MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

Ojibwe Forests Rally returns to Detroit Lakes this weekend — but with a few changes

The Muscatell Ojibwe Forests Rally returns for its eighth year in Detroit Lakes Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 22-24 — with more racers than the 39-year-old road rally has seen since its early days, according to organizer Erick Nelson.

“We’ve got 51 teams registered, which is better than we’ve had in quite a while,” said Nelson, who chairs the event’s organizing committee. “It’s easily been 10, and probably more like 20 years since we’ve had that many. It’s a great turnout for us this year.”

Several of the most popular rally car drivers on the American Rally Association racing circuit will be back for the 2019 event, including 2018 champion David Higgins, 2017 champion Travis Pastrana, Lauchlin O’Sullivan, Barry McKenna and many more racing favorites.

Organizers are also expecting the turnout from local racing fans to be as good as it has been for the past several years, if not better — though there have been some changes to the schedule that Nelson hopes will go over as well as the other things they have tried since moving their “home base” to Detroit Lakes eight years ago.

“Detroit Lakes has been such a great fit for us,” said Nelson, adding that they have tried quite a few different things to attract local fans over the years, such as the “street stage” that brought the drivers down along Detroit Lakes’ West Lake Drive for an exciting, up-close-and-personal view of the race, and hosting the Parc Expose event.

Though the racers will still be going through the familiar stages in the Paul Bunyan and Itasca state forests on Friday and Saturday, the “super special” stage event held out at the Becker County Fairgrounds last year has been expanded considerably.

“The final four stages will be held out at the fairgrounds this year,” Nelson said.

Soyrce: di-online.com  Image: Emotive Image