Team ACP leads Rally America championship after Round 4
PORTLAND, OR (May 19, 2008) -- Team ACP is in the lead of the Rally America championship after a second-place finish this weekend that vaulted driver Andrew "ACP" Comrie-Picard to the top of the series standings.
At the mid-point in the U.S. season, ACP is now in a tight race for the overall driver's title -- with Subaru Rally Team USA's Travis Pastrana and Ken Block both nipping at his heels.
"We're thrilled to be here," said Comrie-Picard. "For our privateer Mitsubishi team to be ahead of the factory Subarus midway through the year is an achievement we're very proud of."
The three-day Oregon Trail Rally was a brutal contest that saw many top teams crash out early. But Comrie-Picard and co-driver Marc Goldfarb put in a measured performance to bring their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX home to the podium.
"Our focus so far this season has been on scoring maximum X Games points," said Comrie-Picard. "It's been a take-no-chances style of racing and it was definitely the right move for this event."
X Games invitations are awarded based on team performance at the first five rounds of the series. The team has competed at both previous X Games rally car events, and looks forward to its return in 2008.
The Oregon course is technical in nature and rewards the strategic driving that ACP enjoys. The roads feature what's known as a crown -- where the road is higher in the center and slopes down to the ditches. This can easily unbalance a competition vehicle if the driver strays even a small distance off the ideal line. Among the victims were Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block, Hankook's Matt Johnson, Monster Energy's Dave Mirra and the teenaged Kyle Sarasin.
"This was a tougher course than I expected," said Comrie-Picard. "You never like to see your rivals crash out, but it was very important to be strategic here and experience got us a long way."
Unexpectedly high temperatures were also tough on cars -- and tires. Neither of the Rockstar Energy team cars, driven by Tanner Foust and Andy Pinker, finished the contest.
ACP's Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX and his Yokohama tires performed flawlessly. Next weekend, the team travels to Alberta, Canada, for the Rocky Mountain Rally -- Round 2 of the Canadian championship. The team will be in Wellsboro, PA, on June 6-7 for Rally America's next round.
Rally car racing is often described simply as "real cars, real roads, real fast." The all-season motorsport sees drivers and their co-drivers take modified road cars to the limit as they achieve blistering speeds over closed-road courses that typically cover more than 100 miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads. Fans can get up close to the cars in the service areas and catch all the action from specially designated spectator points located at the best spots on the route.