The Oldest, Meanest, Toughest Rally on the Circuit

A Note to All Spectators

The Organizers, Workers, Competitors and Crews welcome you to the Lake Superior Performance Rally.

LSPR continue to build on our tradition of an exciting and safe event, with even more emphasis on safety for you, the spectator. You will be closer to the rally cars (operating at high speeds) than in any other form of motor sports. The job of the Spectator Control Crews and the Spectator Marshals is to let you enjoy LSPR while maintaining your safety – and the safety of the competitors, crews and other workers.

We urge all of you to view LSPR only from the designated spectator points. These areas have been selected because they provide exciting and safe viewing. Any other out-of-the-way viewing area may not be safe. Rally officials will perform a safety check of each stage before allowing the race to begin on that section of road.  If they are not satisfied with the safety of your location, you will be required to move or the stage may be cancelled.

You will not be able to speculate at every stage. You must choose those where you wish to go and allow ample transit time to get to them. If you are short of time, we suggest you skip ahead to the next spectator point.

As always, parking is a problem on the forest’s narrow roads and steep hillsides. Please do not block these roads. They are used as access routes for emergency vehicles. Please respect the Spectator Control Marshals. They work very long hours to ensure your safety and viewing enjoyment.

Thank you for making this the largest spectator Performance Rally in North Americas. Have a Great Time!

The LSPR Organizers

Safely Seeing the Rally Action

Performance Rallying is often called the most exciting and demanding of motor sports. It has also been one of the most difficult for the spectator to get to and watch.

While some of the LSPR spectator points are not in your backyard, you can be assured of seeing real Rally action, not something staged in a parking lot or industrial park.

Instead, we give you exciting stages within a short drive of Houghton, considered by many to be some of  the best rally spectator spots in North America.

Safety at these spectator points is our most important concern,especially with the large crowds expected this year due to our return to the national circuit. Whether you will be heading out to view your first Performance Rally or are a veteran spectator, here are some simple rules to ensure you return home safely.

  • Please follow the Spectator Marshals’ directions at each spectator point. While spectating is free, we do have control over these areas. Our marshals are specially trained to recognize potentially hazardous areas and will keep people out of them for their own safety.
  • Please follow the marshal’s directions when parking your car at these points. We must retain clear access on one side of these narrow roads for emergency vehicles. All cars should park on the same side of the road and be heading in the proper direction to leave the area. If you follow the next rule you shouldn’t have to walk too far.
  • Plan your spectating. Travel time and maps to get to each of the spectator locations will be published prior to the rally. Pick your vantage point carefully. High on a hill or behind the tree line is best. The worst place to stand is on the outside of a corner or in the ditch. Rally drivers make creative use of the whole road in order to gain a competitive advantage. Listen to the marshals – they know the safe spots. You must remain behind the banner tape at all times.
  • Be wary and alert at all times, particularly at the daylight spectator points. The cars make far less noise than they once did. At night, their lights will warn you they are on the way, but in daylight, you might now know until it’s too late. Don’t ever assume a driver will see you if you are on the road.  Often the driver is listening to instruction from the co-driver who is providing route instruction and is concentrating on the upcoming corner.  Drivers often say they drive past a spectator area with hundreds of people and don’t even notice.
  • Alcohol and high speed motor sports can be a deadly combination.
  • Flash photography can be dangerous for a rally driver.  Remember to point your camera at the approaching car, but do not start taking photos until they are along side of you to avoid blinding the driver.
  • Fires are only permitted in those areas provided by the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Leave the forest cleaner than you found it.  Please remember to take anything you brought with you when you leave.

Some Mechanics of the Race and Suggestions

In a Performance Rally the cars are started at one minute intervals with the fastest cars first and the slowest cars last. This starting order is based on the drivers “seeding” which reflects their previous performance. To ensure that you see the top drivers in action, you should make sure you arrive at your spectating spot early. While the early drivers will be fastest, they may not appear so as they usually are very smooth. It’s not until you see some of the back markers struggle to get around the corners at a much lower speed, that you will really appreciate the skill of all the competitors.

To make spectating even more interesting you can try checking the times that the cars arrive at a point. Pick a place where you can time a car each time and read the seconds off your watch. Remember that all cars leave at the top of the minute, so if the first car arrives at 21 seconds, the next at 28 and the next at 25. The first car is 4 seconds faster than the third and 7 seconds faster than the second. You will be amazed at how much quicker the front runners are over the others. After serveral cars you may get times where the seconds are around 20 seconds again, these are over a minute slower than the first car.