2020 US Road Rally Challenge (USRRC)

What is the 2020 United States Road Rally Challenge (USRRC)?

The SCCA’s United States Road Rally Challenge, or the USRRC as it’s commonly known, is an opportunity for road rallyists from all around the country to come together to celebrate road rallying with 3 days of rallying. The annually held USRRC is hosted from year to year by the various SCCA Regions with road rally programs. This year the Detroit Region is proud to once again host the USRRC, having done so previously in 2012. The 2020 USRRC will be held Friday, November 13 through Sunday, November 15.

In more normal times this includes not only rallying, but opportunities to socialize and visit with rally friends old and new. Sadly, in these coronavirus pandemic times that aspect of the USRRC will be much restricted. But this year’s Detroit Region USRRC organizers have worked hard to ensure that there is still a USRRC to participate in, and that the event will be held with every effort made to protect participants against potential coronavirus threats.

Rally HQ is in Whitmore Lake, MI – on US-23 halfway between Ann Arbor and Brighton

Rally headquarters is the Days Inn at Whitmore Lake, MI. Whitmore Lake, a small town bordering on the adjacent lake sharing the same name, is ~35 miles NWW of Detroit. It’s a straight shot up US-23, 10 miles north of Ann Arbor. This location provides an excellent gateway into many of southern Michigan’s finest rally roads. There’ll be a mix of paved and unpaved roads, but the unpaved roads are maintained county roads and are traversable at rally speeds by the average rental car. But, ah, what roads! You’ll be treated to twisty drives through state recreation areas, cruises down sweeping vistas of farm fields and tree lines, skirt the edges of small lakes – all the while being timed along the way to test your skills at matching the rallymaster’s calculated times.

There will be 3 great road rallies over 3 days!

Each of the USRRC’s three days will feature a rally rallymastered by one of the Detroit Region’s experienced rallymasters. Friday opens up with Hell and Back, put on by Scott Harvey Jr. Scott is the rallymaster for Son of Snow Drift, a popular winter rally that’s been held for the past 21 years, and is a many time Region season champion as well as a multiple time winner of the Region’s challenging Press On Regardless rally. Scott will assuredly entertain you with a TSD Tour rally that will include a visit in Hell. Literally. For you points chasers this rally will count towards the National RoadRally Tour Championship, the Great Lakes Division and Detroit Region series. This is a novice friendly rally – the instructions are clear with no tricks, and mileaged to help ensure you stay on course.

Saturday John Kytasty takes the stage with his running of Pavement Ends. John has been the Pavement Ends chairman for several years now and has consistently put on a TSD rally that’s been enjoyed by the participants. John, with the able assistance of his compatriots, the rally team of Adam Spieszny and Piotr Roszczenko, are putting on a straightforward TSD Tour rally that will treat you to yet more of southern Michigan’s rallying territory. Like Hell and Back, Pavement Ends will count towards the National RoadRally Tour Championship, the Great Lakes Division and Detroit Region series. And like Hell and Back, this rally is novice friendly as well.

Bruce Fisher, the rallymaster extraordinaire of the Region’s legendary Press On Regardless rally and the recipient of this year’s Robert V. Ridges Award, the highest honor within the SCCA RoadRally Program, is putting on Are You Territorial? on Sunday. Unlike Hell and Back and Pavement Ends, this rally is a Course, or ‘trap’ rally. This event will challenge your ability to read and comprehend the route following rules in the general instructions, and then use those rules to follow the route while avoiding Bruce’s attempts to lead you astray. This is an automotive Rubik’s Cube. While it is experienced rallyists who will be most equipped for this, novice rallyists are encouraged to give it a try and sample this flavor of road rallying. Are You Territorial? takes its name from Bruce’s theme for the rally, in that it will wander on and around and about Territorial Road. This is a Divisional event, counting towards Great Lakes Division and Detroit Region series.

Events Schedule

All events will start at the USRRC rally HQ: Days Inn, 9897 Main Street, Whitmore Lake

Friday, November 13: Hell and Back (Tour Rally)
11:01 AM – First Car Receives route instructions
12:01 PM – First Car Starts
8:00 PM – First Car Finishes
Hell and Back counts towards the 2021 National RoadRally Tour Championship, the Great Lakes Division and Detroit Region series

Saturday, November 14: Pavement Ends (Tour Rally)
11:01 AM – First Car Receives route instructions
12:01 PM – First Car Starts
8:00 PM – First Car Finishes
Pavement Ends counts towards the 2021 National RoadRally Tour Championship, the Great Lakes Division and Detroit Region series

Sunday, November 15: Are You Territorial? (Course Rally)
7:15 AM – First Car Receives route instructions
8:01 AM – First Car Starts
1:40 PM – First Car Finishes
Are You Territorial? counts towards the 2021 National RoadRally Course Championship and Detroit Region Championship

2020 USRRC will use the Richta GPS timing and scoring apps

Ensuring the safety and health of USRRC participants in this time of the coronavirus threat is of the highest importance to the Region’s USRRC organizers. The rally community is fortunate that just as this unpleasant situation descended on us a technological solution to avoiding contact at controls and among rally workers has become available. The Detroit Region has now used the Richta GPS-based timing and scoring system for three of its most recent rallies – Pavement Ends in November of ’19, and Son of Snow Drift and Press On Regardless this year. The Region was an early adopter of this technology and has now had significant experience utilizing this system for timing and scoring TSD road rallies.

All three 2020 USRRC rallies will use the Richta system for scoring and timing. If you haven’t had the opportunity yet to use the Richta system and are unclear about what is, how it works, and what you need to do to run using it, then click here to head over to our page about the Richta system.

The USRRC in a pandemic year

Whew. 2020 has been quite a year. If anything, this means even more that we rallyists need an opportunity to get out on America’s roads and enjoy this passion for driving about. That said, the Region takes very seriously the need to provide protection against infection by the coronavirus so that rallyists can come and enjoy the event with becoming ill. To that end the USRRC organizers have put into place numerous measures to minimize or eliminate contact.

Sadly, there’ll won’t be the usual socializing, post-rally dinners, drinks and awards, and related activity that forms a core of the rally experience. But the Detroit Region just put on the Press On Regardless rally for 26 teams, where people did get a chance to visit outside at gas stops and breaks while remaining appropriately distanced and exercising appropriate caution.

Here are some of the various steps the organizing committee has taken to ensure there is a minimum of potential virus spreading contact:

  • Online registration on MotorsportReg only, no walk-ins.
  • Online waiver at Speedwaiver.com or SCCA hard card annual waiver only
  • Route instructions will be prepared and packaged days ahead; competitors will pick up their own RIs
  • Richta timing and scoring apps will be used, eliminating person-to-person contact at checkpoints
  • Observing Michigan governor’s current orders regarding COVID-19
  • Use of face masks required whenever folks are away from their car.
  • No after-rally indoor rendezvous gathering.
  • Trophies will be mailed to the winners.
  • Proper social distancing required at all times

While obviously there can be no guarantees of absolute COVID-19 safety, those considerations listed above demonstrate how committed the USRRC organizing committee is to providing a 2020 USRRC that is as safe as possible.