The Waste Management Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally (commonly known as STPR) is not only the oldest, but it is also the fastest rally in North America. With roads consisting of clay and gravel, much of the course is slippery, fast and can be extremely dangerous. Drivers regularly hit at speeds over 100 mph through densely wooded forests where the trees are right at the edge of the road.
Despite the challenging roads, Seehorn Rally Team’s Jeff Seehorn and co-driver Karen Jankowski put on a dominant performance achieving their second class win and second overall podium of the season. Especially impressive is that this was Jeff’s first time at STPR.
“I am so proud of Jeff conquering these difficult roads in his first outing at STPR, driving a super smart race and getting the win that we really needed in our championship,” Jankowski said.
She said STPR is one of the challenging stage rallies in the U.S.
“The roads are very fast, very narrow and leave no room for mistakes,” Jankowski said. “Get it right and you have an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, get it wrong and there’s a large tree or cliff to greet you.”
Jankowski has co-driven STPR multiple times with different drivers and her skill showed in the team’s achievement at this year’s rally in north central Pennsylvania.
“Karen kept telling me on recce that the roads are very technical and very challenging. I was thinking yeah, whatever,” joked Seehorn from the podium. “Then when we got up to speed I was like, holy cow these are really challenging roads! So narrow and so fast!”
Seehorn also expressed how patience is a virtue, and he thanked his co-driver for sharing her vast experience.
“I had a steep learning curve today, but we finished and finished fast,” he said. “We tried to stay conservative and not throw it all away. A big thanks to Karen for calling good notes.”
The class win narrows the gap to their nearest rivals for the American Rally Association Championship. With just two events remaining, the battle for the national title will be fierce.
In addition to the tough roads, STPR’s long Saturday format challenged service crews as well.
“With the very short Services, our crew of Isaac Fish and Don Jankowski did an excellent job making sure the car was working great and ready for us to tackle the next set of stages,” Jankowski said. “Having Isaac from Reliable Auto & Truck there was a huge benefit for us all weekend. We’re so happy he made the trip.”
After a marathon of three rallies in six weeks, the team now gets a little break to prepare for the New England Forest Rally, July 21-22 in Newry, Maine.