Rally America comes to New England
- 15th July 2014, 5:03am
For the second time in three weeks, the New England area will host a round of the Rally America National Championship. The fifth round of the Championship already took place at the Mt. Washington "Climb to the Clouds" in Gorham, NH in late June, and now the Championship quickly resumes at the New England Forest Rally (NEFR) on July 18-19 in Newry, ME with 50 cars on the entry list.
The New England Forest Rally is known as a technical event for its hard packed dirt surfaces and twisting sections with stages located in New Hampshire and Maine. The race takes place in a quintessential northeastern setting with its winding creeks and one-lane bridges that not only infuse beauty to the race, but also added excitement when encountered by drivers at breakneck speeds.
With four Rally America victories already this season, Subaru Rally Team USA's David Higgins and Craig Drew will have a golden chance to lock up their fourth consecutive Rally America title with a second place or better finish at NEFR.
Higgins and Drew are having a wonderful season. The team is fresh from setting a surprise Mt. Washington HillClimb record with a rally car not built for hillclimb competition, and winning enough Rally America events to potentially lock up the Championship with two rounds remaining.
Higgins' possible Championship victory would tie his teammate and Subaru Rally Team USA rival, Travis Pastrana, for the most Rally America titles, and add a sixth U.S. Championship extending back to the SCCA Pro Rally era.
However, Higgins will once again faceoff against Travis Pastrana who continues to seek his first victory since being away from the sport for three years. Pastrana is close to finishing in the top position having finished second on the podium at each event he has entered this year. FY Racing's Adam Yeoman will also be fighting hard for overall supremacy and get his season back on track after not finishing the last two Rally America rounds.
Super Production's Dillon Van Way and Andrew Edwards are fresh from their first ever class victory at the Mt. Washington HillClimb and continue to lead the points standings in their class. The team also sits second overall in the Championship, and have a solid opportunity to finish the season as the highest placing Super Production team in the overall standings in Rally America history.
Moreover, Nick Roberts and Rhianon Gelsomino are engaged in a close battle with Van Way for Super Production honors and will seek their second class victory this season at NEFR. A win here can close the points gap to Van Way and set the foundation for an incredible come-from-behind push through the last two events.
Andrew Comrie-Picard and Ole Holter hold the Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) points advantage following their Mt. Washington HillClimb class win and need another strong result at NEFR to carry momentum into the final races. His closest rival is Rookie of the Year candidate, Troy Miller, who seeks to capture another class victory and bounce back from a catastrophic engine failure at Mt. Washington.
Reentering the 2WD fray is Scion Racing Rally xD's Matthew Johnson and Jeremy Wimpey whose team took a two event break to recover from damage sustained at the Oregon Trail Rally. Johnson and Wimpey are easy favorites to take a podium spot. Though the odds are stacked against the team they are not entirely dismissed from a 2WD title run. The team needs to outright win 2WD and rely on luck that Comrie-Picard doesn't make it onto a few podiums.
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