Battle Royal Between Subaru Teammates and Ford/Honda Manufactures at 2016 Oregon Trail Rally
2016 Oregon Trail Rally 2016, Round 3 of the Rally America National Championship
BATTLE ROYAL BETWEEN SUBARU TEAMMATES AND FORD/HONDA MANUFACTURES
DUFUR, Oregon (April 24, 2016) - It was down to the last stage of the rally to determine who would take the win in the Open class of this weekends Oregon Trail Rally 2016, Round 3 of the Rally America National Championship. Teammates David Higgins/Craig Drew and Travis Pastrana/Christian Edstrom rallied their way through the rolling hills of Northern Oregon and Southern Washington during the 3 days of racing and it was nothing short of nail bitting as their times each day were within mere seconds of each other.
The three days of rally started at the Portland International Raceway where all classes would get the opportunity to race in front of the fans for 4 stages that totaled 9.06 miles. These four stages would set the pace for the rest of the weekend, however it was the stages on Saturday and Sunday where the drivers and co-drivers would really show their skills eager to take a stage win.
The battle was brewing in the open class on Saturday, however there was also a battle in the 2wd class that had fans and spectators on the edge during both days. Ryan Millen/Christina Tate were being challenged by Cameron Steely/Preston Osborn as they made their way through the stages. With every stage came different results and the back and forth seemed to push the drivers to rally harder than expected. Steely had a bit of an edge going into the final two stages of Sundays rally with the lead over Millen but with a flat on the last stage, Millen/Tate were able to pass Steely on time and take the win.
Pastrana/Edstrom just edged by Higgins/Drew in Fridays stages to start Saturdays rally with only a .5 second lead. The two Subaru teammates got behind the wheel on Saturday, one ready to hold the lead and one eager to make up time and take the lead. Higgins has competed in and won the Oregon Trail Rally 7 times and he was not ready to let Pastrana take away the possibility of making it 8 for 8 wins.
After 6 stages on Saturday, Pastrana/Edstrom still held the lead going into the final three stages of the day. Rare to US Rally would be stage 11-12. These stages would throw the drivers for a loop as they would be tested with a 2.86 mile tarmac hill climb stage that presented itself with a variety of turns. It would be at this point that Higgins/Drew had the upper hand on Pastrana/Edstrom, showed more speed and skill and ended the tarmac portion of the rally with the lead.
Higgins/Drew were able to hold off Pastrana/Edstrom during the final 5 stages on Sunday and came out victorious. This would make 8 for 8 wins at the Oregon Trail Rally for Higgins.
The Super Production class had 6 entries featuring some different names than we normally see. Jeff Seehorn was the fan favorite to take the win. Showing strength early on in the rally, Seehorn was leading by not just seconds, but minutes. The top 3 drivers in the SP class were all from Washington state and proved that the drivers out west sure do know how to rally. As the rally drew to and end on Sunday, Seehorn would have to give up his first place due to a penalty and it would be Matt Binczewski with the win. Seehorn would take second followed by another fan favorite on the west coast, Tino Fortunato to round out the podium in third.
National B-Spec class pitted Ford vs. Honda with Jordan Guitar/Bryan Penza (Honda Fit) and Keanna Erickson-Chang/Ole Holter (Ford Fiesta) and both were out to take the top of the podium for their respected Manufacture. Erickson-Chang is in her rookie year in the National Championship and is persistently gaining speed and shaving seconds every rally. Guitar/Penza still had the speed in their Honda Fit and were able to finish out the 18 stages of the Oregon Trail Rally with 5min 34sec lead over Erickson-Chang. This would be the third win this year in the B-Spec class for Guitar and at this rate we will probably see him stay on the podium this year.
It was a great turnout for racers and the spectators had some action packed spots to watch the rally from this year. Next up for Rally America is Olympus which takes place in Shelton, WA. Visit our website for further information and be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date between the races.
Rally America would like to thank Oregon Trail Rally and all the volunteers who were able to make this 3 -day rally possible.