New 4×4 rally for drivers anywhere in the USA

Could this new kind of flexible competition work in the UK?

Land Rover Discovery in Death Valley

by Theo Ford-Sagers |

Next summer, 4x4 owners anywhere in the USA will be able to compete in a new kind of ‘virtually hosted’ rally event. Nomad Overland Rally’s points-based format enables teams to pick stages and dates to suit their own location and schedule, during a 10-week period (June 6 - August 14).

Entry costs $150 (or $90 for registration this side of New Year).

‘I developed the concept after competing and participating in a number of rallies and other off-road events in the US and abroad,’ organiser JoMarie Fecci told LRO. ‘Time and time again I heard from so many people about how much they would like to participate but they couldn't travel that far with their rig, or they couldn't get enough time off work.’

Unlike any off-road competition in the UK (if you know otherwise, get in touch!), points are awarded across four ‘pillars’, involving time spent behind the wheel and also joining in online.

  1. Overland Stages: 12 multi-leg stages, including dirt roads or camping.
  1. Activity Tasks: including driving skills, navigation, camping and land stewardship.
  1. Scavenger Hunt: points vary depending on difficulty, and with some target only existing in certain areas of the USA, preventing anyone from scoring full points. ‘This pillar is intended to get folks to look around and really appreciate the places they are travelling through,’ says JoMarie.
  1. Weekly Challenges: online quizzes and challenges around map navigation, off-road recovery, animal tracking, roadbooks, ‘tread-lightly’ land use etc.

Various parts of the competition require proof of completion by pre-set deadlines. Entrants upload their proofs, and points are tallied weekly throughout the event.

For more info, visit the Nomad Overland Rally website.

Could this work in the UK?

'This sounds like a great adventure where you’re working within guidelines and can complete it at your own pace,' reckons LRO editor Neil – no stranger to navigation in off-road motorsport.

Although we're restricted as to where we're allowed to drive off-tarmac in the UK (find out more here), it would be interesting to see the basic principals of the Nomad Overland Rally applied in the UK. A similar event involving greenlanes, co-ordinated in partnership with local lane users and authorities, could be a fun and educational activity for drivers all over the country.

In the meantime, the British Army Motorsports Association (BAMA) hosts 4x4 navigation challenges that are open to civilians. The 2021 season is finished; new event dates will be posts to our events listing.

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