Subaru Rally Team USA Drivers On Track For Double Podium In Oregon
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana sits comfortably in 2nd place overall going into the final day of the Oregon Trail Rally, Round 3 of the Rally America Championship. Meanwhile, Pastrana's teammate Ken Block is locked in a tight battle for the final podium position, tied for 3rd overall on total time. Nearly sixty competition miles, on technical gravel roads west of Portland, Oregon await the drivers on the final day of the rally. The Northwest U.S. is a popular one for Subaru rally cars, which dominate the leaderboard; Nine of the top ten cars are Subaru rally cars.
Pastrana was admittedly driving at a conservative pace on the first half of the rally, ignoring the steadily growing lead of veteran Australian driver Andrew Pinker, driving a similar Open Class Subaru WRX STI. Pastrana and his co-driver Christian Edstrom sit just over one minute behind Pinker and they have no plans to try and close the gap on the final day. "I'm making a real effort to avoid any risks at this rally, we have the Rally America National Championship to worry about, so winning takes a backseat to gaining experience and points," explained Pastrana. "It is hard to restrain myself from pushing but I'm doing it, and we have had a totally clean run thus far."
Coming off his first ever rally win last month at Round 2 of the Championship, Ken Block leads the Rally America National Championship points standings. However, Block and his co-driver Alex Gelsomino are taking the same conservative strategy as Pastrana this weekend. "Everything feels good, we are driving carefully with the aim to finish," explained Block. The only issue for Block was a flat tire on the longest stage of the day. Rather than stop and change the tire on-stage, Block decided to push on for the final five miles. "It was definitely scary driving on that flat, but we certainly lost less time than if we had stopped on the stage to change the tire!"