Round 4 - Rally America Championship – Oregon Trail Rally
Portland, The Dalles, Dufur - Oregon
Nasioc photos HERE
Oregon Trail Rally began Friday the 13th, at the Portland International Raceway with the super special spectator stages. The sky was blue, the sun was out, but it was Friday the 13th, and soon, the skies darkened. Midway through day 2 in The Dalles Oregon, the thunderstorms rolled in with a vengeance. Massive downpours caused the organizers to cancel the final 2 special stages on the 2nd day of the event as well as shorten the rally stages on day 3 of the event. The roads were just impassible at times. This became a rally of attrition, make it through the stages, and you would find success.
Success was found by Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew. Higgins finished the rally a little over 3 minutes ahead of 2nd place finisher Antoine L’Estage. This win moves Higgins into 1st place in the overall drivers championship.
Second place finishers Antoine L’Estage & co-driver Nathalie Richard suffered a bit fighting puncture after puncture after puncture throughout the rally. Tire punctures for certain had a massive effect on nearly all of the field in Oregon, but in the case of L’Estage, these punctures certainly prevented them from keeping up with Higgins throughout the stages.
Third overall and Super Production class winner Ramana Lagemann (with co-driver Chrissie Beavis) triumphed over mechanical issues on day one to find a class win in the end. They battled closely with Super Production class points leader Travis Hanson - when the third day came to a close Hanson had fallen short by just a few seconds.
A few of the notable top teams did not escape the event unscathed. Subaru Rally Team USA’s Dave Mirra rolled on SS6 ending his day as the car was too heavily damaged to continue. Subaru Canada’s Pat Richard suffered mechanical issues on SS8 also sidelining him for the rest of the event.
Oregon Rally stage times can be found here: http://rally-america.com/events/2011/OREGON/
Next event: STPR June 3-4, 2011 - http://rally-america.com/events/2011/STPR/
Current standings + series information: www.rally-america.com