2020 SOFR Postponed, Optimistic About This Summer

The organizers of the Southern Ohio Forest Rally (SOFR) and American Rally Association (ARA) have been forced to postpone the event, with the hope to still have the event on the 2020 schedule.

After a couple of years as a May event, SOFR was scheduled for June 19-20 this summer. The pandemic however, forced the group to set the event back.

In a news release late Tuesday, SOFR said “the recent decision made by the state of Ohio to extend its ‘Stay Safe Ohio Order’ order until May 29, 2020, coupled with the postponement of the necessary permitting from the state’s Division of Forestry” was the reasoning for the postponement.

“We are disappointed that we will not be able to make our much-anticipated return to the national schedule in June,” said Event Chairman Jeremiah Johnson in the release. “We are looking at additional dates, and working with the ARA and other national events to find a plausible solution to host SOFR this summer.”

The SOFR was the next event on the ARA’s 2020 National Rally Championship schedule. The last event was held in January, the Sno Drift in Michigan. Since then, the championship events in Missouri, Oregon and Washington State have been wiped from the schedule due to the pandemic.

The ARA, and its parent company USAC, are working with all of the organizers on the 2020 schedule on how to best handle each event and those needs specific to each region and event. USAC, a member of ACCUS, has been at the forefront of finding solutions to get motorsports events back up and running as soon as possible.

“We believe that there are some immediate opportunities for us to get rally back quickly,” said USAC President Kevin Miller. “We have developed several new procedures to help events not only manage their event on-site, but also show local and state authorities how we can mitigate the spread of the virus. There have been many positive changes to how states are handling this pandemic, and we are working hard to find the right solution.”

For now, the next opportunity for race teams will head to Maine and New Hampshire for the New England Forest Rally July 31st-August 1st.

SOFR’s Brent Short gives direction for a race team setting up for the Yoctangee Park Stage
Local race fans catch a glimpse of the finish line along the floodwall in Yoctangee Park
Local race fans catch a glimpse of the finish line along the floodwall in Yoctangee Park

Ross County Making Way For Roundabouts

The Ohio Department of Transportation’s District 9 is constructing two roundabouts north of Chillicothe along Ohio 159, where the new Ohio 207 connector intersects and at Ohio 180.

ODOT Public Information Officer Matt McGuire says the work should be complete in 2020.

“There’ll be a new connector connecting the existing 207 over to State Route 159” said McGuire “and there’ll be two roundabouts, one at the new connector and 159 and a roundabout at 180 and 159.”

Studies show roundabouts achieve a 44% reduction in all crashes and a 72-87% reduction in fatal injury crashes when converting a two way stop intersection into a roundabout. READ MORE FROM ODOT

There are nearly 200 roundabouts in the state. Jackson has a roundabout at McCarty Lane and Acy Avenue just west of US 35 and another near Ohio University’s Convocation Center in Athens.

The Connector of Ohio 207 enters Ohio 159. This will be the first of the two roundabouts to be constructed.
The second roundabout will be here at Ohio 159 and Ohio 180.