Royal Rally is a cross between a scavenger hunt and an automotive rally featuring some of Canada’s top performance vehicles.
Teams not only compete to have the best time—without speeding of course—they are also appointed specific tasks at each checkpoint location, much like the television show The Amazing Race.
The rally itself takes inspiration from other cross-country rallys such as the “Gumball 3000” and the “Bullrun” challenge.
The first ever event took place in 2015 with founders David Strashok and Matthew Hayhurst, who organized a 550 km rally taking drivers and participants from Elbow Falls all the way to the prestigious Banff Springs Hotel.
“There is a lot more to it than being the fastest car out there,” said Daniel Kowall, president of Haute AG, one of the main sponsors behind the Royal Rally.
“You are surrounded by people with similar interests,” he said.
It’s a really great feeling getting people excited when they look at all these super cars go by.”
Royal Rally is a for-profit organization based out of Calgary, open to everyone who is willing to put his or her car to the test.
This year’s event will have drivers battling it out in the Badlands of Alberta.
“We started planning about four weeks ago, this one day event will take place in the beginning of June, taking racers to some interesting checkpoints,” said Hayhurst.
“This years event is really going to test peoples knowledge of geography.”
Registration for the “Royal Rally: Badlands” opened on Jan. 16 and already Hayhurst and Strashok have three individuals registered without even knowing the route yet.
This year’s Royal Rally will have ralliers starting their engines on June 11, and is open to every make and model regardless of the car’s performance.
Cars range from Lamborghinis, Mercedes, Porsche, all the way to a fully loaded, rally-ready Toyota Prius.
“Last year we had 38 participants, this year we are expecting a little over 50,” said Strashok.
Participants of the Royal Rally not only get to experience the high-octane thrill of performance sports cars, but everything from lunch, dinner, awards and various events at each checkpoint are included in the automotive rally package.
“It felt great to see all the cars pull into the Banff Springs,” said Chris Radisic, former SAIT automotive graduate, now general manager and chief technician at Haute AG.
“You have no gauge when you are out there, it’s a mental race with yourself,” he said.
Radisic has been working on his custom built G35 LS V8 swap, in hopes to have the car ready for the 2016 Royal Rally event.
SAIT Polytechnic’s Automotive Service Techinician program offered Radisic the opportunity to hone his skills in the automotive industry, leading him to be Red Seal-certified automotive service technician, specializing in German made vehicles.
“Being around the wealth of knowledge that SAIT and its instructors’ are on regular basis propelled me to excel,” said Radisic.
“The fact that I was now a certified, Red seal technician and had the marketing/networking skills I did, I could legitimately approach companies and use my education as a negotiating tool.
“I had the confidence to know the most effective way to utilize my license attained at SAIT,” he said.
“Not to take away from the fact that they helped shape who I was professionally throughout those four years of schooling.”
The entry fee for Royal Rally – Badlands is $300 per team (based on two team members per car).
The entry fee includes Royal Rally route cards, official welcome package with sponsor goodies, lunch checkpoint, dinner checkpoint, awards ceremony, rally decals and an exhilarating experience that you’ll remember for years to come.
For more information on the event and how to register visit www.royalrally.com, and if you would like to learn more about Haute AG and the services available via Chris or Dan visit their shop located at 23 St SE, Calgary, AB T2E 6K1, Canada.