2020 ARA Championship Review: East Regional NA4WD
Updated: Jan 3
The 2020 American Rally Association, Presented by AMSOIL season was one that will not be soon forgotten. The new year brought optimism, growth and high expectations with nineteen events on the original schedule. But a pandemic hit and put the roller coaster of rally on hold after just one national and one regional were in the books.
But after seven months of uncertainty, teams began to roll back into paddocks, starting with the Southern Ohio Forest Rally, a first time ARA national. From there, the national and regional series picked up steam, and despite some early season cancellations, competitors found seven more opportunities to rally, including the late-season add of the newly minted New York Forest Rally.
Over the next several days, the ARA will individually recognize our 2020 National and Regional Champions with a snapshot of how they got to the top spot. Today we focus on the ARA East Regional Championship and the NA4WD class.
Read Yesterday: National 2WD.
East NA4WD Chase
The 2002 Yellow Subaru Impreza of Greg Healey stands out at a rally. Not just because of the blue wheels or the child's artwork portraying a small island in the middle of the ocean that runs down the rear quarter panels. It stands out because its a winning rally car, and now a championship one.
Healey took advantage of a last minute decision to enter the last minute New York Forest Rally in October. The eight class points he picked up at NYFR were enough to hold off 2020 East Regional Overall Driver champion Chuck Surdyke for the East NA4WD title.
Obviously Healey didn't go at it alone in 2020. He teamed up with newly crowned ARA East Regional NA4WD Co-Driver champion Philip Barnes. Together they enter three rallies, finishing with a second at the Show-Me Rally and third at both the Southern Ohio Forest Rally and a stacked basic regional at NYFR.
Surdyke was able to grab the East Overall title in 2020 thanks to higher overall finishes at his two events, but he came up three-points short to Healey in NA4WD. Surdyke and Cameron Carr teamed up for second place overall. The pair won their class (and finished second overall) at Show-Me despite having to wait until just before the rally to get off the events wait-list due to the historically regional rally becoming a national due to the on-going schedule changes caused by the pandemic.
TJ Pullen used a third place class finish at the Sno*Drift Rally last January and a second at SOFR to capture third overall in the East NA4WD Driver championship. Pullen's navigator Erin Kelly also finished in the top three overall in the ARA East NA4WD Co-Driver class. She tied with Bryce Proseus who used four rallies and worked with Nathan Coulter (MOR/Show-Me) and Ryan Pryzbylkowski (SOFR/NYFR) in 2020.
Up next for the ARA Championship Review: National LN4 and NA4WD Cup