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Old 03-02-2009, 11:53 AM   #1
ricochet
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Default Block and Gelsomino triumph at 100 Acre Wood

Rally Report: Rally America Round 2
By Jeff Zurschmeide, Driving Sports



More pics at www.drivingsports.com

For the fourth year in a row, it was Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino’s turn to shine at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. But the competition also proved that there are other stars in the Rally America sky, and they’re not all on the Subaru constellation.

For this rally, Mitsubishi Evo pilot Andrew Comrie-Picard teamed up with co-driver Robbie Durant, who formerly rode shotgun with Australian contender Andrew Pinker. Pinker’s former teammates Tanner Foust & Chrissie Beavis drove their 2009 Mitsubishi Evo X to the podium, and earned a tie with Comrie-Picard for first place in the season points standings. SRTUSA’s newest member, Dave Mirra, assisted by WRC veteran co-driver Derek Ringer, showed that he can get the job done in the new Super Production class.

Now you’re probably wondering, “Where’s Travis Pastrana in all this?” Well, together with co-driver Christian Edstrom, he was the shooting star of the event, rocketing to the top of the standings for 3 short stages before ending his day upside down in a ditch. The three-time Rally America champ had vowed to beat Block/Gelsomino this time, or crash in the attempt. That’s never a good line to say out loud before a rally; it tempts the gods to take you down a notch, and that’s what happened.

With Block/Gelsomino leading the rally from the first stage and Pastrana/Edstrom out of the picture, the big news from this event is the continuing strong performance by a number of teams, including Comrie-Picard/Durant, Foust/Beavis, and a pair of newcomers to the top of the Open class standings.

Standout teams include William Bacon and Peter Watt in a 2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX. This team finished a strong fifth at Sno*Drift, and they come to the game with a strong history in Canadian rally racing with Suzuki, including a P2 national class championship in 2004. This team came to 100 Acre Wood and picked up a pair of second place and another pair of third place stage results and earned the fourth place position in class and overall. Keep an eye on this team to break onto the podium as the season matures.

Andi Mancin and Maciej Wislawski drive a 2007 Mitsubishi Evo, and they finished fourth at Sno*Drift. They dropped to fifth at 100 Acre Wood, but that’s mainly owing to the strong performance by Bacon/Watt. The big noise from this team is that they won the final two stages outright, which is one more than Foust/Beavis claimed. Smart competitors will be checking their mirrors for this team as the season rolls on.

When all the mud-flinging was done, third place overall went to Foust/Beavis. The duo won just one stage, but turned up second on three stages and found third place in four more. That wasn’t enough to compete with Comrie-Picard/Durant’s four stage wins, three seconds, and five thirds, however. But an unlucky break on stage 5, including two spins, made Comrie-Picard’s margin over Foust just 15.5 seconds when all the stages were counted. The critical point here is that Block’s victory margin over Comrie-Picard was only 43 seconds on what has always been Block’s strongest rally of the calendar, so Comrie-Picard has to be wondering just how much time he lost with those spins.

No matter how you look at it, though, it seems that the Mitsubishi drivers may have SRTUSA’s number this year.

The other great groundswell of 2009 is the strong showing of the new Super Production class. Top performers in this class are contending near the top of the leaderboard – an area that was formerly the sole province of Open class cars.

The class results at 100 Acre Wood placed veteran PGT champions Matthew Johnson and Jeremy Wimpey first in their 2003 WRX, followed by Mirra/Ringer, and Piotr Wiktorczyk/Grzegorz Dorman third in their Super Production 2007 STI.

But that’s not the whole story. Mirra/Ringer led the class through most of the rally before falling to second place after a disastrous performance on Stage 14, losing over a minute to the competition. But along the way, Mirra and Ringer picked up an overall third place and four fourth place overall stage finishes – that’s including the Open cars, not just in the SP class. Furthermore, Wiktorczyk/Dorman picked up a second place overall stage finish on stage 9.

This year, even proven champions have to give all they’ve got to squeak out a class win in SP. With competition that close, SP has created another exciting championship battle right up at the top of the standings. That’s exactly what Rally America officials hoped it would do.

In the 2WD championship, victory at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood was claimed by Burak Tuglu and Carrie Wilburn, driving a 2001 Ford Focus. Second place in class went to Dillon Van Way and Joshua Knott, also in a Focus. Third place in class was won by Jim McClelland and Jon Price in a 1987 Toyota MR2.

The Rally America series now takes a break for the month of March and reconvenes in the Pacific Northwest, traveling to eastern Washington for the Olympus Rally on April 18-19.
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Last edited by ricochet; 03-03-2009 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:03 PM   #2
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This was an awesome rally to be at. Unpredicatable weather wrecked havoc on the southern stages, they got nearly 8-10" of snow on Stages 14 and 15, while up north on Stages 11 and 12 there wasn't a single flake on the ground. Made for some interesting choices for the teams regarding tire choices since the conditions were so varied between stages. I believe ACP was running snow tires on stage 12 for example, which might have set him back, but allowing a better run on stage 14 since everyone else was on Gravel tires. Unfortunately stage 15 had to be canceled because of the fact the workers could not get through the stage, it was that bad.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:14 PM   #3
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i am so glad to have been there to see this race and to have worked it. Meeting the drivers and seeing the cars in person was an experience i will never forget
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
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It was awesome! Especially if you snuk into some of the non spectator areas

Who was there with the black bug eye with the pink NASIOC sticker on it .

Greg.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:55 PM   #5
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sweet!
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:56 PM   #6
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dave mirra should stay in bmx.. i ride bikes myself and feel that he is not the kind of person you would want for wrc. the popularity kills the person and becomes a dick of a person
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:03 PM   #7
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congrats to Burak!
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:16 PM   #8
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Stage 15 was a bear. I got out of the car at one point and was standing in 11 inches of snow. Its not just the snow that made it bad though, the course on 15 was bad when it was dry. We had multiple (10+) vehicles get stuck trying to get marshals and control workers in place. I was on ss15 for over 3 hours before I made it back to salem finally.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:30 PM   #9
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so anyone make it to the Roadhouse for the post rally shenanigans?
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Old 03-02-2009, 11:27 PM   #10
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First time this year, one of the greatest experiences ever! It's like a gigantic subie meet! Also the EvoX is super fugly.
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:00 AM   #11
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is there any way to watch this? DVD?
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:27 AM   #12
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I will be producing a rather large video of the whole event.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:04 AM   #13
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I was at the Roadhouse friday night. Block came in briefly then left. There were not any tables left which is my guess why he left?
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03aksuby View Post
First time this year, one of the greatest experiences ever! It's like a gigantic subie meet! Also the EvoX is super fugly.

It used to be better when there weren't so many people. I didn't get to see the first spectator stage on Saturday because we had to park on the highway and then the highway patrol came down and said we had to walk a mile back to our car and move it because we couldn't park along the highway. They really need to get rid of that lame ass super special too - everyone I talked to didn't really care for it.

I was glad to see the Subaru spectators driving sanely. I can't say the same for a few douche bags in SUVs.
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:35 PM   #15
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was goin to go to the roadhouse saturday night after the awards ceremony..but was exhausted from working all day at the rally that we decided to head back to rolla an sleep.
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:47 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by FaastLegacy View Post
It used to be better when there weren't so many people. I didn't get to see the first spectator stage on Saturday because we had to park on the highway and then the highway patrol came down and said we had to walk a mile back to our car and move it because we couldn't park along the highway. They really need to get rid of that lame ass super special too - everyone I talked to didn't really care for it.

I was glad to see the Subaru spectators driving sanely. I can't say the same for a few douche bags in SUVs.
May have used to be better with fewer people, but think about the positives, more people means that Rally is getting more and more popular. With more and more people coming, means we can get more workers, which in turn could lead to more spectator spots thus spreading out the crowds. But if Rally in the US wants to stay alive, what you said is exactly what organizers and racers want to hear. More people = More exposure = More money.

I also want to say thank you to everyone driving safely and sanely. I honestly was kind of expecting a bunch of teenagers in their Subies thinking they are hot **** and rally drivers, and end up having a nasty crash. Especially once the weather turned for the worse. Also thanks to most everyone being very respectful while driving through the towns and not acting like a douche. It goes a long way towards the townspeople having a lot of support for Rally-America.
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Old 03-03-2009, 02:28 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by MConte05 View Post
I also want to say thank you to everyone driving safely and sanely. I honestly was kind of expecting a bunch of teenagers in their Subies thinking they are hot **** and rally drivers, and end up having a nasty crash.
Says the man who dented his skid plate bannering.....
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:25 PM   #18
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Ran into that double caution on Stage 15 at 5mph.

You'll see the video "oh man this is steep.... *creeping along*.... jeeze look at that rut..... *creeping along*..... *BANG*.... Gahhh, well that's why I have a skidplate...."

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Old 03-03-2009, 09:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by bigboy View Post
i am so glad to have been there to see this race and to have worked it. Meeting the drivers and seeing the cars in person was an experience i will never forget
I am working my first one in June. I am pumped.
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Old 03-04-2009, 01:39 AM   #20
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I am working my first one in June. I am pumped.
you will enjoy every minute of it
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Old 03-04-2009, 03:01 AM   #21
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Posted a quick video I made of the Rally from my perspective.

http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=1712535
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Old 03-04-2009, 04:43 PM   #22
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Does anybody have a link of the schedule to the rally events? It looked like an amazing event.
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Old 03-08-2009, 06:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T WReX View Post
Stage 15 was a bear. I got out of the car at one point and was standing in 11 inches of snow. Its not just the snow that made it bad though, the course on 15 was bad when it was dry. We had multiple (10+) vehicles get stuck trying to get marshals and control workers in place. I was on ss15 for over 3 hours before I made it back to salem finally.
I was there on 15 to, Did you go down the trail? I stayed up and was glad i did when I heard the 00 car never made it to the end, or anyone else that ventured down the hill. It was cool to see all the cars just waiting to start the stage. It took forever to get out of there though, there was some idiot in a Dodge Grand Caravan in the front of the line that could not make it up any of the hills.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:28 AM   #24
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The schedule can be found on the Rally America website.
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Old 03-09-2009, 09:33 AM   #25
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I was there on 15 to, Did you go down the trail? I stayed up and was glad i did when I heard the 00 car never made it to the end, or anyone else that ventured down the hill. It was cool to see all the cars just waiting to start the stage. It took forever to get out of there though, there was some idiot in a Dodge Grand Caravan in the front of the line that could not make it up any of the hills.

I was in '000' car, we did end up making it through but it was a beast
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