By on June 24, 2016

Maine Winter Rally

Summer officially began this week, meaning we are about as far away as humanly possible from the dark and stormy depths of winter. A perfect time, then, to watch action from the 1997 Maine Winter Forest Rally.

Ages ago, the event was part of the SCCA ProRally schedule and later became a Rally America sanctioned event held mainly on logging roads with some of the longest stages on the schedule. The event is now billed as the New England Forest Rally, held in the summer months, running this year on July 15-16.

In 1999, an actual Stig drove an Escort Cossie to victory over 83 other teams.

The Real Racing series has featured clips and entire races from years past. On occasion we questioned you on the content of the video but most times it was simply part of a deceitful plan encouraging the B&B to whittle away their work hours while consuming shameful amounts of their employers’ bandwidth. Down with productivity!

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7 Comments on “Real Racing: 1997 SCCA Maine Winter Forest Rally...”


  • avatar
    jhughes

    I wish there was still this kind of US stage rally TV coverage! Good stuff, and John Buffum is great at explaining things.

    I worked the last winter rally they had. It was a one day out-and-back-and-out-and-back along the same stage. Lots of fun. I think Stig won there, too.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    According to Jack Baruth, rallying is not racing. Although in my dim recollection of the article I don’t know how he distinguished it from endurance racing. I do wish it was on tv though. Remember what the Speed channel was like before nascar bought it?

  • avatar
    alterboy21

    This is real racing and fantastic. Too bad rally has never really caught in the US. World Rally Championship is huge everywhere else in the world.

    TAD Motorsports, based out in Lake Zurich, Illinois, prepared most of the Mitsubishi ProRally cars you see here. When I was a young pup I had them work on my plebeian Galant VR4. Their mechanical capability, cars, and stories were always great. Wonder where Murray is now..

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    We all know winter is coming. So I see no reason not to stock up on rally vehicles.

  • avatar
    fiasco

    First rally I attended. Got there and the person in charge of the workers (Hi, Diane!) said to me: “There’s John Buffum over there, go see him and do what he says.”

    It may have been my first rally, but I sure as hell knew who Buffum was. So I go over to him, and he says to follow him in the conga line to the first set of stages. I ask him what he’s driving and he says “Red Audi 4000.” Since there were three of them in the parking lot, I ask which one.

    “The one without plates.”

    That’s a pretty good summary of rally nearly 20 years ago.

    Plenty of fun keeping my XR4Ti on the road (except for one stuff, thank you Nokia(n) for the Hakka 10), met people who became lifelong friends and now share seat time in a Lemons car with me.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      You kept up with Buffum in a licensed road car? I salute your stones.

      • 0 avatar
        fiasco

        It was the workers conga line out to the stages. Not on stage. And the Audi was a street car as well. No shenanigans, although the stage roads were very treacherous. My friend got good at the “push to get the car rolling then outrun the car to hop in” as the Nokia snows finally caught (open diff, rear drive).


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