2020 ARA Championship Review: National 2WD and L2 Cup
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 shortly after the Sno*Drift National the 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. First up: National 2WD.
Down to the Wire:
In 2020, the American Rally Association, presented by AMSOIL made the decision to parethe National podium and championship results from four down to two. That created the 2WD (combination of Open 2WD and Limited 2WD) and LN4WD (combination of NA4WD and Limited 4WD).
The move allowed national podiums to fill up and also created a fantastic finish in newly created 2WD title chase. At the end of the year, a Super Rally, a tie-breaker, and some last minute scoring inquiries played a major part in the driver and co-driver championships.
Seamus Burke and Martin Brady picked up the class win at the Ojibwe Forests Rally and finished second at SOFR, but Michael Hooper and Claudia Barbera won both SOFR and Olympus Rally and finished second at the Show-Me Rally. But the dealbreaker came down to the final weekend and when all of the scoring settled in Washington, the two teams were tied at 61 points. A tie-breaker scenario gave the 2WD Driver and Co-Driver championships to Burke and Brady, with Hooper and Barbera finishing second.
Brad Morris’s class win at Sno*Drift and a fourth at Ojibwe gave him third overall in 2WD, edging out Ryan Sanders by just one point. Saunder’s Co-Driver’s Oliver Smith hoped on board for the final four nationals in 2020, gathering enough points to force a tie with and Ryan Scott tied for third overall. Scott earned the tie by navigating three drivers in 2020, including Chris Greenhouse (SOFR, Ojibwe), Dave Wallingford (Show-Me) and Morris (Olympus).
Limited 2WD Cup
With the ARA moving to a combined podium format this year, it was still critical to recognize the strong Limited 2WD class. So begins the new tradition of the Limited 2WD Cup.
Ryan Sanders (Driver) and his co-driver Oliver Smith topped the L2WD Cup standings, thanks in large part to participation in five rallies in 2020, but also because of a class win at the Show-Me Rally and a second at Ojibwe.
Sanders finished ahead Drivers Andre Dorazio (2nd) and Paul Dickinson (3rd) for the L2 Cup title. Dorazio was tops in class at his two 2020 rallies, Ojibwe and Olympus, but did it with different Co-Driver's, Preston Osborn and Michael Hordijk.
Dickinson teamed up with Alison LaRoza for three rallies last year. Even with Dickinson finishing third in the Driver standings, LaRoza was able to secure second overall in the Co-Driver standings.
Up next for the ARA Championship Review: East Regional NA4WD