The Inaugural WINTR Series Crowns the Champions

The WINTR Series just concluded last weekend with the running of the Winter Challenge Rally in Barre, Vermont.  This WINTR series was a Winter INTernational Rally series made up of six rallies with the best three results counting toward the championship.  The six rallies were:

  • Son of Sno Drift in Waterford, Michigan
  • Long Way Home Rally in Piffard, New York
  • Rallye des Neiges in Bromont, Quebec
  • Ohio Winter Rally in Solon, Ohio
  • Maple Leaf Winter Rally in Bancroft, Ontario
  • Winter Challenge Rally in Barre, Vermont


I was lucky enough to be able to take part in every one of these rallies.  And I absolutely enjoyed every one of these rallies.  Further, I hope to be able to take part in these rallies next winter.  I would commend these rallies to everyone who wants to accept the challenge of winter rallying.  None of these rallies were easy – just the kind of rally that Frank Beyer and I were looking for when we put this WINTR Series together.  Another challenge was that every one of these rallies was considerably different from the other rallies.

In the end the inaugural WINTR Series Champions were the team of Ron Johnstonbaugh/ Jack van Kaenel, who did exceptionally well by posting a best three results of three victories.  John is from Ohio and Jack is from Virginia.  What a great team they are!  John can drive his Subaru very well on the slippery winter roads and Jack’s timing and navigational skills are simply top notch.

In the end, the series accomplished the goals that Frank Beyer and I set for the WINTR Series.  I believe that we found worthy champions among the very good winter rally teams in the northeast United States and central Canada who compete in tough winter rallies.

Another goal that we accomplished was to introduce some rally competitors to rallies that they might not have normally competed in.  These represented new challenges and learning experiences that have made these competitors better for it.  And I think that they enjoyed the challenge.

All of these were true for me, plus I met some great people at all of these events. I look forward to doing it again next year and I encourage others to join us next WINTR.

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