Portland International Entertains on Opening Night of Oregon Trail Rally
Photo credit: Subaru Motorsports USA
Portland, Ore.~ It was a successful night on and around the track of the Portland International Raceway as round four of the American Rally Association’s Green APU National Rally Championship got underway Friday night.
The night opened with a packed parc expose before the 70-car field filtered out to the start line of SS1 in reverse order, allowing the lowest seeded card first crack at the 3.71 super special stage. Two running’s of Founder Olmstead Moore Nagle SSS would take place as the sun set on the Portland horizon in a purple haze.
Keeping the car clean and near race ready for Saturday was the goal for the entire field, including defending ARA National Overall champions Brandon Semenuk and Keaton Williams. The Subaru Motorsports USA tandem checked both boxes on Friday night and completed each stage in a tidy 3:37.0 and 3:32.3. That pushed them into an early lead 18-second lead over the Ferrari-infused Subaru of Sam Albert and Krista Skucas.
Jeff Seehorn and Aris Mantopoulos pushed their 2021 Subaru WRX STi to third overall, thanks to a clean second run that improved by more than six seconds. Jason Bailey and Shayne Peterson are fourth overall in the national rankings and first in Limited 4WD, just ahead of George Plsek and Danny Persein.
Nick Allen and Matt James put down a smooth drive on Friday night, taking the top 2WD honors. But Lia Block and Rhianon Gelsomino are only 9/10ths of a second back in their Subaru BRZ.
While Bailey/Peterson was fourth in national, last month’s Olympus Rally overall regional winners, Andy Miller and Shaun Tracy, tackled the tarmac at PIR to lead the regional class. Their time would also be good enough for fourth overall in a combined rally format.
Steven Redd and Dylan Hooker teamed up for a fast pace and will enter Saturday second overall in regional and first in regional O4WD. Daniel Sperry and Zachary Thomas are just 8.4 seconds behind in third.
The Oregon Trail Rally will move east on Saturday, setting up shop in Goldendale, Wash., where a mix of technical, twisting roads hug the many cliffsides in Klickitat County. Eight stages and 50 miles of competition roads, including the historic tarmac road Maryhill, await the competitors on day two of the Oregon Trail Rally.
There are two official spectator areas on Saturday, one on Dalles Mountain and the other on Maryhill: https://oregontrailrally.com/2023-spectator-guide/
In conjunction with Green APU, live event coverage of the 2023 Oregon Trail Rally can be found in partnership with DirtFish and its DirtFish Live Coverage. Exclusive content, including rally updates, video coverage, and interviews, can be found all weekend long at: https://dirtfish.com/tag/dirtfish-live-center/