Will's description still may be a bit misleading. Road Rally is not performance based, at least as far as the car goes, so it is not a Rally ala Evo/Subaru/Stratos fame. It's done on public roads which are not closed to the public, so in theory it follows posted speed limits. However, brisk driving is occasionally called for (or at least the need seems to come up occasionally [:D]). Road rallies also frequently make use of infrequently travelled rural roads, as they tend to be more scenic, fun to drive and have less civilian traffic to deal with. Sometimes that means gravel. Sometimes after dark.
Chuck has been quite successful in Road Rally, even nationally. I'm sure he added the skid plates so he doesn't have to be worried about banging something up in a worst-case scenario when he needs to make up time on a rough road to nail the next check point. Seems pretty smart to me, and you can never have enough light at night on a country road.