STPR Rally pivotal in Rally America battles
- 20th May 2014, 10:29pm
The return of international rally star and defending Rally America champion David Higgins, along with the new television contract with the NBC Sports Network have brought additional interest to the 38th Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (STPR) which returns to North Central Pennsylvania May 30 - 31, 2014 in Wellsboro, Penn.
Higgins comes fresh off a dramatic Oregon Trail Rally victory over action sports icon, Travis Pastrana, to extend his points standings lead at the beginning of the month. Higgins could strengthen his position even further with another overall victory at STPR, however, his rally won't be without challenges when Hoonigan Racing's Ken Block returns to defend his 2013 STPR overall victory.
It was at STPR last year when Block appeared to be out of title contention before he strung three consecutive overall victories to force a final showdown with Higgins. The title eventually went to Higgins after Block spectacularly crashed near the end of the Lake Superior Performance Rally.
Super Production points leader, Dillon Van Way, is eyeing STPR as a pivotal event to establish class dominance. Van Way has finished on the SP podium every race he started to take over the standings having never won the class outright. A class win at STPR would validate Van Way's points lead and position him nicely at the mid-point of the Rally America season.
Van Way took over the points standings when Nick Roberts and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino escaped a catastrophic car fire at the Oregon Trail Rally. Roberts was the class leader at that time, For STPR he is quickly preparing another car to continue the pressure on Van Way and reinsert himself at the top.
The Oregon Trail Rally was also favorable to Two-Wheel Drive competitor, Andrew Comrie-Picard, who took over the standings after Scion Racing's Matthew Johnson failed to finish the event. The damage to Johnson's Scion xD was severe enough to unfortunately prevent him from attending STPR, which gives Comrie-Picard a significant advantage to build on his 13 point standings lead over Johnson
The STPR event, which is round four of the eight events that form the Rally America National Championship, is organized by a unique rally organizing committee - based in both Wellsboro and Rochester, N.Y - is the oldest, continuously running motorsports event in the state of Pennsylvania.
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