top of page
  • ara9961

Cordero Makes History at Oregon Trail Rally

Speedway, IN ~ After three days, 18 stages, and 108 miles of high-speed stage rally action, the 2024 Oregon Trail Rally Presented by Wilsonville Subaru has come to an end.

The mixed-surface, three-day rally, known for its high speeds, massive elevation changes, and challenging stages lived up to its legacy in the 2024 running. A total of 66 cars queued up for the rally, 43 regional, and 23 national, all prepared to tackle one of the most unpredictable rallies on the calendar.

Proving just how difficult of a rally Oregon Trail is, the third stage of the rally both Subaru Motorsports USA cars retired after finding the same large rock at high speed, leading to a suspension failure for each car.

In their absence, a battle for the lead amongst a field of potential first-time ARA winners remained, ready to push as hard as possible to find their way to the top of the podium at the end of the day Sunday.

The third day of the rally was based in the town of Dufur, Oregon as per usual, and consisted of 46 miles spread across eight stages plus another eight-mile power stage for national competitors, totaling 54 miles of stage rally action, the longest day of the rally.

The multi-time FIA NACAM Championship-winning team of Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernandez were the ones who inherited the lead from Subaru’s misfortune Saturday, and they continued to hold the lead at the start of the day on Sunday.

Being Cordero and Hernandez’s first time at Oregon Trail, they were certainly not expecting to be in the position to win when they showed up to the Portland International Raceway stages on Friday.

In fact, the 2024 Oregon Trail Rally was their first gravel rally in the United States, having only competed at Sno*Drift Rally in the ARA before.

With nine stages between them and their first-ever ARA National win, Cordero and Hernandez found the perfect mix of pushing and protecting their Citroen C3 Rally2 to keep their lead straight through until the end of the final stage, becoming the first Mexican team to win an ARA rally!

“It was a great weekend,” Cordero said at the podium celebration Sunday evening in Dufur. “It was completely unexpected.”

“We were here to get to know the rally, and to get to know the people, and suddenly we are fighting for the lead!”

“The pressure started to build up, and in the end, we took care of the car and ended up in first place. We’re really happy to be the first Mexican team ever to win an ARA event!”

Not only were they winners of the rally overall, and the RC2 class, but the act of showing up for the first time at Oregon Trail and getting the gold earned the team the 43 Institute’s Ken Block FLAT OUT 43VER Award.

Photos by: Jesse Smith, William Langford & Erik Sils

Starting Sunday in third, the fan-favorite Ferrari V8-powered Subaru WRX STI of Sam Albert and Krista Skucas was still on the back foot after a puncture on SS6 on Saturday took them out of a close battle with the Citroen for the win.

Despite not reaching first, they were able to hunt down second-place Javier Olivares and KJ Miller and their LN4 Ford Fiesta Rally3. After being overtaken on SS6, Albert and Skucas spent the next four stages making up the gap to Olivares, and finally overtook him on the second stage Sunday morning.

Sitting in third with a 1m40s gap behind them to fourth, Olivares and Miller cruised through the rest of the day to take the third spot on the overall podium, as well as the LN4 class win,

After their nearest competition in the class, Nick Allen and Stefan Trajkov rolled while crossing the finish of Saturday’s final stage, Olivares and Miller managed their two-minute lead over Jacob and Michael Despain most of Sunday, trading stage wins with their 2001 Impreza RS.

The Despains looked like clear LN4 runners-up, but, due to not turning in their time card at the final time control, they were marked as a DNF, meaning the team of Andy Didorosi and Jamie Willetts took second in class, while Madelyn Tabor and Sophia McKee landed third.

In the O2WD Class, the 1976 Ford Escort of Ryan Booth and Nick Dobbs completed a nearly perfect rally, winning 17 of the 18 stages in their class, and finishing first over the V8-powered 1977 Escort of Seamus Burke and Gary McElhinney.

“The last time I did Oregon Trail Rally it was my first rally ever in an R1 [Fiesta],” Booth recounted at the awards ceremony, “so a little bit different pace! The stages are fast, but it was a good time.”

Finally, in the L2WD class, Roberto Yglesias and Sara Nonack took home the win in dominant fashion after leading the whole rally in their Ford Fiesta ST.

“It’s been a challenging almost two years,” Yglesias explained. “My last win was the Southern Ohio Forest Rally in 2022, so yeah it’s been a while, it’s been a tough year, but finally, everything came together!”

The L2WD podium also saw Richo Healey and Michelle Miller’s Lexus IS250 in second, and Mark Tabor and Katheryn Hansen’s Fiesta in third.

Even though Subaru Motorsports USA competed under Super Rally most of the weekend, that didn’t stop them from taking Power Stage points.

Brandon Semenuk and Keaton Williams took first on the Power Stage while Travis Pastrana and Rhiannon Gelsomino took second, earning five and four points respectively.

Cordero placed third earning three points, plus a bonus of three class points for being the fastest RC2 car, while Albert earned two points in fourth, and John Coyne earned 1 point in fifth.

Oregon Trail Rally National Final Classification

  1. Cordero/Hernandez (Citroen) 1h34m31.7s

  2. Albert/Skucas (Subaru) +2m27.8s

  3. Olivares/Miller (Ford) +3m53.8s

  4. Coyne/Treacy (Hyundai) +7m11.4s

  5. Booth/Dobbs (Ford) +8m15.8s

  6. Burke/McElhinney (Ford) +12m56.1s

  7. Yglesias/Nonack (Ford) +13m40.5s

  8. Healey/Miller (Lexus) +16m46.7s

  9. Didorosi/Willetts (Subaru) +18m19.6s

  10. Mark Tabor/Hansen (Ford) +20m27.2s

Miller Makes it Two in a Row

In the Oregon Trail Regional Rally, it would be Andy Miller and Shaun Tracy who ran away with the overall win.

Miller came into the day just 43 seconds ahead of the then-second-place car of Steven Redd and Dylan Hooker, but on the first stage of the day, Redd and Hooker retired leaving the NA4WD EZ30-powered WRX STI of Miller and Tracy with a healthy gap that they managed the rest of the day to take the win.

“We have a new sequential [transmission] in the car,” Miller explained at the podium, “and that’s a big deal.”

“There were a couple of restraints getting it sorted out and dialed in, but it turned out to be fantastic.”

And fantastic it was, as Miller and Tracy took 10 of the 17 stages of the regional event, and won with a three-minute gap over second place Josh Gierman and Colin Katagiri’s H6-powered 2001 Impreza.

Gierman and Katagiri started the day in third but moved into second after the SS10 retirement of Redd and Hooker, and held their pace the rest of the day. After a soft roll at Olympus, the duo have redeemed themselves with their strong performance on the tough Oregon trails.

Finishing third overall, Phil Clarke and Kendra Tym moved from fifth to third in their 2003 Subaru WRX to take their spot on the podium. The duo also won the L4WD class, attributing most of their success to gaining more trust in their pace notes.

As Clarke explained on the podium, “Honestly? What we’re doing is I’m listening to the notes now,” adding, ”I always used to just check-up, but now there’s no check-ups.”

Co-driver Tym mirrored Clarke’s explanation, adding, “That is totally it. Trust what you have said in recce. Phil had amazing notes and just went for it. He knows when to slow and then has it. It was a complete blast!”

Clarke and Tym had to fight hard to maintain their position in third though, as just behind them the O2WD winners Dave Clark and Lisa Long were pushing hard the whole day to try to make it to the overall podium.

“I don’t know what I was expecting!” Clark said at the awards ceremony. “I think I missed [the] Regional Overall [Podium] by just a bit, and that was so fun. It was just ‘push’ all the way until the end!”

Clark and Long also managed to win SS15 Shadowbuck, and SS17 Starveout outright in the regional rally, proving two-wheel-drive can still overcome the low-grip conditions and show up the best of the best AWD machines.

Behind Clark and Long, John Hill and Jake Blattner’s 1968 MkI Ford Escort finished second in the O2WD class with four stage wins under their belt across the whole rally, and Julien Sebot and Steven Harrell finished third, filling the final spot on the O2WD podium.

Of course, not to be forgotten, the final spot of the overall top five went to the previous round’s 43 Institute Ken Block FLAT OUT 43VER Award winners, Cooper Anderson and Ethan Curtis. The duo followed up their incredible performance at Olympus with yet another NA4WD class podium, marking their fourth in a row as a team.

While Phil Clarke and Kendra Tym were leading the L4WD class all day, behind them an intense battle for second place raged between the 2002 WRXs of Scott Crouch and Jared Bendt.

Crouch and co-driver Ryan Scott started the day 13.6 seconds behind Bendt and co-driver Tim Tokstad. Slowly though, Crouch and Scott pushed just enough on each stage to make up a few seconds at a time.

Finally, by the end of SS13, Crouch and Scott moved into the lead, where they continued to hammer down as they tried to create a gap, never beating the car of Bendt and Tokstad to the finish control by more than five seconds the rest of the day.

Persistence paid off in the end though, and by a total margin of just 8.3 seconds, Crouch and Scott stood second on the L4WD podium, while Bendt and Tokstad finished with a highly respectable third.

In L2WD, the six-car field entered the final day of the rally each with a sizable gap to the competitors around them, and it stayed that way right up until the last few stages.

First place at the beginning of the day belonged to Casen Pederson and Oliver Smith’s Lexus IS250, which held a three-minute lead over second-place Jeff Castro and Ann Hanson.

After holding second place all day, a 30-minute time loss from the 1982 Toyota Corolla of Castro and Hanson dropped to last place on the rally's penultimate stage.

Filling the spot, first-time driver Gabriel Young and Co-driver Mitch Meadows were in good shape to finish second in class until a roll on the final stage of the rally took them out of contention as well.

In the end, Pederson got his first class win in his second-ever rally, while the 1976 Volvo 242 of Robert Culbertson and Paul Butvich took second, and Matt Tabor and Denae Murphy’s Mazda 3 finished third.

The closest finish of the rally would go to the O4WD class, as Sean Dorrough and Andrea Laura beat Brett and Hunter Livingston by just half a second!

“It was absolutely left field that we got this win!” Laura said. “Our starter went out at PIR and our axel broke on the first stage on the last day! My crew and other crews jumped up to help and were amazing getting us back out there! I'm so glad we finished and won! I'm proud of everyone here!”

In addition to the podium trophies, extra awards were handed out to a few competitors based on their performance.

Culbertson won the First Timer Award, which is given to the highest-finishing first-time driver.

“I’ve done Oregon Trail probably ten times plus as a co-driver,” he said upon receiving the award, “so to get in as a driver and do it myself, it was a good time.”

“The old Volvo, it’s a great car, all 9500 horsepower of it,” he joked. “I had a great time in that car.”

And finally, winning the Dead Last But Finished Award was Garth Ankeny in his 1981 Toyota Starlet. The award is given to the driver who finished last, as a celebration of their tenacity and press-on-regardless spirit.

“It’s Oregon Trail Rally,” said Ankeny, “you don’t know what to expect. That’s why we keep coming back, because it’s the best rally in America, right?”

Oregon Trail Rally Regional Final Classification

  1. Miller/Tracy (Subaru) 1h33m09.5s

  2. Gierman/Katagiri (Subaru) +2m51s

  3. Clarke/Tym (Subaru) +4m32.3s

  4. Clark/Long (BMW) +4m43.5s

  5. Anderson/Curtis (Subaru) +5m07.5s

  6. Sperry/Thomas (Subaru) +5m42.5s

  7. Hill/Blattner (Ford) +6m29.8s

  8. S. Crabb/P. Crabb (Subaru) +7m16.3s

  9. Mumme/Ellinger (Subaru) +8m03.0s

  10. Koury/Michell (Subaru) +8.27.9s

~ Mason Runkel for ARA.

Thank you to event media for providing the images above: William Langford, Jesse Smith, Anna Daugherty, Alan Hussar, & Peng Du

For more information about the American Rally Association, and to get involved, visit our



bottom of page