Travis Pastrana leads Oregon Trail after Day 2 Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana had a solid lead heading into the third and final day of the Oregon Trail Rally. "All in all, it's pretty good," said Pastrana at the end of the ...
Travis Pastrana leads Oregon Trail after Day 2
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana had a solid lead heading into the third and final day of the Oregon Trail Rally.
"All in all, it's pretty good," said Pastrana at the end of the day. "Should be a pretty good day tomorrow."
Pastrana and co-driver Christian Edstrom hauled 45-seconds ahead of their closest challenger late on Day 2 after NOS Energy driver Andrew "ACP" Comrie-Picard suffered a flat tire and Rockstar driver Tanner Foust found himself off the pace.
Foust and co-driver Chrissie Beavis were in second place, with a 30-second lead over third-place Comrie-Picard and co-driver Robbie Durant. Foust said late Saturday he was continuing to work out the bugs in the team's new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X and a couple of stalls and a braking issue were costing him time. Even so, he said he was enjoying the contest.
"That last stage -- it's probably one of the most fun stages in the series," said Foust after Stage 11. "And we get to do it a few times so I can really get it right."
A flat tire early on Stage 9 dropped Comrie-Picard back a minute from the leaders and he said he was working hard to try and make it up.
"We've been flat-out all day and it's been some of the hardest driving and some of the best driving I've ever done," said Comrie-Picard. "That flat tire cost us a lot of time but the plan for tomorrow is to keep shooting for the win."
The three teams are tightly bunched at the top of the championship rankings as the series enters the mid-point in the year. Comrie-Picard tops the standings with a three-point lead over Pastrana and Foust -- who are tied for second-place.
Meanwhile, Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino were out of the contest after another bout of bad luck at this event. A flat tire and damage to a control arm meant their rally ended after Stage 6. The poor finish makes three DNFs in four starts for Block.
"It's getting a little frustrating," said Block on Saturday. "I have the speed, I feel, to win every single one of these-- I thought I had some bad luck last year and it's getting worse this year."
The team is expected to return to competition on Day 3 for a fun run at the regional contest.
With Block out of the running, the Polish duo of Andi Mancin and co-driver Maciej Wislawski moved up to fourth place. The team appears to be getting more comfortable with the North American style of competition and have been setting progressively faster times as the rally continues.
Piotr Wiktorczyk and co-driver Grzegorz Dorman were reported out of the contest, surrendering their class lead in the Super Production class to Dave Mirra and co-driver Derek Ringer. Mirra is angling for his first-ever class win.
The event features over 100 miles of competition over a course that includes a mix of twisty, hard-packed forest conditions and wide-open farming roads. The Mount Hood area's hilly terrain means plenty of elevation changes throughout the contest.
Many fans took advantage of the beautiful weather on Saturday, turning out by the hundreds to take in the action at the Fir Mountain and Mosier spectator areas.
But the sunny and bright conditions meant dry and dusty roads, making visibility a challenge for all but the first car on the road. Pastrana will start first on Sunday.
Rally activities began on Thursday with a kick-off car show in downtown Portland. Key series players and their cars made an appearance Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square for a midday display where fans had the opportunity to meet with their favorite drivers and check out their race machines. The action continued at the Portland International Raceway on Friday evening, with a short super special stage that used sections of both the tarmac and motocross tracks.
Rally car racing is considered the extreme sport of automobile racing and is often described simply as "real cars, real roads, real fast." This all-season motorsport sees drivers and their co-drivers take modified road cars to the limit as they achieve blistering speeds over courses that cover more than 100 miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads.
The 2009 Rally America National Championship series consists of nine exciting events throughout the country in many different weather and road conditions.
Top teams in the series are also invited to compete in the Summer X Games, the leading action sports event broadcast live on ABC and ESPN. Eight top teams have already been invited to this August's contest. Among the marques typically represented in Rally America events are Subaru, Mitsubishi, Dodge, Ford and Volkswagen.