Sno*Drift Rally 2023 Preview
After a remarkable 2022 season that concluded with his first-ever American Rally Association championship, Brandon Semenuk returns to Sno*Drift Rally this weekend alongside co-driver Keaton Williams to kick off the pair’s 2023 title defense! Semenuk will be seeking his first-ever Sno*Drift win after near-misses the past two years—a second-place finish in 2021 followed by a retirement from the rally lead in 2022 due to a gearbox issue. The newly crowned champions will also exercise their option to wear the race number 1 on their WRX STI rally car for the upcoming season rather than their previous #180.
Six-time national title-winner and 2021 ARA driver’s champion Travis Pastrana has announced he will not compete for the 2023 rally championship, electing to reduce his racing activities in 2023 to focus on his commitments in Nitro Rallycross and spend more time with his family. Semenuk brings a wealth of winter experience to this year’s running of Sno*Drift after several years of competition in the Canadian Rally Championship as well as his past strong performances here. However, the Atlanta, Michigan-based rally represents one of the biggest challenges of the year beyond its status as the American championship’s only dedicated cold-weather event. Conditions in the area are notoriously variable from year to year depending on recent precipitation and temperatures; rain, snowfall, thaws and overnight freezes can bring ice, hardpacked snow, slush, frozen dirt or even mud to the stage surfaces in the course of a single rally weekend.
Adding to the challenge, the use of traction-enhancing tire studs is not permitted per Michigan state law. Tire choice between studless snows or conventional gravel tires is a critical concern to maximize the limited grip, and pace notes must be carefully tailored on recce to match the conditions.
Follow Subaru Motorsports USA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok for news and updates throughout the weekend as the 2023 rally season gets underway! Live tracking and timing is available via the RallySafe app on Apple or Android.
SEMENUK: “It’s been too much time out of the car, so I’m excited for the 2023 ARA Championship to get underway with Sno*Drift being the first stop. An event always full of surprises, but plenty of sideways action. Fingers crossed for more snow this year, so we can push on a bit harder.”
WILLIAMS: “Can’t wait to be back in the car with the team, and Sno*Drift is always a great event to start with! Lots of time looking out the side windows for me, but we aim to pick up where we left off and bag some big points!”
NAME: Sno*Drift Rally 2023
DATES: 2/10/2023 – 2/11/2023
HOST TOWNS: Atlanta, Michigan
TIME ZONE: Eastern Daylight Time (UTC -4)
NEAREST MAJOR AIRPORT: Cherry Capital Airport (TVC)
WEATHER: Cloudy. A few flurries or snow showers possible. High near 33F. Low around 16F. Sunset 17:57.
2023 Sno*Drift Rally Stage Info
Total Distance: 309.4 miles
Number of stages: 15
Stage distance: 117.5 miles
Stage surfaces: Snow and ice
Longest stage: 15.0 miles (SS13/15 East Branch)
Service Parks: Atlanta HS (Sat)
Official Start: 16:00 on Friday
Power Stage: SS15
Stages in darkness: Yes (SS4-6 and 14-15)
Nice short & sweet. Enjoyed the photos. Best of luck to the team!