Sandblast Rally is a rally racing event for both cars and motorcycles. The event takes place in the towns of Chesterfield, Cheraw and Patrick, South Carolina, USA. Recently, the events have been held February of each year. The 2008 event was the largest rally in the United States.
The rally takes place within the Sand Hills State Forest, part of the Sandhills region of the Carolinas. Traditionally, rallies take place on closed tarmac or gravel roads. Sandblast rally roads are almost entirely sand. Some of the roads are compacted by heavy trucks, some of the more infrequently used roads are quite soft. This presents an unusual challenge to rally cars, as the constant drag of the sand increases the wear and drag on the transmissions. The driving technique is also different from other rallies, as the soft sand on the side of the road can be similar to a snowbank, while the braking ability exceeds that of tarmac with slick tires.
A Stage Rally is almost always reliant upon the efforts provided by its generous volunteers to help run each event. Volunteers get a front row seat to the event acting as course workers, crowd control, timing assistants, etc. Their work is always greatly appreciated by the racers themselves and can be a great way to meet the teams, share a beer and a laugh and generally get involved in the sport at its most "hands-on" level.
If you have an interest in volunteering for a Sandblast Rally you can find out more about the rally here: Sandblast Rally Event Link or you can get on board by signing up to volunteer right here: Sandblast Rally Volunteer Link...
Thank you to any and all who choose to volunteer...The race wouldn't happen without you!
Long named “Sandhills Sandblast” after the region, the event was first organized by Greg Healey in the early nineties. In only the second year of running, the event was tapped to become part of the SCCA ProRally national championship. Healey moved north to Pennsylvania in the mid-nineties and the rally lay dormant for several years. These first rallies differed from the current setup in that they started at noon and ran well into the night, using three or four stages run in complete darkness.
In 2001 Charles Sherrill resurrected the event and ran similar stages as before. One of the busiest years was 2003 when the event ran twice in one year, spring and fall. The fall event was the first event sanctioned by the newly formed NASA Rally Sport organization.
The summer of 2005 saw Sherrill looking west and thinking of starting another rally. Thus the reigns of the rally were passed to the current organizer, Anders Green. The official rally name was simplified to “Sandblast Rally” at that time.
The February 2007 event saw the introduction of motorcycles as part of NASA Rally Sport's new RallyMoto program.
In a strange six-degrees scenario, Green, purchased his first rally vehicle from Greg Healey, the original Sandblast Rally organizer. Two years before Sherrill resurrected Sandblast Rally, Green met and crewed for Sherrill in a rally that was near Healey’s new hometown in Pennsylvania.