100 Acre Wood: Subaru Rally Team USA summary

SUBARU DOMINATES THE 100 ACRE WOOD RALLY FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR (February 24, 2008) Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino have won the 100 Acre Wood Rally, round two of the 2008 Rally America National...

SUBARU DOMINATES THE 100 ACRE WOOD RALLY FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR

(February 24, 2008) Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino have won the 100 Acre Wood Rally, round two of the 2008 Rally America National Championship in dominating fashion for the third year in a row. The duo grabbed the lead on the first stage and then went on to win over half of the event's fourteen stages driving their 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Block's Subaru teammate Travis Pastrana was within striking distance of Block for a majority of the rally, but when a late rally charge failed to close the gap, the 24 year-old two-time defending Rally America Champion settled for 2nd Overall.

The Salem-based rally located in Missouri is typically a high-speed gravel rally with fast and flowing roads that are a favorite by many rally drivers. However an onslaught of freezing rain and sleet in the days leading up to the event turned the roads treacherously icy.

"I love these roads and had so much fun here this weekend, I think I'll move to Missouri!" laughed Block at the podium ceremony. "These stages really require a lot of commitment; there are a lot of blind crests and high speed straights, all of which I really enjoy." Block's only scare came midway through the rally when he landed hard after a massive jump, but the Subaru Rally Team USA technicians were able to make repairs and Block continued his charge unfazed. His victory in Missouri puts him atop the standings of the Rally America National Championship.

Block's teammate Travis Pastrana was aiming for a strong points haul after retiring from round one, the SnoDrift Rally, after colliding with a deer late in that event. The 24 year-old two-time and defending Rally America National Champion had former World Rally Champion co-driver Derek Ringer at his side, after long time co-driver Christian Edstrom recently announced he was taking a break from the sport. "Derek and I worked great together, within the first four corners we were dialed in," explained Pastrana. "Again, at this rally, Ken just has amazing speed and commitment. We pushed a bit to try and close the gap but Ken somehow had more speed in reserve and held us off, so we settled for second and some points."

For Block's co-driver, Alex Gelsomino, this rally marked his 100th rally start, and it was only fitting that he could celebrate the milestone with a victory. Gelsomino started competing in rally in 1992 when, at just 17 years old, he applied for a Rally license the same day he obtained his driving permit.

Round 3 of the Rally America National Championship will take place on April 19-20 in the northwest as Subaru Rally Team USA travels to Olympia, WA, for the Olympus Rally.

-credit: www.subaru.com/rally

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