First rally race in years for DirtFish

DirtFish Rally School in Snoqualmie will holds its first major race in three years this month.The driving school will host Red Bull Global Rally Cross race, on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27.On Monday, Aug. 24, the Snoqualmie City Council approved a special event permit for the race, contingent on staff recommendations.

A 2011 RX car at the finish line
A 2011 RX car at the finish line

The rally school, located on the former Weyerhaeuser mill site that was annexed into the city in 2012, is allowed by the city to hold two rally-cross races each year.

The school has not held a big race since April of 2011, when the Global Rally Cross Twin Peaks race drew international attention but also ire from the school’s neighbors.

DirtFish General Manager Mac McInnis told the Snoqualmie Council on August 25 that, with Andretti Autosports, NBC TV and Red Bull on board, this race will be different.

“It will be an event that the community is a lot more proud of,” he said.

This fall, the same type of vehicles—specially built rally race cars—will speed through an obstacle course on the former Weyerhaueser mill. As in 2011, the race will include a jump, and cars will zoom through the long “common shed,” a huge relic of the mill’s heyday.

Also planned is a jumbo video screen, performances by a trick car driver from Europe, and the anthem sung by local favorite Austin Jenckes, of NBC’s “The Voice” competition.

McInnis estimates DirtFish has parking for 7,500 vehicles, and guessed that each vehicle might average two to three spectators. “If it’s sunny, we could do well,” he said.

The school hosted part of the parking for last month’s Boeing Classic. For comparison, Boeing Classic drew 33,000 spectators to the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge on the final day of the tournament, and about 90,000 total over its week in August.