Sno Drift 2013 in Northern Michigan

Sno Drift Michigan 2013 11

Sno Drift is a rally racing event that takes place in Northern Michigan usually in January every year. It is part of the Rally America National Championship and is the only winter rally on the Rally America circuit. Having lived in Northern Michigan for many years, this was my first time going to this event and I wish I would have gone sooner. The rally takes place on Friday and Saturday and there are several spectator areas where you can safely watch the event. The event organization was top notch and it was a friendly and fun event to watch.

The location for this event is near the towns of Atlanta, Lewiston and Hillman in the Northeastern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. Most of the area is a State Forest area which means many unpaved roads, many trees and not many people that live in this area. The abundance of snow can not be guaranteed (even in January) but the last few weeks with low temperatures and quite a lot of snow was just in time. Most roads in the area are snow covered but there also were some places with very slippery ice.

sno drift michigan map 1

There are also a few races after dark. Most people won’t venture into the northern Michigan woods on Saturday night when it is a brisk 15 degrees F (-9.5C) but it was surprising to see the number of cars and people that turned out. Cars had to be parked on a country road leading to the spectator area and the row of cars was more than a mile long. There were several bonfires at the spectator area and it was all good fun, if a bit rowdy and loud. It is a spectacular sight seeing the woods light up by the headlights of an approaching rally car. The car blows past leaving a cloud of snow when it heavily breaks for the upcoming turn.

Going sideways through the turn, the car gains speed again. They disappear in the dark night and you can see flames and hear loud bangs coming from the exhausts. Music to my ears. These pictures were taken at the spectator area on Huff Road on Saturday afternoon around 3:00pm. It doesn’t look very challenging but the road was quite icy. I drove this same turn a few hours later and it was a challenge keeping my Saab 9-5 on the road, even with winter tires.

For more information about the event: http://www.sno-drift.org/

Rally results: http://www.rally-ame…ults/standings/

Map of the 2013 stages in the Atlanta area

sno drift michigan map 2

It is not very often you see Ken Block drifting a 2012 Ford Fiesta HFHV through the northern Michigan woods.

Sno Drift Michigan 2013 6Sno Drift Michigan 2013 1

A couple of short videos I made.  Watch on YouTube for larger and HD video.  This was a tricky corner for many as it was more icey than it appeared.

Click on any of the thumbnails to enlarge and scroll through the gallery.

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