DirtFish Rally School
Written by Matthew Harris
[dropcap style=”style1″]S[/dropcap]et 30 minutes away from downtown Seattle, at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in Snoqualmie Washington sits the former SFLC/Weyerhaeuser lumber mill. The mill was in operation from 1917 till the early 1990’s when technology and other advancements overtook the lumber industry and forced the mill to close its doors. Weyerhauser’s presence at the mill remained until the early 2000’s. During the time between early 1990’s and early 2000’s they allowed the mill to be used for many things including backdrops to a television show called Twin Peaks. Once the television show ended the old mill site remained desolate for many years with the future outcome of the site looking grim. In June 2010 Snoqualmie Mill Venture purchased the site from Weyerhaeuser. Then in October 2010, DirtFish Rally School moved in and opened its doors.
With over 315 acres of land featuring gravel, mud, and tarmac with open and wooded areas. Plenty of buildings for office spaces, classrooms, gift shop, Museum, Simulator room, mechanic garages, obstacles for the cars and much more. This is a perfect spot for a large caliber rally driving school.
So what exactly is this rally school? DirtFish gives rally fans, automotive enthusiasts and thrill seekers the chance to learn how to drive like a professional rally driver starting with the very basics. It also gives the opportunity for the Pro’s to come train and hone their skills. You will get both classroom and in car training when you take one of the many courses the school has to offer. The schools courses range from 2 hours onto full 3 day courses where you can learn how to do the Scandinavian flick with the best of them in either AWD or the new RWD classes.
The fleet of AWD cars consists of Subaru Impreza STI Sedan and Hatchbacks. While the RWD cars consist of Subaru BRZ Sedans. All of which have been fully modified to rally standards with multi-point roll cages, custom engine mapping, improved high-flow exhausts, reinforced suspension points, rally suspension, Group N brakes/racing pads/fluid, hydraulic hand brake, 15” alloy gravel rally wheels, complete underbody protection, rear wheel scrapers, 5- or 6- point racing harnesses a rally intercom system, and full on DirtFish Rally School graphics.
While the instructors at DirtFish have around 150 years of racing experience combined. The background of the instructors consist of rally in Rally America and Canadian Series, Grand-Am Continental series as well as formula cars. Combining all the different racing backgrounds together you know when you step foot on the premisses at this school you are going to be receiving the best of the best information before you even get to sit in one of the vehicles. DirtFish states that “No matter what you’ve done, where you’ve done it or how well you’ve done it – we’ll make you better.
Not only is DirtFish one the premier rally schools in the U.S. but they also fully support all things rally with drivers like Bucky Lasek (GRC Super Cars), Travis Pastrana (GRC Super Cars/ Rally America) and Tanner Witten (Grc Lites) and many more either driving for or training at the DirtFish it has really put them on the map. Their vehicles and site have now been featured in video games like DIRT3 and Forza. So if you want a full on adrenaline rush learning how the pro’s of the sport drive, don’t pass on the opportunity to give it a shot.
Photo courtesy of DirtFish Rally School