South Carolina welcomes you for the 2023 running of the Sandblast Rally. The roads are prepared to challenge your skill and vehicle to see who can arrive back in Cheraw in the best condition with the fastest time. I want to extend a special welcome to the new competitors with fast motorcycles and cars that will be joining us this year. I am looking forward to seeing all of you on these challenging and fun roads.
Sandblast Rally is a car and motorcycle race run primarily in the Sandhills State Forest and H. Cooper Black Recreation facility in Chesterfield Country, SC. All of the racing is against the clock to see which vehicle can complete the course in the lowest cumulative time.
If you are not competing, the best way to get close to the action is to volunteer. Head over to the volunteer page and get signed up. As a volunteer, you get closer to the racing than the spectators, and get free lunch and dinner.
If this is your first time to the rally or your first time ever finding out about the rally, glad you are here!
Andrew Frick Rally Chairman
Running annually since 2001, Sandblast Rally has been a staple of stage rally competition in the Southeast for two decades. The unique road surface and stage character are one-of-a-kind this side of the Mississippi, and it continues to be a competitor favorite for its compact size and one day schedule. With the road surface constantly transitioning from wide and loose to narrow hard pack, it’s a true test of a racer’s skill and ability to overcome the elements! And with nearly 90 miles of competition in a single day, it’s the best bang-for-your-buck in performance rally!
Performance rally doesn’t happen without an army of volunteers. Sandblast Rally relies on our seasoned team in key positions, and we encourage anyone interested in the sport to start by volunteering. Volunteers get closer to the action than spectators, and you get free swag, lunch, and dinner at the awards party! We highly recommend bringing a friend, so grab your best rally bud and come hang out with us at Sandblast Rally!
Spectating is back for 2023!! Please be respectful of the volunteers and their desire to stay safe during this ongoing pandemic.
Here’s what you need to know.
Friday, March 3th
The rally cars and motorcycles will be in downtown Chesterfield, SC from 5:30-7:30pm for public display, aka parc expose. Come see all the vehicles fresh from shakedown and meet the competitors. Restaurants and bars in the downtown area will be open. Rally merchandise will be also available for sale.
Saturday, March 4th – Race Day!
The race officially starts in Downtown Chesterfield at 8:30am as the teams leave to head out to the first of the day’s racing stages. Teams are expected to finish in downtown Cheraw, SC before sundown, but unexpected situations sometimes arise which can delay the racers’ arrival at the finish.
In between the start in Chesterfield and the finish in Cheraw, the cars and bikes will tackle 9 race sections on unpaved roads called special stages. At 3 times during the day, teams will stop at Festival Field in Patrick, SC for service breaks.
The service park is a great place to see the racers after they’ve returned from racing in the woods, as they rush to repair damage within the allowed time and get back out on the stages. If teams are not having issues, most are happy to talk with you about the race, their vehicles, and anything else. Food and rally merch will be available at service as well. Spectator vehicles are not allowed in the service park, but you may park on the roadside and walk in.
The racers will be in and out of service between 10:00am and 4:00pm. The map below shows the service area (green block) in relation to the blinking light at the Rt 1 / Rt 102 intersection. Directions are below under “Patrick Service”.
Watching the Race:
We’ve set up 4 spectator areas which provide great views of the action on 8 of the day’s 9 special stages. Due to the rally schedule it’s not practical to make it to all of them, but the racers will come past some of the spectator points more than once. These locations are very popular and parking is limited, so allow time to walk in from where you have to park. Please park on the right side of the road and leave the left side clear for emergency vehicles.
Many spectators stake out a spot at a single area and stay there all day. Spectator areas are marked with yellow banner tape and manned by one or more marshals. Please stay behind the banner tape and obey instructions from the marshals. Marshals are there to keep the spectators and racers safe, and they have the authority to stop the race if they feel there is a safety concern.
Spectator Area Name
Sextons Big Curve
11:40am – 12:45pm
Sand Trap Hairpin
12:10pm – 1:15pm
Headquarters Double S
Sugarloaf Horseshoe Mountain I Horseshoe Mountain II
8:50am – 9:55am 12:45pm – 1:55pm 4:25pm – 5:35pm
H Cooper Black Four Way
Campbell Lake Campbell Lake Reverse CJ’s Loop
9:40am – 10:45am 2:20pm – 3:25pm 5:40pm – 6:50pm
What to Expect
We have all your favorite rally car machinery: rally ready motorcycles and cars! You will see everything from the Ford Focus all the way up to the Mitsubishi Evo, from the Triumph Tiger to the KTM 690 Enduro! Get ready as everyone battles it out in the first round of the Atlantic Rally Cup, the Atlantic RallyMoto™ Cup.
You will see the course opening Zero Cars just before the bikes race. Then, we will clear the course with the Combo Car; so, expect a short delay before the cars show up on stage. Please help us out and be careful when parking at the spectator areas. We need room to bring emergency vehicles as needed. The best solution is for everyone to park on the right side of the road and leave the left side clear for emergency vehicles. Enjoy your day in the woods!
Directions to Spectator Areas
All directions start “From Patrick” and assume that you are at the intersection of Route 102 and Route 1, where the blinking light is, in the center of Patrick.
Sextons Big Curve
GPS: 34.440433, -80.319933
From Patrick, drive 14.8 mileswest on Route 1, toward McBee.
Cross Pine Ave / Route 151 in the middle of McBee and continue straight.
After driving 4 miles, turn Right onto Old Creek Rd.
After driving 0.5 miles Turn Right
Park immediately and walk 100 yards to spectator area.
GPS: 34.498833, -80.217333
From Patrick, drive 11.3 mileswest on Route 1, toward McBee.
Watch for large sign on the right side of road reading: Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge Maintenance Area Wildlife Drive
Take the next Left (0.1 miles) onto Over-Flow Rd.
Drive 0.4 miles to spectator area.
Headquarters Double S
GPS: 34.56130, -80.118367
From Patrick, drive 4.0 mileswest on Route 1, toward McBee.
Watch for large sign on the right reading: Sand Hills State Forest
At that sign turn Right into the State Forest headquarters.
Pass the office (office is on the right) and turn Right. At the corner will be a small post with the number 16222.
After driving 0.55 miles, arrive at the railroad tracks. Park here. The sand on the other side of the tracks is pretty soft, so to prevent folks getting stuck, you’ll need to walk about three minutes up to the intersection on the other side of the tracks.
H Cooper Black Four Way
GPS: 34.565483, -79.939183
From Patrick, drive 6.5 miles east on Route 1, toward Cheraw.
Turn Right on Teal Mill Rd / Society Hill Rd.
Drive 4.4 miles.
Turn Right onto H. Cooper Black Rec Rd, also known as TT19.
After driving 1.9 miles you will arrive at a four way intersection that is the spectator area.
GPS: 34.572667, -80.042483
From Patrick, drive a quarter of a mile south on Route 102.
Turn Left onto Cranford Street.
Drive 0.1 miles.
Turn Left onto Douglas Street at the T and park on the side of the road.
Cars and motorcycles racing down the road at crazy speeds? Staying at home on your couch is certainly safer. Be careful out there! Let’s cover some basics so you can have fun while enjoying the race!
The most likely trouble you will encounter is exposure to the elements! Sometimes there are delays to running the stage; so, be prepared to spend some time out in the weather. Sun, heat, cold, hunger, and thirst are the most common problems for rally spectators. Pack a few extra water bottles, some nutritious snacks, anti bug spray, sunscreen and rain gear. You are in the woods after all!
Be sure to stay inside the defined spectator areas and heed the word of the volunteer safety marshals. Spectator safety is our top priority. Your safety is more important to the race organizers than the race itself. We will cancel a stage if we cannot guarantee the safety of all involved, including you! Everyone is bummed when we cancel stages. Please do your part: listen to the safety marshals and stay behind the tape!