Thursday, May 17, 2012

Best Thing About Being an Off-Road Racer in NH...

OK, there aren't all that many great things about being an offroad racer in NH.  Yup we have some varied terrain but the spaces are too small and too much of the land is broken up into a hundred thousand small private lots.  And any of the big land owners are too scared by the Greens throughout the Northeast to even be the tiniest bit accommodating to those of us who enjoy motorized recreation of virtually any kind.

But there is one cool feature of New Hampshire.  The Team O'Neil Rally School is located here.

If you play your cards right, don't act like a jackass, make the right connections, act respectful and are serious about your craft, you might just come to know some of the employees of the O'Neil school.  Beyond that you might have even more luck and get to test your vehicle at the O'Neil facility under the tutelage of O'Neil's lead instructor and pick up some key tips to making you a better driver/racer.

And if you get SUPER lucky you might become good acquaintances with such instructors and they might divulge information on some of the luminaries who have come through the school and what they thought of them as drivers.

I was recently lucky enough (sorry for the crummy cell phone pics) to fall into all of these categories and will be returning for an official class in the near future.  In the mean time I'll be practicing my trail braking and putting the information I garnered in my day at the O'Neil Rally School to use.

With the following list of drivers having been there in the recent past, its clear O'Neil's is the premier offroad car control center in the country: Ken Block, Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra, Brian Deegan, Bryce Menzies, Rick Johnson, Luke Johnson, Antoine L'Estage, Mark Jenkins, Mike Jenkins, Andy McMillan and the McMillan clan, Dai Yoshihara, Navy Seals (Seal Team Six??  Sorry, but if I told you I'd have to kill you...) and many more.

I could tell a few inside stories but that might just get me in trouble...though I will say that young Mr. Menzies made a big impression while at O'Neil's and was viewed as one of the best students they've had.

If anyone ever wants a personal escort to the O'Neil school or other local information on the area during your visit here, let me know, I'm always glad to help out in what way I can.

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