The week’s race for the Rally America National Championship’s third round was in Portland and Hood River, Oregon. This iconic trail race, called the Oregon Trail Rally, was dominated by Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis of Subaru, who lost the win and ended the race in second place due to flat tires in stage 17.
First place thus went to David Higgins and Craig Drew, another Subaru team, who had been just behind Pastrana and Beavis for the entire weekend. This marks Higgins’ sixth career Oregon Trail Rally victory and his fourth consecutive win at the Trail.
“I just wish Pastrana didn’t get his puncture so we can see the real times,” said Higgins. “It would have been close, at least we could afford to cut back on the last stage because we had nothing left. It was so slick out there with the rain coming down. It was an awesome battle, fantastic for Subaru to sweep the podium.”
Pastrana added, “It was such an awesome rally, We had some fortune to get the lead, but Higgins chipped away at it. We learned so much here and we are a lot closer than we were the first race. I can’t wait for the next round.”
Third place went to FY Racing’s Adam Yoeman and Jordan Schulze.
Super Production winners were David Sterckx and Karen Jankowski beating out Dillon Van Way and Andrew Edwards by a mere 7.4 seconds in a tightly-contested race for the class. Third went to Lauchlin O’Sullivan and Scott Putnam. Class points leaders Nick Roberts and Rhianon Gelsomino were retired from the race after a catastrophic fire ended their run in stage 8. Both drivers are OK, but the car is likely a wash.
“We had dust issues and chicane penalties early in the rally,” said Sterckx, “But we decided to push harder for the win, there was no other option. We won the last four stages, and we went faster in the rain than we did in the dry last year at Oregon. We made up two seconds per mile on the final five mile stage to close the 7 second gap to Dillon.”
The Oregon Trail Rally delivered another exciting battle in the Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) category with Ramana Lagemann and Nathalie Richard securing their first win competing together. Lagemann stepped away from rally racing in 2012 and decided to run at this year’s Oregon Trail in a 1995 BMW M3. He immediately built a lead from the very beginning, but Ford Fiesta ST drivers, Andrew Comrie-Picard and Jeremy Wimpey, kept the pressure on Lageman to finish in second place just 31.5 seconds behind.
“It always feels good to come back rallying,” exclaimed Lagemann. “This was a completely new car, experience and co-driver for me. We came here to have fun, but we didn’t know if we had the capability to win. This is totally unexpected.”