The Oregon Trail Rally has lived up to the excitement generated by the first three rounds of the championship. Teams traded the lead on day 1 and day 2 has shown one driver pull out a large lead.
Day 1 saw Tanner Foust jump out to a small lead of just about 4 seconds over Team Subaru driver Travis Pastrana. This was a great start for Foust as he continues to battle with Andrew Comrie-Picard for top spot in the points. Speaking of ACP, after day 1 he was 6 seconds off of Foust’s Evolution X. The second Team Subaru driver Ken Block was fourth after four stages.
Day 1 had a somewhat scary moment for the super production class as Matt Johnson had a turbo failure early on which sprayed hot oil and liquid all over the engine which then caught fire. The teams escaped and are still running but are currently 5th in class and 14th overall. Piotr Wiktorczyk held the super production lead after day 1 over Dave Mirra.
Day 2 Proved to be even more drama filled for the top cars and drivers. Subaru of America driver Ken Block was out early after hitting a rock and damaging the control arm on the #43 Monster Energy STI. Block had this to say on Rally-america.net after the incident: “It’s getting a little frustrating,” said Block on Saturday. “I have the speed, I feel, to win every single one of these… I thought I had some bad luck last year and it’s getting worse this year.” This is surly not what Block had in mind for his title hopes as he has now 3 DNFs in 4 starts. His teammate Pastrana however opened a massive lead as he continues to perform red hot in the Pacific Northwest events. Pastrana led Foust by 45 seconds while Tanner struggled all day to find pace. NOS Energy driver ACP had a puncture which seen him fall 30 seconds behind Tanner but he still wound up a comfortable third which is solid in a rally that has seen massive attrition for a lot of cars throughout the field.
Day 2 for the super production class had moments of its own. A lot of the cars in this class have suffered failures or impacts and 4 cars are all that really remained. Dave Mirra ran a smart rally all day as he took the fight to Piotr Wiktorczyk in hopes of taking the super production lead. Wiktorczyk helped Mirra out when he went off at stage 10 giving Mirra a very comfortable lead of over 6 and a half minutes in the SP class. Attrition just wrecked the SP class today and the rally is now Mirra’s for the taking.
For Day 3, Foust needs to find pace and hold on to the second overall spot. He claims he is working out the last of the bugs in the EVO, but he needs to find speed and reliability quickly before ACP and Pastrana turn this into a two dog show. Pastrana just needs to hold his car together and the rally as well as the championship lead will go to him. This weekend has been as fun and exciting as any other on the calendar thus far and tomorrow should offer up some great action as we continue on the road to the X-games.