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A Midsummer Forest Race Sees the BRCC Team Fighting for the Podium

After a rough weekend in New England, the BRCC rally team is working to regain control of their championship spots at the Ojibwe Forests Rally next month in Minnesota. 


The annual two-day midsummer New England Forest Rally (NEFR) covers approximately 115 miles of competition track over dirt and gravel logging roads. This rally has been a part of the competition since 1994, with stages that cover the forest roads of Maine and New Hampshire.


According to the American Rally Association website, the one thing that is present in all of the stages are hills and jumps. NEFR has cars see more total airtime than they do anywhere else on the calendar. Jumps over crests, jumps under braking, jumps leading directly into sharp corners. NEFR challenges teams to controlled flight. 


“This particular area [the New England region] is a hotbed of rally racing,” Jeremy Meyer, ARA director of business and marketing, explained. “This pocket of rally racing has helped grow the sport over the years. That’s what makes this event successful; the roads are killer, elevations are tough, there’s big rocks and jumps, and it’s just a really cool atmosphere. This is a popular stop and a well-run event with a ton of history behind it, and we easily see between five- and six-thousand people actively participating; that’s spectators and competitors.”


 

 


BRCC’s team for this rally was on the smaller side for the midsummer event, with only Travis Pastrana and Rhinanon Gelsomino competing as part of the rally team. However, there was a new player in the race with the BRCC logo on its car: Racing for Heroes, a veteran-owned nonprofit that uses motorsports as an outlet and form of therapy for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress. Driver Waylan “Tony” Lacy drove in support of Racing for Heroes with a sponsorship from BRCC. 


Photo by Josh Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.

“Overall, from an operational standpoint, the rally has been pretty uneventful,” Meyer said. “But it’s been great racing; they keep swapping stage wins, which is what you want — multiple people winning stages. There’s some great battles going on, so it’s going to come down to power stages and points, and this is a major event and turning point for the end of the year championship run. After this, we only have three national [rally events] left.”

The race results for the entire team were as follows:

Travis Pastrana: third place overall and third in class O4WD

Texas Dave, Tom Williams, Mike Glover, and Bucky Lasek didn’t compete.


Photo by Josh Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.

This weekend was Gelsomino’s ninth time competing in the NEFR, and she has crewed with six different drivers during the previous races. Gelsomino and Pastrana’s first time racing this rally together was last year, since the 2020 event was canceled because of COVID-19. 


 

 


Pastrana and Gelsomino are holding on to second place in the ARA Rally Championship after the NERF. Williams is now in fourth place, and Carapetyan is seated at 16th place. Glover is in 27th, and Lasek is not in the running.


Where to find the team next: The team heads to Minnesota for the Ojibwe Forests Rally, Aug. 19-20.