THE UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP AT MIDSEASON As the United States Rally Championship passes the mid point in the year, battles are heating up in all categories on both sides of the country. In the Atlantic Division, the Irish hotshoe ...
THE UNITED STATES RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP AT MIDSEASON
As the United States Rally Championship passes the mid point in the year, battles are heating up in all categories on both sides of the country.
In the Atlantic Division, the Irish hotshoe Charlie Donnelly in a new, faster Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution for this season ably co-driven by another Irishman Noel Gallagher are leading the AWD Championship at midseason. This is after winning Sandblast Rally and Rally New York USA and in spite of being penalized by stewards at Rally New York USA and at Rally Tennessee where they finished third. Another Irish crew, Enda McCormack and Bernard Farrell also in Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution are second in the AWD Championship after excellent performances at Sandblast Rally and Rally New York USA. The reigning United States Rally AWD Champion, Irishman Seamus Burke in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution with a new co-driver Eddie Fries are in the third place. They won Rally Tennessee after a string of mechanical failures at Sandblast Rally and Rally New York USA.
In the 2WD Championship in the Atlantic Division, brothers Josh and Jeremy Wimpey in a VW Golf are leading with a wide margin after winning all three events - Sandblast Rally, Rally New York USA and Rally Tennessee. The Wimpey brothers put in some amazing performances mixing it freely with more powerful and faster AWD opposition. Rafal Listopad and Greg Dorman in another VW Golf are second in the 2WD Championship after good performances at Rally Tennessee and Sandblast Rally - taking the second and the third place respectively - and finishing under Super Rally at Rally New York USA. Third in the 2WD Championship are the always-impressive and reliable finishers Mike Hall and Dave Stockdill in their trusty, well prepared Mitsubishi Mighty Max rally truck.
Individual Atlantic division class leaders are Donnelly / Gallagher in Open AWD, Bancalari / Tremmel in Production AWD / Group N, Wimpey / Wimpey in Open 2WD and Bridwell / Katinger in Production 2WD.
Competition in the Atlantic Division will continue with the remaining events that include Rally West Virginia, International Rally New York and Black River Stages.
Atlantic Division teams look to earn one of only six coveted $2,000 cash travel subsidies for the Laughlin International Rally and Motorsports Festival, the final Championship round of the USRC, November 8-11 in Nevada (www.rallyusa.com). 180 competitors, drivers and co-drivers, have participated in the competition in the Atlantic Division to date.
The Pacific Division has only enjoyed one event so far, the abbreviated Subaru Rim of the World Rally in Lancaster, California. With the loss of access to the amazing forest roads in the Angeles National Forest, used for decades, the Rim of the World organizers were forced to use a short-course format and run the entire event inside the considerable facilities at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. Using portions of the Championship Off Road Racing (CORR) series0x2859 track used the week prior, competitors were started two at a time, a half-lap apart in a four-lap pursuit format. Each competitor had multiple runs over the weekend with pairings changing for each run.
Taking the overall win at Rim and putting her in first place in the AWD Championship is Lisa Klassen with co-driver Guido Hamacher. Second in the AWD ranks is Marvin Ronquillo in his always potent Subaru with John Burke in the right seat. Third in the Championship is Blake Yoon with Andy Goubarev along side.
The 2WD Championship has Bill Holmes and Kevin Carter in first after a win at Rim and nearly winning the event overall. The overall win came down to the final run of the weekend with only seconds separating Holmes from Lisa Klassen0x2859s Evo. Second in the 2WD championship is the duo of Tony Chavez and Mustafa Samli. These two are regulars with the California Rally Series and have assembled a very strong VW Golf for this year0x2859s championship. Third place is held down by driver Bruce Davis and co-driver Jimmy Brandt in their trusty Neon SRT-4.
Current Pacific Division class leaders are Klassen/Hamacher in Open AWD, Ronquillo/Burke Production AWD,/Group N, Holmes/Carter Open 2WD, Marciniak/Marciniak Production 2WD.
Competitors in the Pacific Division are eagerly looking forward to the Gorman Rally, August 18th in Gorman, California followed by the Prescott Rally October 5th and 6th in Prescott, Arizona with the Laughlin Rally as the series finale on November 9th, 10th and 11th in Laughlin, Nevada where top Atlantic and Pacific Division competitors will meet.