekend. The terrain will also be quite different from Colorado’s desert sand, albeit more familiar to most of the series, as the August companion to January’s Sno*Drift. Between less snow on the roads in the winter event and the blind rally format that doesn’t allow notes or recce, those who competed here earlier this year should come in with an advantage.

In total, more than two dozen entries are currently signed up for the event, including a number of the series’ top championship contenders. This year’s Sno*Drift was won by current championship leaders Dave and Mike Brown, and they’ll return to action after they were the fastest car on nine of 12 stages in Colorado. Their top championship rivals, Piotr Fetela/Dominik Jozwiak, will also get back going after gearbox issues knocked them out of Colorado from the overall lead after SS3. Fetela/Jozwiak will be first on the road, with Brown/Brown behind them.

Defending Sno*Drift Summer Rally winners Nathan Usher/Marianna Langosch are among the top contenders returning to action after skipping Colorado. Usher/Langosch, who also won December’s Nemadji Winter Trail Rally, will look to make it two in a row as they hit the road third in their Open Light car. Other returning teams include fellow Open Light entrants Jimmy Pelizzari/Kate Stevens, B-spec’s Doug Gekiere and Matthew Hoffman, and the Open entry of Henry and Cynthia Krolikowski.

After last year’s event saw a number of stewards take part, this year’s Sno*Drift Summer Rally will feature a number of father-daughter teams. First on the start list are Michael and Lauren Engle (sixth on the road), followed by Mike and Katherine Hurst (eighth) and Steve and Katie Gingras (11th). Hurst topped Gingras in last year’s Stewards’ Challenge.

This year’s Sno*Drift Summer Rally will take place on Saturday, August 4. Stay tuned to rally-america.com and on Rally America social media channels for coverage throughout the weekend.