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Autocrossing A Rally Fighter Is As Awesome As It Sounds

Friday, May 09, 2014

At CCC we’re all about experiences. Whether it’s a top-down-cruising in a classic Mustang kind of experience, or a hooning-the-bejesus out of a 600+hp RWD off-road machine kind of experience. Last week Local Motors brought a brand new Rally Fighter to Lime Rock Park in order for its proud new owners to experience their impressive bit of kit on the infield autocross course.

Autocrossing A Rally Fighter Is As Awesome As It Sounds

With a paddock full of spec racers and track toys of all variety, not much will draw the jaded gaze of a GT3RS or Radical SR8 pilot like the Rally Fighter did. The refrain went like this, “You ain’t gonna track that thing, are ya?!” And the inevitable surprised chuckle when we told themYES! We are!

Autocrossing A Rally Fighter Is As Awesome As It Sounds

With 18 inches of suspension travel in the front, 20 inches in the rear, and big knobby off-road tires tires all around, body-roll and understeer were rampant. New Rally Fighter owners Jesse & Scott Denome were nice enough to let my ham-fisted, lead-footed self give it a go. And go it did, albeit mostly sideways. After watching Jesse and Scott plod and plow their way around the tight infield autocross, it was apparent that carrying any speed into a corner was not viable. Slow the thing down before the corner, initiate a turn, hoof the throttle, and counter-steer your way through using the torquey supercharged V8 to maintain the angle. It was an absolute riot.

Local Motors rep Patrick Morgan jokingly instructed me that there was no smiling allowed while caning a Rally Fighter; despite that, I even had the instructor hootin’ and hollerin’ with joy from the passenger seat as the ‘Fighter danced around Lime Rock’s technical little infield course. Needless to say I exited the track with a massive shit-eating grin.

Autocrossing A Rally Fighter Is As Awesome As It Sounds

After ripping up a bit too much grass on the Lime Rock infield, we took a very quick trip to Orvis Sandanona a few miles away to let the Rally Fighter frolic in the dirt. The haunchy hunk of engineering dominated the Land Rover “experience” course where it gobbled up ditches and slippery hills like no other RWD vehicle could ever dream of.

At the end of the day our motley crew headed back towards NYC to feature the now filthy Rally Fighter at our weekly CCC Happy Hour. We thought about washing the caked and splattered mud off upon arrival in Soho, but quickly dismissed the idea as the new owners agreed that the Fighter seemed to be more at home, and genuine looking, with a dirty brown patina over the camo livery.

www.classiccarclubmanhattan.com

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www.localmotors.com

Special thanks to Mike Roselli for operating camera, and editing the Rally Fighter video

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