New England Forest Rally brings national rally racing series to northern New England


David Higgins competing at the New England Forest Rally

The New England Forest Rally (NEFR) is an annual two-day stage rally race that takes place on the back roads and forest roads of western Maine and northern New Hampshire on July 21-22, 2017. Competitors come from the United States, Canada, and beyond to drive legal vehicles on the road in high-speed competition stages staged on temporarily closed roads. Residents and visitors to the area can also see these cars driving on public roads, obeying posted speed limits to reach their next stage of competition.

The New England Forest Rally is a favorite among competitors due to the technical and challenging demands of the local roads. Competitors cover hundreds of kilometers in two days, with speeds exceeding 100 mph. Several world-famous drivers are involved as well as notable personalities from action sports and the automobile industry. The Subaru USA rally team entered two cars with action sports legend Travis Pastrana and multiple championship winner David Higgins.

Based at the Sunday River ski area in Bethel, ME, fans can enjoy free spectators and festivities right in the base area of ​​the resort. “Parc Exposé” takes place every morning where teams parade their cars in an open space, fans can congregate, mingle with competitors, get autographs and see the cars up close. There is also a service area where spectators can watch the cars return from the day’s stages. The teams then work on their cars, allowing fans to see the teams at work from just a few feet away. Music, food and fun are also part of the rally. A rally village offers vendors, exhibitors, food, and prize giveaways with barbecues on Friday and Saturday evenings. On Saturday evening there will also be live music.

Attending a rally is fun and free. As the event draws closer, a free spectator guide will be produced and available at The guide provides details on the locations of designated spectators and an updated calendar of events. Due to the nature of the sport, participants should review this guide in advance to ensure a safe and enjoyable viewing experience.

For those new to rallying or looking for a more personalized rally experience, there are VIP buses that take spectators to exclusive spectator locations via a coach. The bus includes catering, drinks, beer and wine. To learn more about the VIP Bus experience, visit

NEFR is sanctioned by the recently formed American Rally Association (ARA). NEFR is Round 5 of 6 of the ARA National Championship Series. In addition to the two-day national competition (which attracts competitors from across North America), the event also includes two one-day regional competitions that run concurrently with the national competition. Many local and regional enthusiasts compete alongside the best national competitors. To learn more about the rally and the American Rally Association, visit

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