2017 Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally Sanctioned by: American Rally Association June 2-3, 201 Wellsboro, Penn.
Rally Notes #6 – Saturday evening – 41st STPR Rally is over
Driver David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew won their third American Rally Association national championship event in their Subaru WRX at the Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally to take a commanding points lead with only two events remaining.
Higgins/Drew overcame a one minute deficit to Subaru teammates Travis Pastrana and Robbie Durant resulting from a blown turbo early in the day on Friday to score a three-and-a-half minute victory on the forest roads near Wellsboro, Pennsylvania.
Pastrana, who has not won this event despite being the fastest car multiple times over the years, lost his lead today because of an off-road excursion on one stage and a flat tire on another, opening the door for Higgins to catch him during the last stages of the event.
The Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan Ford Fiesta stayed close to the two Subaru for the first eight stages, but smacked a tree on stage nine, causing significant damage. McKenna made it to service after stage ten, but could not continue. That allowed the Subaru STI of Jeff Seehorn/Karen Jankowski, running in the Restricted Open 4WD class, to finish third overall and win their class. Other class winners included Laughlin O’Sullivan/Scott Putnam in a Subaru STI (fourth overall and winners of the Production 4WD class); Ryan Millen/Rhianon Gelsomino in a Toyota RAV4 SE (six overall and winner in Open 2WD); and the Keeanna Erickson-Chang/Claudia Pullen Ford Fiesta (11th overall and first in Production 2WD).
Fifteen of the 19 starters in the national division finish the grueling 125-mile, 15-stage event.
In the two regional events, Jeff Seehorn and Karen Jankowski won both the Jack Sherwood Regional Rally (stages 1-7) and the Finger Lakes Regional Rally (stages 8 – 15), but they withdrew from both events after finished third overall and winning their class in the National event. Jankowski said they wanted the winning hardware to go to more local competitors.
The Sherwood Forest Rally as follows:#145 Paulo Ferreira/Ozgur Simsek Subaru Impreza, winner in Open 4WD; #767 Sumit Punjabi/Matt James Mitsubishi Evo X, won the Production 4WD class; #299 Subaru Impreza Adam Kimmett/Adam Moore won NA Open 4WD;. #142 Daniel Downey/Kevin Brolin BMW 325is won the 2WD Production class, while #32 Adam Noyes/Kelsey Stone BMW 318ti won Open 2WD..
The Finger Lakes Regional event was won by #299 Subaru Impreza Adam Kimmett/Adam Moore won NA Open 4WD; :#145 Paulo Ferreira/Ozgur Simsek Subaru Impreza, winner in Open 4WD;#320 James Beliveau/Scott Beliveau VW Golf winner in Open 2WD; and #315 Ryan Kolupa/Andrew Benson VW Beetle winner in Production 2WD.
What is STPR and Performance Rally?
The Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally was first conducted by the Finger Lakes Region, SCCA in 1977, with the assistance of members of other sports car clubs in the Rochester, N.Y area. Members of these clubs (Triumph Touring Club, Corvair Owners Club, MG Car Club and others) had experience with previous performance events such as the Snowblower and Lunar Lunge which ran out of Rochester as early as 1965 and were part of the M.O.N.Y. series (Michigan, Ohio and New York), the forerunner of the SCCA ProRally series.
In the United States, performance rally teams have a driver and co-driver (or navigator) for each car, and the competitors race in segments (or stages) on closed public roads, trying to get from the beginning to the end of the stage as fast as they can. Unlike other forms of motorsports, there is no practice allowed, and teams are only allowed one pass to review the course at the public speed limit before the event. In competition, the navigator then barks out the route instructions while the drive proceeds – sometimes at speeds exceeding 100 miles-per-hour – through forest, desert, and logging around at events around the country. The cars, all street legal to allow driving on public roads between racing stages, are compact and subcompact sports cars with varying amounts of performance modifications depending on the class they are running in. The sight of these cars, running at speed through the woods to beat the clock, makes exciting spectating for the fans who come out to watch performance rally.