Jonah Street Takes Seventh in Dakar Then Races in America with NASA Rally Sport

Jonah Street just finished seventh at the Dakar rally in South America, and was the top competitor from the USA. After months of training, preparation, and two weeks of grueling racing in the Dakar, this hero deserves a break. But less than a week after making it back home to the US, he's already planning for his next rally. Street is headed South again, only this time he won't need a passport or a translator, he's racing in the United States. The Sandblast Rally on February 6 in South Carolina, is his next stop.

Sandblast Rally runs in a similar format to the Dakar. Racing stages are separated by liaison sections. The main differences for Street are going to be the length and the navigation. Sandblast is only one day long, running from morning to night. The format of the rally is the same as a WRC rally event, so the stages are completely closed and there are no navigation choices to make during the racing sections. Relative to the Dakar, the Sandblast Rally is much more of a sprint, with the competitors covering 130 miles.

'Our other racers are very excited.' say Anders Green of NASA Rally Sport. 'Like millions of other race fans, they have been watching Jonah on Versus for the last three weeks. Getting to race him, in the sandy conditions we have, is like escaping to Dakar just for a day. Other Dakar competitors have said that our stages remind them of the old Dakar Day 1 stages in Portugal, so I have no doubt that Jonah will jump right in move out to the front.'

Sandblast Rally is one of only a handful of rallies in the US that take part in NASA Rally Sport's program called RallyMoto™, which allows motorcycles to compete on the same racing stages as traditional rally cars. This program started in 2007 and has exploded in popularity. For the last two years, Sandblast Rally has had the biggest entry fields of any rally in America.

Street's machine, given his long relationship with the manufacturer, is no surprise: KTM. The 950 Super Enduro is built and ready for the trip to Cheraw, SC next week. The Dakar had a recent class rule lowering the allowed engine displacement, but large engines are still allowed with NASA Rally Sport. Some riders will be on BMW HP2 bikes with 1200cc engines. 'A key difference,' notes Green 'is that since the format of our rally is so compact, we can have medical staff only a few miles away. Safety is still our primary concern for all racers.'

For Dakar fans that want to follow Street as he races next weekend, they can sign up for text message updates and get scores on SandblastRally.com. For those folks lucky enough to live in the Southeast, they have a chance to meet this Dakar hero and watch him race in South Carolina. A testing session on the Friday before the race is open for viewing. Friday evening all competitors will have their race vehicles on display in Chesterfield, SC. The ceremonial start is Saturday morning in downtown Cheraw, SC. More spectating information is available on SandblastRally.com.

Jonah Street