Defending Rally America champion and defending winner of this event Travis Pastrana was close to not making the race. Not only did he make the race, he dominated the event from start to finish.
Travis had suffered a broken collarbone and actually had surgery to fix it so he could compete this weekend. The pain has paid off as Travis has taken the opening round of the 2010 Rally America National Championship. The conditions were some of the worst competitors had ever seen. Much of the stage distance covered was a solid sheet of ice. Studded tires are not permitted for this race and that made things all the more challenging. Finishing in the second position was the Rock Star Energy Drink Mitsubishi Evo X of Canadian duo of Antoine L’Estage and co-driver Nathalie Richard. L’Estage tried to run with Pastrana but the Evo did not have the capability in the treacherous conditions. The margin between first and second was over a minute and a half when the event finished. Bill Bacon and co-driver Peter Watt finished in the third position to round out the podium. Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard finished in fourth position. So now you are probably asking where is Ken Block?
The Ford Fiesta suffered its first failure of the racing season handing the Monster World Rally Team a devastating DNF on their grand debut. A suspension piece was to blame for the early exit on day one. This is especially a problem because the national championship is now down to a six event championship. Every point is going to count from here on out for the Ken and the Fiesta. Ken was not the only heavy hitter with problems as Dave Mirra also found trouble. Dave had been called up to replace Ken in the second open class Subaru. The BMX legend was running in the top 5 all weekend until day two troubles. The slippery conditions caught the Subaru STi and spun him into a tree. Massive damage to the car saw an early exit for the #40. Can’t really fault him for the mistake as the roads were absolutely terrible.
With the first round in the books, the cars and crew will be heading into Salem Missouri for the 100 Acre Wood Rally on February 26 – 27. Openpaddock.net will be at the event in full force as we hang with the guys from Last Ditch Racing and rock the house for what promises to be an awesome weekend.