Oregon Trail Rally: Rally America Drivers Prepare for Close PORTLAND, OREGON (April 30, 2010) -- After an action packed weekend of competition at the Olympus Rally in Ocean Shores, WA it was four time Rally America Champion and Subaru Rally Team...
Oregon Trail Rally: Rally America Drivers Prepare for Close
PORTLAND, OREGON (April 30, 2010) -- After an action packed weekend of competition at the Olympus Rally in Ocean Shores, WA it was four time Rally America Champion and Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana who took top spot on the podium. Pastrana said, "This rally was hard from the start. It was definitely the most intense field that we've had." Rockstar Energy Mitsubishi driver Antoine L'Estage keeps his Championship points lead with another 2nd place overall podium finish for the third event in a row.
Next up for the national and international competitors is the Oregon Trail Rally, Round 4 of the Rally America Championship, May 14-16. The teams will have a short 3 weeks to prepare their cars for the always challenging Rally event.
To introduce rally to those less familiar with this style of racing, the Oregon Trail Rally event organizers will bring a display of competitor cars to Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square on Thursday May 13, from 11 AM to 1 PM.
The competition begins at Portland International Raceway (PIR) on Friday evening at 6 PM with a series of timed competitive special stages specifically designed for spectator access. "Our Friday Fan Spectacle at PIR has developed over the years to be one of the best rally racing spectator formats in North America. Spectators will have the opportunity to see the cars and competitors up close with full "pit access" at the car display (Parc Exposee) and feel the excitement of Rally competition. We are grateful to Portland International Raceway for their continued support", commented Robert Mahony, Oregon Trail Rally media officer.
Teams from across North America and Europe are scheduled to compete at the three day event.
* Subaru Rally Team USA driver & Freestyle Motocross champion Travis Pastrana took first place at last year's Oregon Trail Rally. Pastrana achieved an outstanding six overall wins in 2009, including a silver medal at X Games 15, as he went on to win his fourth consecutive Rally America Championship.
* YouTube Gymkhana driving legend Ken Block has formed a new team, Monster World Rally Team, and will test his 2010 Ford Fiesta on the challenging Oregon roads. Block has the speed to win in Oregon. Will this be his year to celebrate at the top of the podium?
* BMX Legend and Subaru Rally Team USA driver, Dave Mirra, has moved up to the powerful Open Class this season following a successful Super Production class run last year. Mirra is well known in the action sports community with a line of video games besides being the most decorated X Games athlete in history.
* Andrew "ACP" Comrie-Picard, always a fan favorite, will return in his NOS Energy Drink Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.
Unlike circuit racing, Rally racing takes place mostly on temporarily closed gravel roads, and the course is unknown to competitors until they face the special stage at speed. Variable road conditions, changing weather and the race against the clock must all be taken into account by rally teams as they hurtle their finely tuned racing machines through day and night. The three-day contest includes 16 timed competitive special stages, with the action taking place at Portland International Raceway on Friday and Hood River and Wasco County venues on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday morning starts with a 10 AM Parc Expose (display) at 2600 W. 6th St (immediately off of I-84 exit 83) in The Dalles. At 11 AM the cars will leave at one minute intervals and head out to the forest stages which includes the spectator favorite at Fir Mountain. Rally fans in Oregon are familiar with this Hood River site, and 1000 fans packed the hillside last year. Special parking and shuttles are being implemented this year so that fans don't have to hike a mile to the spectator location. Oregon Trail Rally sponsor, Dick Hannah Subaru, is graciously providing free hot dogs to fans at spectator locations over the weekend.
After a service stop back in The Dalles the show moves out to the Dufur area (15 miles south of The Dalles). A rally car service area will be set up in the City Park, with spectating venues nearby. Saturday's action concludes in downtown Dufur at 7:30 PM with a "Rally Street Party & Barbeque" in the city park open to all rally fans.
On Sunday, teams return to Dufur, with breakfast at the high school on Court St. from 7:30 to 10:30, which will benefit the schools Activity Fund. The breakfast is open to the public to come meet the rally teams and enjoy a warm morning meal, while raising money for a great cause. The motorsport action continues around the Dufur area all day, with the champions taking the podium on Dufur's Main Street around 4 PM.
Oregon Trail Rally Chairman Matt Tabor is excited about returning for a second year to the beautiful Columbia River Gorge region of the state. "Last year's event was one of our best ever, the weather was great and the competitors and fans loved our new location. We have had great support from the people in Dufur and they are really excited to have this event and the economic benefits for their community. We are planning a great show for the town."