Rally USA gaining traction – only nine competitors in test rally!

A WRC event is planned to be held in the United States in the 2026 season.
Photo: M-Sport Ford WRT
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The WRC promotion company informed its key stakeholders during the Rally Portugal in May about their plan to organise a WRC event in the United States for the 2026 season. The event is set to take place around the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

On Saturday, a test race for the rally was held in Chattanooga, but it attracted only nine competitors. At least for now, there doesn’t seem to be much of a rally boom in Tennessee.

RallyJournal.com’s route expert Antti Loponen examined the Tennessee Rally route, which seemed interesting to his expert eye.

“The roads look really winding and technical based on the map and video clips, but still with good surfaces and relatively wide. The nature of the roads seems similar to the slower sections of the Rally Chile or Rally New Zealand. Hopefully, there will be more video material from this event for analysis,” Loponen says.

The plan was to have a two-day competition in Tennessee over the weekend, but the route was shortened due to construction work on two bridges.

“There was nothing we could do about the roads. The contractors couldn’t budge on the date of the work and the forest service couldn’t say no [to the work], so we lost those roads – which is a shame because they were two great stages,” says Tennessee Rally director Stuart Wood to Dirtfish.

The test race aimed to evaluate how the rally organisation and emergency services operate during the rally. The actual candidate rally is scheduled to take place later. As it stands, the United States Rally is expected to be added to the WRC calendar for 2026.

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