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Old 02-27-2007, 10:22 PM   #1
ricochet
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Default 100 Acre Wood Rally Report



Rally Report: 100 ACRE WOOD
By Jeff Zurschmeide, Subiesport Magazine
Photos: Lars Gange - rally.subaru.com

After January’s exciting season opener at the Sno*Drift Rally in Michigan, the field was wide open for the contenders at this month’s event in Missouri. Recall that although Travis Pastrana and Christian Edstrom of Subaru Rally Team USA won the January event, they won only three stages of the rally outright. This championship is still very much open, for the driver with the guts and skill to take it.

In addition to the championship, teams are also competing for a coveted position in the lineup for this summer’s X-Games rally racing competition, which offers an international TV audience and unparalleled sponsor exposure.

100 Acre Wood is the second race of the 2007 national championship series sanctioned by Rally America. The Ozark Mountains are renowned for their fast, tight roads and close competition. As must be expected in February, weather is as much a factor at 100 Acre Wood as it is at Sno*Drift. Rain, hail, snow, or all three might make an appearance. Every competitive rally team must be prepared for any eventuality, and they must be prepared to work around the clock to keep their teams up front.

The rally began on Friday afternoon, with five stages on the day’s schedule. SRTUSA’s Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino were first on the road, and they showed that they intended to stay at the head of the pack, beating teammates Travis Pastrana and Christian Edstrom by a shade over 5 seconds over the 4.45-mile warmup. The next 8 cars represented the cream of the Open class, with only 15 seconds of difference separating 1st through 9th place. 2006 Production GT Champion Matt Johnson and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey turned up in 10th place, 10 seconds ahead of his nearest competition in the class.

By the first service interval at the end of Stage 3, Block had extended his lead to 10 seconds, winning the first three stages. Mitsubishi Evo driver Andrew Comrie-Picard and co-driver Marc Goldfarb took second place by 3 seconds on Stage 2, and second again on Stage 3 by a razor-thin 0.3 seconds, putting him solidly into second place. Pastrana was hanging in fourth place behind former Subaru factory driver Ramana Lagemann, now driving the Cascade Autosport Mitsubishi Evo with co-driver Mark Williams. The top five was rounded out by privateer Lauchlin O’Sullivan and co-driver Scott Putnam in an STI. Sitting sixth were the usually strong contenders Matt Iorio and Ole Holter in their custom Impreza, trailing 20 seconds behind Block/Gelsomino.

Night stages are a challenge for any rally team, and drivers either love them or hate them. The final two stages of Day 1 were run in the gathering dark, and Lagemann made the first challenge to Block’s dominance, winning Stage 4 by 3 seconds over Comrie-Picard. Block slipped to third for this stage, but came roaring back to take the final stage of the day by an astonishing 13 seconds over second-place Pastrana, with the rest of the field even farther back.

The driving teams grabbed some quick shuteye while the mechanics worked through the night, but storm clouds came up and by the morning’s Parc Exposé, the skies had opened up with heavy rains. The forecast for the day included thunderstorms and wind gusts up to 34 MPH – enough to catch a rally car and add some unexpected excitement to a corner.

Saturday’s rally covered 10 stages and 75 competitive miles of road. Block was again first on the road, thanks to his 26-second lead on Lagemann. But Block and Gelsomino are experienced enough to know that a single mistake could eliminate that lead.

Pastrana and Edstrom finally got their waterfowl aligned and moved up into second from fourth place after the first two stages Saturday. The mechanics of Subaru Rally Team USA had worked late into the night to give them a new clutch, turbo, and rear springs. Eight stages into the rally, Pastrana, Comrie-Picard, and O'Sullivan were all within 30 seconds of each other. The final seven stages could still make this anyone’s game.

The first stage on Saturday was also the last stage for PGT leaders Matt Johnson and Jeremy Wimpey. After an encounter with a tree, their WRX was a write-off, but the team sustained only minor injuries. The PGT WRX team of Justin Pritchard and Kim DeMotte also dropped out on this stage. With the PGT competition thrown wide open, Stephan Verdier and Scott Crouch took over the class lead.

O’Sullivan and Putnam won Stage 8, although they were only 1 second ahead of Pastrana and 1.5 seconds ahead of Block. Interestingly, Comrie-Picard tied Pastrana’s time on this stage, putting Block into the fourth position.

Comrie-Picard and Goldfarb tied with Tanner Foust and co-driver Christine Beavis for the win on Stage 10, each turning in a time of 28.6 seconds on the short super-special stage. Block and Pastrana followed in the 3rd and 4th positions this time. Stages 11, 12, and 13 went to Pastrana, who bested Block by 8.9 seconds on those three stages.

But Block was still maintaining his lead, and Pastrana only tightened his hold on second place. Verdier and Crouch also played a solid game and put some comfort into their PGT lead over Nathan Conley and Brandye Monks in their WRX Wagon.

Stage 14 went to Comrie-Picard, with Block down in 5th position, 16 seconds off the fast time, and 7 seconds behind 4th spot Pastrana. O’Sullivan won the final stage, a startling 29 seconds ahead of Block, but by this point, nothing short of a DNF was going to push the SRTUSA drivers off the top spots of the podium. Still, Pastrana had narrowed Block’s early 43 seconds to a 7 second margin of victory. Comrie-Picard came third, 26 seconds behind Block.

At the far end of the 100 Acre Wood, here’s how it played out:

Open Class (and Overall)
1st Block/Gelsomino (2006 Subaru STI)
2nd Pastrana/Edstrom (2006 Subaru STI)
3rd Comrie-Picard/Goldfarb (2006 Mitsubishi Evo 9RS)
4th O'Sulliva/Putnam (2004 Subaru STI)
5th Foust/Beavis (2006 Subaru ST)
6th Iorio/Holter (1995 Subaru Impreza)

Group N Class
1st Dimiters/Ockwell (2002 Subaru STI)

Production GT Class
1st Verdier/Crouch (2004 Subaru WRX)
2nd Conley/Monks (2003 Subaru WRX Wagon)
3rd Moro/Rossey (2002 Subaru WRX)

Group 2 Class
1st Hoche-Mong/Parekh (1985 VW GTI)
2nd Olson/Ketelsen (2004 Mazda RX8)
3rd Boullion/Boullion (2000 Ford Focus)

Group 5 Class
1st Kendall/Friberg (2005 Dodge Neon SRT-4)
2nd Conley/Treml (2003 Dodge Neon SRT-4)

Production Class
1st Dahl/Dahl (1996 Acura Integra GSR)
2nd Stevens/Stevens (1992 Suzuki Swift GT)

Five different teams won stages in this event, with Block claiming seven, Pastrana three, Comrie-Picard and O’Sullivan taking two apiece, and Lagemann taking one. Although SRTUSA are clearly the team to beat, the first two rounds of the championship have proved that it is possible to beat them.

You can catch the TV coverage of Sno*Drift and 100 Acre Wood on ESPN2 - Friday, May 11, at 5:30pm EST.

The focus now shifts west, to the upcoming Oregon Trail Rally – Round Three of the Rally America national championship series – to be held outside Portland, Oregon on April 20-22. This rally offers some of the best roads on the circuit, featuring vertiginous elevation changes and the popular Friday night Super Special spectator stages held in the city of Portland.

Elsewhere in the American rally universe this weekend, it was Mitsubishi’s revenge at a pair of rallies on the west coast. At the Seed 9 Rally in Jean, Nevada, George Plsek and Ken Cassidy took the win in an Evo, with second place honors going to Lisa Klassen and Leon Styles, also in an Evo. And up north in Aberdeen, Washington, the team of Carl Jardevall and Amity Trowbridge won the very soggy Doo Wop rallies in their Evo. (Click for video from Doo Wop!) Brothers Dave and Rick Hintz took second at Doo Wops in their STI.

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Last edited by ricochet; 03-29-2007 at 04:14 AM.
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Old 02-27-2007, 11:48 PM   #2
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go travis go!
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Old 02-28-2007, 12:06 AM   #3
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awesome work!!! first a double backflip on MotoX and now rally, travis u lucky (*@$^(@$*@()$&@)$(&)@$(&(*)@#%)@&*(%^_@(%^
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Old 02-28-2007, 02:51 PM   #4
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Awesome write up, definitely covered most of the rally! it was a fun time!
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Old 02-28-2007, 04:24 PM   #5
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Good write up, I wish I could have gone up there!
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Old 02-28-2007, 04:42 PM   #6
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any video clips of any stages yet?
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:39 PM   #7
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Yes! Video clips!
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Old 02-28-2007, 08:40 PM   #8
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Nice, any TV coverage of this event?
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:35 PM   #9
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Very nice write up!

Mike Huml
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:59 PM   #10
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no high res pix, no care,

jk, some would be nice though
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:23 AM   #11
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We didn't have a video crew out at 100AW that weekend. But we did have one out for the Doo Wop Rally mentioned at the end of the article. You can see it here:

http://drivingsports.com/mag/index.p...d=82&Itemid=42

Or get the iTunes feed here:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/M...t?id=118677811

Ryan Douthit
Subiesport Magazine
http://www.subiesport.com
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:42 PM   #12
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Cant wait for the summer X games, those were insane last year,
btw, what happens to the sponsored rally cars when they are totalled, do they sell the car or part it out...
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Old 03-01-2007, 06:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobK0000 View Post
btw, what happens to the sponsored rally cars when they are totalled, do they sell the car or part it out...
The parts are bolted onto anotehr shell and the crashed shell is scrapped. This is a pretty rare occurrence. Accidents that do not compromise the cage are usually fixed.

- Christian
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:39 PM   #14
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The one thing I miss about living in MO and going to school at Rolla, a mere 45 minute drive to the 100AW! Fun times working the time controls too...
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:43 AM   #15
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I'm going to start college in Springfield next spring just in time for the 2008 run! Shame I dont have a car for the race.

Oh, I have the 2005 video, but I was wondering if the 2006 video ever came out.. I forgot where I picked it up from.

thanks
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:21 PM   #16
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Great write up.
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Old 05-23-2007, 07:01 AM   #17
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Old 07-19-2007, 01:05 AM   #18
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Thx For The Good Work!
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