New York Winter Rally 2010 ended in Narrowsburg, New York yesterday. The two day event was the first round of the United States Rally Championship (USRC). Each day was a separate round of the New York Rally Championship.
New York Winter Rally is an entirely new winter event. It takes place on the private roads at the 12,500-acre Ten Mile River Scout Reservation in Narrowsburg with headquarters at Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center in Callicoon, New York. It is the only rally in recent memory and the only National Championship rally in North America that allows studded snow and ice tires.
The tire studs were put to good use as the roads were covered with frozen snow and a lot of ice. The conditions were very difficult.  At one point on Sunday afternoon, some main roads in the area were closed by the police because of ice on the roads caused by light freezing rain. However, the rally continued on time and all scheduled special stages were completed. The temperatures were as low as 12 degrees in the morning and barely above the freezing point during the day.
Tom Lawless, the 2005 United States Rally Champion and a participant in the FIA World Rally Championship Rally Ireland, with Dominik Jozwiak, an experienced codriver from Long Island, New York, won the rally in their Mitsubishi Evo 9. The second place was taken by Enda McCormack and Tommy Doyle also in Mitsubishi Evo 9. This was McCormack’s best performance of his driving career. Doyle travelled to the event from Ireland. The winners in the two-wheel-drive category and third overall were Claudiu David and Mihaela Beldie in Team O’Neil Mazda 3. This team, based in Romania, has previously competed in three FIA World Rally Championship events.
Celsus Donnelly and Bernard Farrell in Mitsubishi Evo 8 were leading at the end of the first day after a drive of their lives. The rally ended up for them in a heartbreak when their transmission failed on the way from Parc Ferme on Sunday morning and they finished under Super Rally rules. Another performance of note was the drive by Timothy Osterman and Joseph Sinkevich. This pair of engineering students recently built their Subaru WRX STi. They finished fourth overall on their first event in these difficult conditions.
Another heartbreak was experienced by the team of Michael Reilly and Josh Benthien in Ford Focus, who are the 2009 USRC Production Cup Winners. After outstanding performance in their two-wheel-drive car, they were in the fourth place overall, second in two-wheel-drive, until it was discovered that they failed to present their car at a time control and had to be disqualified by the Stewards.
Daniel O’Brien and Brendan McCabe, who took second place in the 2009 USRC, withdrew because of codriver’s family emergency, when running near the top of the field. Joseph Burke and Mark McAlister retired from the third place after an accident on Sunday.
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