Roots of the Maine Forest and NEFR

In 1989 Carl Merrill from Ogunquit, ME, who had been a NASCAR sponsor (and sometimes driver under the radar) happened to talk with a local named Sandy Liversidge (who had been a rallyist). Sandy talked up rallying and Carl decided he might be interested himself in competing. Carl bought a Mazda GTX and sent it over to Libra Racing (John Buffum) for building. One afternoon John opened his garage door and there stood Carl, who he had never met. From there Carl went on to drive the Mazda, then a Mitsubishi and finally a Ford Escort 4WD.

Carl was always interested in the whole field of rallying and he and John looked into areas where a rally could be held (both eastern and western Maine). Carl had an old friend at Boise Cascade Paper Co., headquartered in Rumford, ME; John and Carl met with him in the spring of 1990. One of the road superintendents from Boise, Tony Lyons, happened to be from Australia and knew about rallying. So the green light was given to organize a rally, which was first a Divisional rally with the Madison Hotel in Rumford as headquarters. The roads were in the areas of Parmachenee Lake and Magalloway Plantation, many the same as currently.

John acted as Chairman and Rallymaster; Diane Houseal and Ed Brennan, Tom and Barb Ciesla and Mike Collier were his ‘go to’ assistants; Mark Everett and Wayne Brooks were Course Opening and amongst them the whole event was organized for the first few years, starting as an SCCA National Rally in Dec. 1991. As the SCCA series as a whole got more ‘professional’ it required more staffing in some areas. Here’s where Ted Goddard’s skills became important as he took on the role of Chairman dealing with the authorities and their needs. Ted was rallymaster of the legendary Covered Bridge TSD Road Rally for 50 years. He was also Bryar Motorsport Park’s Track Manager and, when Bryar became New Hampshire International Speedway, he was named Director of Operations. Ted served as Chairman of the rally through 2015. NEFR now continues as a new generation begins to become more heavily involved!