Top rally teams to Colorado for Round 8
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS (Rally America) – “Ski Town USA” is the next stop on the calendar for the top teams in the Rally America Championship when they hit Steamboat Springs on September 19-20 for Rally Colorado – Round 8 of the 9-event Rally America National Championship.
Last year’s Rally Colorado overall win went to Subaru Rally Team USA’s driver, Travis Pastrana, who will be looking for a repeat and says he’s planning to “go all out for the final two events of the season,” despite already securing his fourth Rally America Championship. Pastrana has had mixed results at this event over the years, with his most spectacular rally career crash occurring here during the 2005 event when he rolled seven and three-quarter times and walked away unhurt.
He can expect a challenge for the overall win from his teammate Ken Block, who’s had a tough season in 2009. Pastrana already has the top spot in the Series’ rankings – with just two events left, nobody can catch him – however, Block will be looking to secure the runner-up overall position and needs a strong finish at Rally Colorado to help insure his chances of success.
Currently in the second spot in the overall standings is Polish newcomer Andi Mancin, who is running his first full Rally America Championship season this year in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. Mancin is still looking for his first overall U.S. win and will mix it up at the front of the pack at this event.
Also returning to the series after a two-round break is NOS Energy Drink’s Andrew Comrie-Picard with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX. Just two points behind Ken Block in the overall standings, there is no doubt he will seriously challenge Block for the runner’s up position in the Championship point standings.
Super Production class leader Piotr Wiktorczyk and local challenger Jimmy Keeney will put up a fight, though, in what is expected to be an exciting class battle right up until the final round of the season. Subaru Rally Team USA’s Super Production Class entry, Dave Mirra, will not be present at the last two rounds of the Championship due to conflicts with his busy BMX schedule.
In the 2-Wheel Drive Class, expect another reliable performance by newcomer Dillon Van Way from Carencro, LA. The youngster has posted consistent results this season to take the class lead over Monument, Colorado’s John Conley.
The Rally Colorado event poses unique challenges to rally teams. The high altitude and subsequent lack of oxygen at this event saps the rally cars’ power. Despite this drain, the event has a reputation of being a one of the fastest in the Series featuring many high-speed sections on flowing roads. Expect variable weather and some dust if it is dry. The high altitude, coupled with fast straights places the high horsepower Open class cars at a distinct advantage.
The rally is headquartered in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, known as “Ski Town”, USA. The small mountain community that’s home to numerous world-class ski and snowboarding events is also home to the largest ski jumping complex in America — used for training by the US Olympic Ski Jumping Team.
Rally car racing is considered the extreme sport of automobile racing and is often described simply as “real cars, real roads, real fast.” This all-season motorsport sees drivers and their co-drivers take modified road cars to the limit as they achieve blistering speeds over courses that cover more than 100 miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads.
The 2009 Rally America National Championship series consists of nine exciting events that take place in a range of challenging weather and road conditions in a season that extends from February to October. Throughout the year, teams take on everything from the forest logging roads in Minnesota, to the Pacific Northwest forest and coast paths.
Top teams in the series are also invited to compete in the Summer X Games, the leading action sports event broadcast live on ABC and ESPN.
About Rally America:
Based in Golden Valley, Minn., Rally America sanctions the premier rally racing series in the United States, the Rally America National Championship Series. For 2009, Rally America conducts nine National Championship events at venues across the country.