Finding the right spots on stage always takes a lot of effort, time, and gas. Last year at Sandblast I was hanging at tech the day before the rally, took a look at a media handout put together by Kevin Allen back before he started competing, and chose a corner to shoot, site unseen. This year at I spent the day before the rally, looking for locations with Brakim Racing’s photography Matt Stryker. We found some awesome spots, but after driving most of Stage 1, Hunter’s Pond Reverse, I’ll need to pull off my WRX’s wheels. before heading back to New Jersey, to get all the caked sand and clay removed, the car turns into a massage chair above 60 mph.
Once again Sandblast has a ridiculous number of entrants, 93 entrants split evenly between Rally Moto and stage rally cars. The large ruts, sand and water traps, and freezing temperatures tomorrow don’t make me envy the Rally Moto guys one bit, they’re going to have a very long, cold and wet day ahead of them.
Before Parc Expose down in Chesterfield, SC, Matt and I hit up the shakedown stage. Running from about 4:00-6:30pm. All the teams that needed to adjust their setups and just get comfortable at rally speeds again the time they needed. It also gave me a chance to realize how horrible it is to walk a mile on uneven sand. Despite there apparently being plenty of space to park a few hundred yards the corners I was shooting, the only way I could have parked farther was if I parked before the start line.
There’s going to be lots of impressive competition out there tomorrow, with tons of skilled drivers and riders. If you’re anywhere near Cheraw, you need to get down here!
Stage notes from Villa Cseh of Jonas Racing.
All other photos by Jordan Apgar Photography.