Tag Archives: USA

The Spirit of Rallying is strong with this 1-99

“Stage rally is where I always wanted to go when I was a kid. Watching WRC and seeing the drivers deal with all the different elements was something that reminded me a lot of motocross. In stage rally, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about making the best of the worst situations, and for me, that’s a lot of fun.” – Travis Pastrana at Rally America’s Rally in 100 Acre Wood.

Read the rest of this interview HERE. Welcome back to special stage rallying, Mr 199!

Photos by Subaru of America.

Pastrana returns to rallying in 2014

The defending five-time Rally America Champion David Higgins will have a new team-mate for the 2014 Rally America Championship: Travis Pastrana.

“Subaru is very excited to bring back both of our former rally champions,” said Rob Weir, Motorsports Marketing Manager at Subaru of America. “Between David and Travis, Subaru Rally Team USA has won the Rally America Championship seven times in the last eight years. Having them together this season will give us our best chance at defending our title.” Continue reading Pastrana returns to rallying in 2014

L’Estage gets Subaru powerrrrr for Rally America

Reigning Canadian and North American Rally Champions Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard will contest the final two rounds of the Rally America series in an Open Class 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, via support from Subaru and John Buffum’s Vermont-based Libra Racing shop.

The Rockstar Energy Rally Team will make their first appearance in the car, an ex-Subaru Rally Team USA car last used by the team in 2010, this weekend at Minnesota’s Ojibwe Forests Rally, and again at the Lake Superior Performance Rally in Michigan later this year.

“After our big accident in the WRC Lancer a few months ago, we were left without a car and looking for something competitive with which we could finish the Rally America series,” exclaimed Quebec driver Antoine L’Estage. “The opportunity arose to drive a Subaru at the final two rounds and Subaru stepped up with support to make it happen. We’re grateful for their assistance and I’m really looking forward to driving this car. We’ve had really great seasons for the past few years with amazing results. This year started off with a win at the Sno*Drift Rally in January and we were hoping that it was a sign of another great season ahead. That didn’t happen in the Rally America series, but we always worked really hard and we’ve now been presented with this great opportunity to finish off the year in a competitive car with the help of Subaru,” he adds.

L’Estage will drive the Rockstar Subaru Impreza WRX STI in the last two rounds of the 2013 Rally America series. The car will be serviced by John Buffum’s Libra Racing with technical assistance from Subaru technical-partner Vermont SportsCar.

The Ojibwe Forests Rally, based out of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, is making a return to the Rally America calendar after a several year absence. L’Estage/ Richard will be competing in the 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX STI for their very first time and both are eagerly looking forward to the opportunity. “It’s been somewhat of an anomaly for us to encounter so many challenges in one championship, in the same year,” said Richard. “We won the last Canadian event at the end of June and we’re now hoping to finish off the Rally America series on a high note.”

The duo currently leads the 2013 North American Rally Cup and good results at these last two events would help increase their lead.

Photos: Neil McDaid.

Antoine L'Estage TESTING

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Ojibwe Forests Rally returns to Rally America calendar

The Ojibwe Forests Rally returns to the Rally America National Championship on 23 – 24 August after running as a regional rally event the last three years. This edition of the Ojibwe Forests Rally is round six of the championship and is now headquartered in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

With a new location and a return to national event status many national teams will race the iconic fast and flowing stage roads for the first time, which adds another level of complexity for drivers who are running out of chances to win a Championship title. Two championship rounds remain and the pressure is getting more intense.

Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew currently lead the Rally America National Championship standings. They need just one more overall win to lock up their third consecutive Rally America title. However, the Subaru team missed the last two chances to do so when they lost first place overall to Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino at the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally and the New England Forest Rally.

David Higgins

Block and Gelsomino are in the midst of a furious season comeback. They absolutely need to win the last two Rally America rounds to overcome Subaru Rally Team USA and snatch the Rally America title.

Both teams are looking over their shoulders as other top national teams are in the mix to win the Ojibwe Forests Rally and add to their point totals. Notably, Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team’s Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard are expected to enter with a turbo-charged, all-wheel-drive Tiburon. L’Estage and Richard were locked in a third place battle in New England until they completely lost a wheel on the second day and a chance to win their fourth consecutive New England Forest Rally.

Indonesia’s Rifat Sungkar, a popular driver in his country, has now landed on the overall podium in two of his three events this year, and has been getting faster as he gets more comfortable with his Mitsubishi Evolution X. He is certainly a contender that is hungry for his first American stage rally victory and appears to be ready to do so at any time.

Super Production’s (SP) David Sterckx and Karen Jankowski have been walking away with the SP title having won the previous three rounds. The team needs one more class victory to lock up their first Super Production title. But, Rally America’s youngest driver, Mason Moyle with veteran co-driver John Hall, are also vying for their first SP title and need to win the last two rounds for any chance at victory. Moyle has already stood on the podium three times this year, but a SP Class win still eludes him.

Last year’s SP Class winners, Lauchlin O’Sullivan and Scott Putnam, are expected back after missing the last two rounds with a refreshed 2008 Subaru WRX STI. The team suffered a dramatic racing crash at the Oregon Trail Rally and spent the last few months piecing the car back together. Even though the team is out of title contention they are always a threat to win their class.

A big Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) category battle is heading into the final two Rally America rounds as current points leaders Andrew Comrie-Picard and Jeremy Wimpey, from the Scion Racing Rally xD team, attempt to hold off a hard-charging Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth in their Ford Fiesta R2. Comrie-Picard and Wimpey built an early points buffer, but Australians Reeves and Smyth have won each event they have entered since the season’s midpoint.

As Reeves and Smyth chip away at the Scion driver’s standings, Comrie-Picard needs to place second place or better at the next two rounds in order to secure their first 2WD title.

The rest of the 2WD standings could easily change as only a 16 point spread separates 2nd from 4th place. While second place Reeves is chasing Comrie-Picard, third place Chris Greenhouse with co-driver Peter Watt is set on preventing fourth place Ford Fiesta drivers, Dillon Van Way and Andrew Edwards, from overtaking their position.

Brendan Reeves

Join the Ojibwe Forests Rally at the Parc Expose to meet drivers and take photos of the cars before the race begins on Friday, August 23rd at 3:30pm CDT on Washington Avenue, Detroit Lakes, MN, and on Saturday August 24th at 9:30am at the Buffalo River Race park in Glyndon, MN. Pick up a spectator guide and plan your viewing schedule, or you download the spectator guide for free at: http://bit.ly/18YSnxK

Event organizers promise more spectator opportunities. The event begins with a Subaru autograph session at the Muscatell Subaru dealership in Moorhead, MN at 3:30pm CDT on Wednesday, August 21st. A driver meet & greet session will follow at the Fargo, ND Holiday Inn beginning at 5:30pm CDT.

The Ojiwbe Forests Rally will feature two super special stages at the Buffalo River Race Park following Saturday’s Parc Expose beginning at 10:00am. Fans can watch an entire competition stage from start to finish from one location. Admission is $5 per ticket.

Rally America is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Ford Racing, VP Racing Fuels, Honda Development Research, GrimmSpeed, Exedy Racing Clutches and Teleblend.

Photos: Neil McDaid.

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Lack of rain affects Rally America’s Olympus Rally

With the Olympus Rally set for 22 – 23 September a lack of rain over the last few weeks in the Olympia, WA area has forced Olympus Rally organizers to alter the event due to an increased forest fire threat issued by landowners. To protect against forest fires landowners are requiring that no recreational activities take place during the hottest part of the day.

As a result, event organizers are happy to report that the 23rd running of the Olympus Rally will continue despite an increased fire danger level. Unfortunately, the agreement also closes the land to public use and as a result, organizers have had to cancel on-stage spectator viewing locations for both Saturday and Sunday.

Fans can still attend the Super Special that will take place at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, WA on Saturday evening at 18h40. A Super Special Stage allows fans to watch the racing action from start to finish from a single viewing location. It’s a great opportunity to watch the competition and meet the drivers in the service area. The Ridge Motorsports Park is a new road course facility located at 1060 Eells Hill Rd, Shelton, WA – the fee for access to The Ridge Motorsports Park on Saturday will be just $10 per car load.

In addition, the Olympus Rally event schedule has been changed to support the land closure. The most visible change will be the cancellation of both the Olympia Capitol grounds Parc Expose on Saturday morning as well as The Ridge Motorsports Park Parc Expose on Sunday morning – both activities have been cancelled to allow the rally to start earlier. A complete schedule will be available soon on http://www.rally-america.com.

The Olympus Rally is the sixth and final event of the Rally America National Championship and is slated to attract 78 rally teams to the Olympia, WA – the largest field of teams ever entered in a Rally America event. This year’s Olympus Rally will feature some of the top rally teams in all of North America including Subaru Rally Team (which recently won the Rally America National Championship), Monster World Rally Team with Gymkhana legend Ken Block and the Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team with 2010 Rally America National Champion Antoine Le’Estage.

The Olympus Rally organizers appreciate the understanding from rally fans and sponsors and hope spectators will respect the landowner’s wishes.

Please direct further questions to press@rally-america.com or for more information.

NEFR is ready for competition this weekend

The fifth round of the Rally America National Championship is scheduled to land at the New England Forest Rally (NEFR) on July 13 – 14th in Newry, Maine. NEFR is the second to the last in the national circuit and is a favorite event among many rally drivers for it’s technical, flowing gravel roads set among a picturesque mountain landscape. Continue reading NEFR is ready for competition this weekend

Two wins in a week

Contesting Round Four of the Rally America series this past weekend in Pennsylvania, Canadian driver Antoine L’Estage and his co-driver Nathalie Richard claimed another victory, confirming their domination of the North American Rally Championship just one week after their last win in Canada.

“This is a huge victory for the Rockstar Energy Drink team, especially right after winning last weekend out west at the Rocky Mountain Rally,” said L’Estage. “We already accomplished this same back-to-back win in 2010 – just taking part in both events with the same car is something pretty special when you consider the time it takes to cross the continent and the logistical challenges involved. Winning both is especially sweet and I’m really so proud of the entire team.” Continue reading Two wins in a week