76 teams to compete local event

Brandon Semenuk and Keaton Williams race by on one of the several miles of forest roads during a previous Lake Superior Performance Rally. (Photo courtesy by Michael Leppala)

MARQUETTE — The Lake Superior Performance Rally is returning to Marquette.

An expected 76 teams from all around the United States, including some international teams from Ireland and Australia, will compete in the final round of the American Rally Association national championship. Racers will compete on over 125 miles of forest roads from Kenton to L’Anse with the culmination in Marquette Saturday night, according to LSPR’s press release.

Each team consists of a driver and codriver, “whose job is to convey what the roads look like ahead based on notes written during a low-speed drive through the roads earlier in the week.”

LSPR cochairman Stephen Gingras said spectators can expect to get up close to see high-speed action, as well as getting the chance to meet drivers in this year’s rally.

This year’s LSPR will take place on Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14, with schedules as followed:

Friday, Oct. 13

≤ 9:30 a.m. to noon, cars will be on display at Fox Marquette Subaru and competitors will be there as well to meet spectators. The ceremonial start is at 10:30 a.m. when teams will start at one-minute intervals and head out to the first stages of the two-day rally. Spectators are asked to park at Fox Marquette Ford and walk over. Fox Marquette Ford is located at 3815 U.S. 41.

≤ 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., spectators will have four locations in the Kenton and Sidnaw areas to watch the cars drive by, free of charge. Each spectator area will see the cars pass by twice.

≤ 4:30 p.m., competitors will be coming into the service area to fuel their vehicles, as well as repair any damage before starting the second loop of stages. The service area is just west of downtown Sidnaw on M-28.

Saturday, Oct. 14

≤ 8-9 a.m., cars will be on display at L’Anse Waterfront Park.

≤ 1:15 p.m., competitors will be coming into service to refuel and make repairs as needed. Service on Saturday is located at Westwood High School in Ishpeming. Spectators are asked to park along Westwood Drive. Westwood High School is located at 300 Westwood Drive.

≤ 4:45 p.m., there will be two spectator areas in Marquette, one on Mount Marquette and one at Marquette Mountain Resort. Due to time, spectators will have to choose one or the other to view. To reach Mount Marquette, spectators should park at Noquemanon South Trails Trailhead at 2375 M-553 and follow the foot path.

Gingras said the rally brings people from all over the Midwest to watch as teams speed through the forest trails at high speeds. He also said the rally is a “huge economic impact” to Marquette.

“Teams are going to start showing up on Tuesday and they’ll be here the rest of the week,” Gingras said. “That’s a lot of hotel rooms, fuel for their cars and service vehicles and a lot of food from the restaurants.”

He said in the past, over $2 million has been put into Marquette’s economy through the rally.

“Watching these cars go through the woods amazingly fast is a real sight, like nothing that anybody’s ever seen before,” Gingras said. “I’m a rally driver. I race with my daughter when I’m not doing this rally or organizing and I know how fast I can go through the woods. But watching Brandon Semenuk, who is a Subaru driver, go through the woods, it’s another level.”

Gingras said one new feature at this year’s rally is free shuttle service from parking to Marquette Mountain Resort.

To attend the last stage, as well as the podium ceremony and post-race celebration at Marquette Mountain Resort, spectators are asked to park at Superior Hills Elementary School, located at 1201 S. McClellan Ave., or Embers Credit Union headquarters, located at 601 S. McClellan Ave., and take the free shuttle bus to Marquette Mountain Resort. Tickets must be purchased to get into Marquette Mountain Resort, which can be purchased at the door or at marquettemountain.com/lake-superior-performance-rally.

Directions to spectator areas, service locations and to view or download the spectator guide can be found at LSProRally.com/spectators.

Dreyma Beronja can be reached at 906-228-2500 ext. 548. Their email address is dberonj@miningjournal.net.


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