By Chris Leone
Automotive journalist Josh Jacquot of Car and Driver magazine will be among the 65-plus drivers to take to the roads in the second annual Southern Ohio Forest Rally, the third event of the 2018 Rally America National Championship season. Jacquot will compete alongside co-driver Pete Pollard in the Open class in a 1997 Subaru Impreza, as he returns to the sport for the first time in a number of years.
“Ohio’s narrow gravel roads will be a heck of a way to blow out the cobwebs, since I haven’t raced the car since 2015,” admitted Jacquot. “But I’m looking forward to it, and I’m so grateful for the support of the local rally community in Ohio and southeastern Michigan. This will be the first time I’ve rallied in the midwest since 2003, and the smoother, more technical roads are more to my liking.”
Jacquot’s interest in competing at SOFR came after writing a story on rally legend John Buffum, himself a seven-time winner in Ohio-based stage rally events (five times as a driver and twice as navigator). When Buffum, an 11-time national champion with 117 race victories on his resume, recommended that Jacquot compete in the event, wheels were set in motion for his return to the stages.
“We’ve spent a lot of time prepping the car for this event,” he continued. “It will make more power at this altitude than it does in the high desert so that will be an adjustment. And we’ve got a new brake setup that should make the car easier to drive and safer. We’re making a lot of setup choices without knowing what we’re facing in terms of grip or surface conditions so those things are a bit of a gamble. The goal, as always, is to finish and have some fun.”
Jacquot’s entry is supported by Car and Driver magazine, Maxxis Tires, KC HiLiTES, Sparco, Turn-In Concepts, and Kartboy. The 2018 Southern Ohio Forest Rally will kick off on Saturday, May 18 with the Zaleski Forest Rally and will conclude the next day with the Scioto Trails Rally.
The 2018 Southern Ohio Forest Rally takes place on May 18-19, 2018 in McArthur and Chillicothe, OH. It will serve as the fourth event of the 2018 Rally America season. More information on the event and series is available at rally-america.com and southernohioforestrally.com.