Double Podium at New England Forest Rally!

• October 10, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Fong & Machin Take Top Finishes in Maine & NH Rallies

Danbury residents share stage with some of the biggest names in rally racing at nationally-sanctioned
New England Forest Rally


Newry, Maine (August, 2015) – Driver Alvin Fong and Co-driver William Machin, both of Danbury, successfully piloted their 2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX to a first place finish in the Super Production class in the New Hampshire Rally and a second place finish in the Super Production class in the Maine Rally. The rally races are the regional competitions that are a part of the two-day nationally-sanctioned New England Forest Rally. The New England Forest Rally, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has established itself as one of the premier rally racing events in North America and is the sixth of eight rounds in the 2015 Rally America National Championship.

The team’s winning finish time in class in the New Hampshire Rally was 1:20:43.8 (1 hour, 20 minutes, 43.8 seconds), which also placed them in fifth place overall, just 3:31.1 (3 minutes, 31.1 seconds) behind the overall winner. The pair notched a second-place time of 38:07.7 (38 minutes, 7.7 seconds) in the shorter-stage Maine Rally.

Black Box Rally, as the team calls itself got its start in rally racing after Fong’s friend showed him a rally video in high school physics class. “I was hooked. When I landed an internship my freshman year in college, I blew all my savings putting a down payment on a Mitsubishi Evo,” Fong recalled. “Six months later, we stumbled upon the Finger Lakes Winter Rally series, and I convinced a bunch of high school buddies to come along with me. These guys now make up the bulk of our rally team.”

Black Box Rally has several successes to its credit, including Eastern Regional Super Production Champions in the 2014 Rally America series, first place in the Production AWD Cup in the 2012 U.S. Rally Championship, and dozens of podium finishes in rallies since 2011.

While rally racing is their passion, it is not their profession. According to Fong, “We’re a self-taught rally team that has gone from knowing nothing about cars to winning championships. Despite all having day jobs and no formal mechanical background, we’ve learned to do all the work ourselves.”

“They are not only good competitors, they are great ambassadors of the sport of rally. I’m really glad they had a strong finish,” commented Tim O’Neil, chairman of the New England Forest Rally and owner of Team O’Neil Rally School in Dalton, NH. Team O’Neil is widely recognized within the rally racing community as one of the most successful motorsports brands in the industry. It has dominated the two-wheel drive Rally America Championship for nearly a decade. In addition to the Team O’Neil/Ford Performance Motorsports division, the Rally School has been teaching advanced driving techniques to race champions from almost every motorsports discipline, military and security personnel, and the general public since 1997. It is considered the premier rally racing school in the United States.

The 25th anniversary running of the New England Forest Rally, July 17-18, featured 100-plus stage miles over two days of competition. The course consisted of dirt and gravel logging roads that are known as a favorite among competitors due to their challenging and technical demands. For fans, the real thrill was witnessing the incredible skill of these drivers as they maneuvered their cars (twisting, sliding, turning and jumping) through the woods at speeds up to 100 mph. The New England Forest Rally will return to its base at Sunday River Resort in Newry, Maine for the 26th running of the rally on July 15-16, 2016.

Contact: Allan Guilbeault

TotalScope Marketing/LGA

(603) 398-9396

Black Box rally team achieves longstanding dream at 2015 STPR; finishes 3rd in Super Production National

• June 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Black Box rally team driver Alvin Fong and co-driver Billy Machin were awarded a third place podium finish in SP National at STPR, but their rally was not without its challenges. This was the third time the team had entered the event, but their first time finishing.

Co-driver Billy Machin had this to say: “Every hero needs their heroine”.

The team worked for months to prepare the car since the winter regional rally, but as luck would have it, power steering failed on the very first stage on Waste Management; one of the toughest and most technical stages within STPR. By the end of the first day, the Evo’s center differential was also having serious problems, leading to unpredictable handling problems.

Driver Alvin Fong explained: “Every bump, rut, and jump threatened to take us off the road and send us into the trees. The rougher stages made this rally as physically demanding as it was mentally demanding.”

Worse still, the center differential problems were spreading to the transfer case, putting a time limit on the life of the drivetrain. The team pressed on regardless through all 14 special stages without power steering, driving conservatively to protect the transfer case. With their service crew of two going above and beyond mitigating mechanical issues, the team was able to pull into the finish of the rally, where

an exasperated Fong exclaimed: “We first came to this event in 2006 as volunteers. Nine years later, we made it to the finish as competitors.”

Finishing the event was an accomplishment in itself with 70 entrants starting, and only 39 combined national and regional teams finishing day 2.

Black Box’s crew chief remarked: “Clearly, we’ve once again seen the overriding importance of finishing. When we finish, we podium, even when we’re slowed by a broken car and a driver left with jello arms at the end of the rally.”

Black Box rally team would like to thank all the organizers and volunteers that made STPR possible. Their next event is New England Forest Rally July 17-18 in Newry, Maine.



Black Box rally team is headquartered in Danbury, CT. In their first season of rallying, they finished 1st overall in the 2012 United States Rally Championship, securing the Production AWD Cup.


Black Box rally team announces 2015 season

• January 18, 2015 • Leave a Comment

2/21 – Winter Wellsboro Rally

4/18 – Empire State Performance Rally

6/5 – STPR Rally

7/17 – New England Forest Rally

9/18 – Black River Stages