Championship Review Presented by AutoWeek: Steely and Osborn
The American Rally Association, Presented by AMSOIL takes a look back at the 2019 season and sits down with its five national champions to discuss their title run. This week, Limited 4WD champions Cameron Steely and Preston Osborn.
Speedway, Indiana ~ Led by Cameron Steely and Preston Osborn, O.D.D. Racing has become a major team in the American Rally Association in a short time. The only took part in three ARA events in 2018, but that was enough to establish the duo as one of the top teams heading into 2019. After picking up five class wins in Limited 4WD, the Colorado-natives were crowned class champions and closed the year out fifth overall on the national American Rally Association, Presented by AMSOIL season.
The year started with Steely and Osborn bringing their 2007 Subaru WRX STi to Sno-Drift, the opening round of the 2019 ARA schedule. It was the first time the team had run a snow-based event in a 4WD car, but it didn’t show in the results. Steely and Osborn navigated the twisty, frozen Michigan roads to a second overall finish.
Round two at the 100 Acre Wood Rally in Missouri left them wanting more after motor issues knocked them out during the first day of competition, but Steely and Osborn quickly returned to form with a class win (fifth overall) at Olympus.
“After spending months chasing a car issue, we finally fixed it and had a clean race,” said Osborn after Olympus. “The stages were rough and demanding, but with no problems and clean driving, we got the results we were after.”
In mid-May, Steely and Osborn headed to the Southern Ohio Forest Rally, an ARA Super Regional that allows teams to grab key national championship points, where they finished second overall and first in L4WD.
After skipping the next national (Oregon Trail) the team returned to the podium in Idaho in mid-June. The extreme heat and long, difficult stages took its toll on a great number of teams, but Osborn and Steely persevered, finishing second in class behind overall winner Jeff Seehorn. The clean run also gave them third overall and second national podium of the year.
“Cam managed to keep it clean for all of the stages, and some late car drama shook up the field,” said Osborn. “This race was unusually high with attrition, and a big thanks to the team for keeping the Subaru STi running hard for the whole race.”
With a growing lead in the class, and their first ARA in reach, Steely and Osborn would sandwich a pair of class wins at Ojibwe and STPR between two early retirements at NEFR and LSPR to round out the season. (Note: Osborn was unable to compete at LSPR due to family commitments.)
The 2020 season will see Steely and Osborn in a new car, with eyes on bigger prizes and continued success. If the past is any indication, we expect to see more of the same from the O.D.D. crew next year.
The 2020 American Rally Association, Presented by AMSOIL season begins January 24-25 in Atlanta, Mich. at the historical Sno-Drift rally.