Despite the hype - Rally in the USA is a grassroots regional affair, which occasionally sees some TV time, sometimes gets local press, and when conditions line up just perfectly - gets heli footage! Guidance Aviation happens to train helicopter pilots on future gigs for news, film, and TV. They also happen to have a location in Prescott Arizona - home to what I consider to be one of the best rallies in the west coast: The Prescott Rally is a 2 day event that takes place in the first week of October and is a part of The California Rally Series, and NASA Rally Sport.
We were lined up at the start and a shadow came over us on the first stage. The excitement tripled in the car. Sure - we were about to tackle an 11 mile stage with 600 foot drop-offs and see speeds over over 100. This was immediately intensified by the sounds of rotor wash as the red GA helicopter whizzed overhead. How many people besides WRC drivers can say: "I have been chased on a rally stage by a helicopter." Bucket list item - CHECK.
Guidance Aviation does this for the rally as a way to train pilots and get people interested in flying helicopters for a living. They sponsor the event and capture incredible footage and we absolutely love it! The GA folks collected some in-car after the event and put together a 2014 footage video where some of us managed to capture THEM from inside the car:
This year we were gunning for a good finish in 2WD, and after some top competition retired on Friday - we were battling for 3rd place overall! We managed to hang onto 2nd in 2WD and took our first ever podium finish at Prescott! Checkout rallynotes.com for more! If you ever get the chance to stage rally - and I highly suggest that you try it. You can imagine ones excitement when you come upon a field of friends, family, and spectators. Now add a helicopter following YOU.