Autosport Engineering Win the Ramada Express Rally
In the hands of the regular drivers Peter Workum and Alex Gelsomino, the OSLV Italia sponsored Subaru STI took a convincing win on the challenging three-day FIA sanctioned Ramada Express Rally.
This event, known as the most challenging and richest rally event to take place in North America, took the 50 plus competitors along some of the fastest roads ever experienced in rallying against the back drop of the glorious Grand Canyon. With little time for sight seeing the Autosport Engineering designed car, established a commanding leading of 2 0x00bd minutes by the time the teams returned to Laughlin at the end of leg two. With Wolfgang Hoeck and John Dillon sitting in a comfortable second overall, first in Group N, the battle for third place was between George Plsek and Stephen Verdier who were separated by less than 11 seconds.
Leg three on Sunday consisted of four 1.5-mile super special stages. 2003 proved the rally could only be lost here when two of the leading competitors roll their cars in the soft sand. No incidents this year as all drivers drove cautiously two ensure their positions were safe.
Peter Workum, obviously delighted with his first outright win commented, "Stage one gave us a fright as we experienced a fuel pick-up problem which cost us some time and almost the rally. Fortunately Stephen Verdier was able to help us and we managed to get back to service where our crew pinpointed the problem to a low-pressure fuel supply issue. We ran the entire rally with a full fuel load from this point on, but this didn't hinder us at all. The car ran faultlessly, and combined with Alex's timing on the high-speed roads, I found the confidence to push the car far beyond what I have done in the last six rallies. I'm overwhelmed with our team's performance and look forward to contesting the 4 round USRC in 2005."
Alex Gelsomino was no stranger from the winner's circle on this event having competed here on four other occasions and winning in 2002.
"This win tops them all" was his reply when asked about the event. "I have sat with Peter on six events this year and he has been getting faster and faster. I always knew this could be a good event for us as the OSLV ItaliaSubaru has yet to be unleashed, showing it's full potential. These roads suit this car and it would have been difficult for anything to match its performance. Peter drove a fantastic rally and I felt as though we were improving with every mile we covered. I'm not quite sure what Autosport Engineering have done to this car but one thing is for certain, I'd rather be sitting in it than racing against it."