January 27, 2016

For Immediate Release
Denise McMahon
SPN Performance New Title Sponsor of Southwest RallyCup Series/SWRC Banquet/2016 Schedule

Denise McMahon, Series Director
SPN Southwest RallyCup Series
For: ImmediateRelease
SPN Performance New Title Sponsor of Southwest RallyCup Series
Addition of event in Mexico and a new championship in 2016, while 2015 champions to be crowned at annual awards banquet
Southwest RallyCup Series is pleased to announce its 2016 schedule of events, as well as other enhancements including the addition of an event in Mexico and the naming of new title sponsor. The series is sanctioned and insured by the Organizer's HP Rally Group.
SPN Performance ( ), based out of Phoenix, Arizona, provides top-quality service, at a fair price, for those who love the automotive lifestyle, from one's daily driver to a performance vehicle.
The SWRC is very proud to be working with SPN Performance and look forward to having them as the title sponsor and to be the SPN Overall SWRC Championship title sponsor, "Denise McMahon, chair of the series said.
SPN president Jon Rook and motorsports manager Erik Lee are passionate supporters of performance rally and wanted to step up and take an active role in the growth of the sport. Last year they stepped in to be the title sponsors for two of the series' championships.
" We are a group of grassroots racers and all-around car guys. We do everything from standard maintenance to motorsports to show car builds," Rook said. "We are proud to sponsor and support the Southwest RallyCup Series."
What's New for 2016?
The new Tip Tire Spec Class Championship was structured for the budget-minded competitor. The top three overall finishers will receive monetary awards at the year-end awards presentation, with $400 to first place, $350 to second and $300 to third. Each team will also receive a complimentary set of Tip Tires of their choice. Details will be available on the series' website soon.
The Desert Storm rally is collaborating with the Sonora Rally, giving competitors the opportunity for a smooth transition from one event to another with back-to-back events. Desert Storm is also the first event in the innovative OHPRG American Rally Car Championship.
This year's SWRC schedule:
Desert Storm Rally #1 - April 1 - Blythe, California
Desert Storm Rally #2 - April 2 - Blythe, California
Desert Storm Rally #2 - April 2 - Blythe, California (Free Event)
Sonora Rally - April 4-7 - Sonora, Mexico
Mendocino Rally #1 - July 9 - Ukiah, California
Mendocino Rally #2 - July 10 - Ukiah, California
Rally Nevada #1 - August 5 - Mesquite, Nevada
Rally Nevada #2 - August 6 - Mesquite, Nevada
Rally Nevada #3 - August 7 - Mesquite, Nevada (Free Event)
Seed 9 Rally #1 - November 5 - Jean, Nevada
Seed 9 Rally #2 - November 5 - Jean, Nevada (Free Event)
OHPRG 2015 Invitee Challenge Championship:
The Desert Storm rally offers the 2015 competitors several benefits including a smooth transition from not only the 2015 series into 2016, but the opportunity to first rally in California and then across the border in Mexico-all within one week! 
For the first time in U.S. rally history, teams can run Desert Storm and then hop across the border to compete in the Sonora Rally-this includes a $300 discount off the Sonora entry fee-and the organizers of Desert Storm will offer a $75 discount to teams running both events.
The 2015 OHPRG champions will be determined at the Desert Storm Rally. The invitees will be based on scoring/results from 2015 events. The guidelines are on the OHPRG website ( ). Overall champions shall receive $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $125 for third place. Teams will be accumulating points for the 2016 season as well.
Plus, the organizers are adding back the Friday evening stage, although with a different configuration from years past.
The Sonora Rally, organized by Darren Skilton, a well-known off-road competitor, is bringing innovative new elements to off-road racing in North America-four days of cross-country stage rally racing in an incredible desert region that is undiscovered by the off-road racing world. The rally includes new challenges and new terrain that will blow your mind. It is the only event of its kind in North America, with features that will test competitors skills like no other race, and "rattle you to the deepest points of your body, mind, and soul."  Last year a Subaru Outback won the rally class, Rally Raid Production from the Cortez Rally.
The Sonora organizers will recognize the OHPRG rulebook. However, there will be a few additional technical guidelines in the supplemental regulations. Go to for further information.
Tingwu Song
                                                                                                                                     Paul/Laura Fournier earned a class victory                                                                                                                                      in their 1997 Subaru Outback turned rally car.
                                                                                                                                   @ Cortez Rally now known as Sonora Rally.
Skilton began his motorsports career in 1991, navigating for legendary off-road champion Don Adams in the Baja 1000. The next year, after earning his bachelor's degree in political science from California State University, Fullerton, he switched seats and began driving in desert races. In 1995, Skilton began racing internationally, becoming the only American driver seeded for FIA Cross Country Rallies, competing in races like the Atlas Rally in Morocco, Baja Portugal and Baja Espana. He led his two-car factory Kia team to finish the Dakar rally in 2001, a first for the Korean manufacturer. Returning eight more times to the Dakar resulted in two OP Class victories for Skilton in 2011 and 2012.  He has won six class titles at the Baja 1000 and captured four class championships.
Now Skilton, along with co-organizer Scott Whitney, is spearheading a new adventure by organizing a unique event.
Next on the schedule is another new event, Rally Nevada, based out of Mesquite, Nevada.
 The organizers will be introducing a new event called Rally Nevada in Mesquite, Nevada. There will be more information coming out on this event in the next press release.
The season will end with the perennial favorite, the Seed 9 Rally, in Jean, Nevada. The organizers are checking out possible roads to supplement and change up the rally course.
Southwest RallyCup Series Banquet :
The banquet will be on Saturday, Feb. 27, from 2-5 p.m., at the Urban Workshop at 365 Clinton St., Costa Mesa, California 92626 ( ). It will be catered by Newport Rib Company, well known for its restaurants in Orange County and Long Beach.
This unique 18,500+ square-foot facility offers do-it-yourselfers a range of tools and equipment, ranging from woodworking and metalworking to printing on a state-of-the-art 3D printer. It also has several fully-equipped auto bays with everything from floor jacks to diagnostic computer equipment and scanners. This membership-based program also includes other amenities including training on equipment as well as a wide range of computer software applications and it offers discounts to students, families and military. Former rally driver-turned-volunteer John Shults works at the facility and will provide a tour to those interested.
All are welcome to come and be part of the banquet.  At this time, reservations can be made on our Facebook Page (give link) and will also be taken online via the revised website, or by contacting Denise McMahon at 
Tickets are priced per person:  $35 18+ years), $25 (12-17 years), $15 (5-11-year), and free for children under 5.
MaryAnne Shults will serve as master of ceremonies. She is easily recognized in the rally community for her years working in rally media and public relations, as well as motorsports journalism. Shults is currently an associate professor of journalism at Saddleback College and an adjunct lecturer in the communications department at Cal State Fullerton.
Awards will include the Bilstein Cup Championship recipients, RaceTech Overall Championships, Gibeault awardee, Rookie Team of the Year, Above and Beyond Award, as well as individual class awards and volunteer recognition.
The highlight of any awards banquet, other than the food, is the games. This year attendees can win prizes in a competitive game of Bingo.
Watch our website and social media for further information about the banquet in the next few weeks.

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About U.S. Performance/Stage Rally:   Teams have a driver and co-driver (or navigator) for each car and competitors race in segments called stages on closed public roads, trying to get from the beginning of the stage to the end as fast as they can. Unlike other forms of motorsports, there is no practice allowed and the course is not revealed to the competitors until the co-driver receives the route instructions just prior to the start of the rally. The co-driver then gives the route instructions-often through the use of an intercom, sometimes at speeds in excess of 100 mph-through forest, desert and logging roads throughout the country.
The cars, all street legal to allow driving on public roads between rally stages, are compact and sub-compact cars, both two- and four-wheel-drive, with varying amounts of performance modifications depending on the class in which they are running.

About the Bilstein Southwest RallyCup Series ( ):   Formed in 2004, the series was established to provide high-performance stage rally events in the Southwest U.S. Its objective is also to encourage participation and promotion of the sport, especially at the grassroots level.
About the Organizers HP Rally Group (OHPRG):   (www.ohprg) The vision of OHPRG is to make rallying affordable to organizers and competitors while keeping the culture of rallying intact by including the rally community's involvement in the organization.  OHPRG will organize, sanction, and help other rally organizers and rally organizations to conduct stage rallies, time trials, or similar events throughout the U.S.  OHPRG is setting new standards, with the goal of streamlining responsibilities and bringing fresh ideas.  The organization's fundamental values combine elements of safety, fun, competition, and transparent communications.