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Old 03-03-2010, 02:58 PM   #1
ricochet
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Default 100 Acre Wood Recap: R-A Round 2

SRTUSA Just Outside Podium at 100 Acre Wood Rally
Ryan Douthit, Driving Sports TV



Click here for the video recap!
Official NASIOC 100AW Picture/Story Thread


This past weekend rally fans turned their attention to Salem, Missouri, for Round 2 of the Rally America Championship and – more specifically – to see if Ken Block could take home an unprecedented 5th straight win at Rally in the 100 Acre Wood.

This is a fast gravel event, that plays to Block's strengths behind the wheel, but it wasn’t going to be easy: former teammate Travis Pastrana of the Subaru Rally Team USA, Canadian Champion Antoine L’Estage and many other talented drivers were lined up to steal Block’s thunder. And, after he posted a DNF in Round 1, Sno*Drift, we were starting to wonder if Block had exorcised the demons from last season.

First, let’s take a look at some of the slower classes. In 2-wheel drive it was yet again the classic 1990 Volkswagen Golf of Chris Duplessis and Catherine Woods. They took Dillon Van Way’s 2002 Ford Focus to the woodshed and dominated their class to the very end. Van Way trailed by a massive six minutes, which had to be humbling for the 2009 class champion.

Moving up to Super Production, it’s starting to feel like déjà-vu. This group was yet again dominated by the father-son team of Travis and Terry Hanson. Their Subaru STI finished the 103 mile event more than two and a half minutes faster than the nearest class rivals. Sound a lot like their last event.

It was in the Open Class that things start to get interesting.

The privateer team of William Bacon and Peter Watt yet again showed the big guys how it was done, by taking their second third place podium of the season in a Mitsubishi Evolution 9. For this team, consistency was key: they ranked 3rd or 4th in each of the 15 stages over the two-day event. Pulling off another podium just proves that this team isn’t a one-hit wonder. In fact, they’re becoming a solid threat to the factory teams in the championship standings.

After a valiant battle for first place, the Rockstar Rally Evolution X of Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard suffered a puncture on Day 2. That delay, as well as a challenging water hazard that caused excessive window fogging, knocked the experienced team to a second place finish overall. They still maintained a nearly three minute lead on the Bacon Evolution. This finish also hoists L’Estage into the lead of the points Championship.

Finally, the overall win at 100 Acre Wood for the fifth straight year goes to Ken Block. This is the first podium for his new Monster Rally Team Fiesta and goes to show that Rally is more than just outright speed; it also takes restraint. You see, Block wasn’t the fastest of the weekend, he only won three stages outright. In fact, former teammate Travis Pastrana of the Subaru Rally Team USA won eight stages and was leading the rally by a full minute before he lost a rear control arm (during a short Super Special no less) on Day 2 and was forced to withdraw.

L’Estage won the other four stages and was consistently faster than Block, overall. But, when luck turned against the two leaders, Block’s Monster Rally Ford Fiesta was able to press through for ultimate victory.

The other Subaru Team Driver, Dave Mirra, was able to turn in a respectable fourth place finish, which will earn him some points towards the Championship standings. This was only his second race in Block’s old Open Class STI, and was an improvements over his 5th overall finish at Sno*Drift.

Next up, the Rally America Championship moves out to the west coast for two great events: Olympus Rally on the Washington State coast and the Oregon Trail Rally in Hood River, Oregon. Both these events are technically challenging, and have been known to cause grief for even the most prepared teams. Olympus kicks off on the 24th of April.
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Last edited by ricochet; 03-03-2010 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:59 PM   #2
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:03 PM   #3
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that porshche 918 looks pretty damn good.
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:00 AM   #4
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needs more widgets and cowbell though
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Old 03-04-2010, 02:41 PM   #5
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Man that dude in the glasses rubs me wrong for some reason.
=P

Anyways, sucks Travis had another suspension problem.
=/
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:27 PM   #6
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I was there and saw him do it. Typical Travis showing off too much, clipped a ditch while drifting an uphill corner, knocked the bead of his tire, and when he went to go change it, found the control arm. They sat helplessly at the exit of the parking lot while everyone else continued on. It was very sad. Made me want to go pull a control arm of an STi in the parking lot next to it lol
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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I was rooting for Pastrana to knock Ken off his Block... Oh well. I was going to go, but at the last minute chickened out of a 4 hour one way drive. After seeing pictures and recaps, I really wish I would've went anyway. Maybe next year...
Kenny's going to be doing the WRC this weekend in Mexico. As much as I hate that he's driving a Ford now, I'm still going to be rooting for him since he's repping The USA. He's a talented driver, I just can't stand listening to him talk.
I'm still thinking he's going to get his ass handed to him in WRC....
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:13 PM   #8
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I wish I stayed at the super special. We left after we found out we had to be behind the fence to take pics. If I would have stayed I would have been willing to offer up my rear control arm to Travis to get him back in the race had I known. I am sure he would have gotten me one to get home. I just wanted to see him finish. I am still a fan of Ken, however I wanted Travis to drive him into the ground. Travis and Dave where awesome guys to talk to at the rally, I had soo much fun. Hopefully Travis will end out on top at the end of the year.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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Yeah I'm rooting for him all the way. I like seeing new production teams competeing, it's good for the sport, but I would detest seeing a ford win the championship. Travis wrecked out of 100 acre wood last year too, and still won. Let's hope he can do it again. At this point, it actually looks like Antoine l'estage will be a big competitor. Vey consistanr driving could win it if travis and Ken don't clean it up .
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Old 03-06-2010, 03:03 AM   #10
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that porsche is sick
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:41 AM   #11
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/\/\/
im with you!
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:32 AM   #12
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I would have liked to see Pastrana not fall out after being a minute ahead. Block only won because of a drain ditch. Great competition though. Looks to be a good rally season.
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:54 PM   #13
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Which control arm broke? Is Travis still running a Vermont Sports Car-prepped GR chassis with a reinforced version of the rear suspension, or is he using the WRC Macpherson strut in the rear now?
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:56 PM   #14
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It was the drivers side rear arm. And I am not sure to tell the truth I never got a great look at it. He's obviously runnin the gr chassis though, so he is probably also using the new set up instead of the macphearson style
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:54 PM   #15
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I was thinking there is a possibility the US SRT cars got the macpherson strut design that the GR cars in the WRC were using, especially now that the WRC cars have been retired (Matt Wilson's is last one?).
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:48 PM   #16
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I don't think a grhas ever run in the wrc...and this year even matt wilson is in a focus. I hope block can put a fire under subies butt and they will get back in it next season. Atkinson is still looking for a car lol
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:55 PM   #17
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Sorry, maybe I got the name wrong, but there was definitely someone running a GR for 2009. Whoever it was, they were running around 8th-10th place. I'll have to check one of the events still on my dvr. I believe the factory team drivers ran a couple events in 2008 with the GR before subaru pulled the plug at the end of 08. But my main point was just that the WRC GR cars that were built by Subaru still used a Macpherson strut design in the rear similar to the GD cars and I was wondering if one of these cars made it into the US rally scene.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:52 PM   #18
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I know there was a subie last year but I thought it was an 'old' 07 sedan, not the new gr. And I didn't look at all the drivers when I checked Wilson, just the featured ones. There could be a privateer team running around with one this season too. It sucks for them to be out of the running though. :-(
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:37 AM   #19
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Could be- I'll have to look again -agreed
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:43 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank A View Post
Could be- I'll have to look again -agreed
There was an S14 at a couple of rounds last year.
Most notably Gronholm drove one in Portugal.
Quote:
Prodrive approached and offered me a chance to compete in WRC Portugal with Subaru Impreza WRC 2008 rally car. After having a test in WRC Norway I decided to take the challenge.
When 1½ years ago I made a decision to retire from WRC I didn't say never to come back. However WRC Portugal is just a single event and nothing more. After the rally I have to analyze my feelings and to see what happens next.
Travis and Dave's cars do not use the same rear suspension setup that Prodrive used on the S14 or S15.
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