Ryan Rethy scored his second overall rally win at the Missouri Ozark Rally on Saturday. Rethy now sits third in the American Rally Association Central Regional Championship after a second place finish on the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood earlier this year.
In a rally of attrition, it was the consistent and reliable who shined the most at MOR. With eight of 16 entrants finishing, a red-cross on SS2 and delays leading to the final three stages of the rally being cancelled, the small entry by no means caused a lack in drama and excitement.
Rethy and co-driver James Dallman took an early lead on stage one over the pre-event favorites, Micah Nickelson and Tyler Ptacek. Nickelson, who is a promising underdog for the National 2WD championship in his VW Golf, suffered an issue on SS1 that put him over eight minutes back.
Although he fought back to win four of the five stages that ended up running, Nickelson was only able to pull back about 45 seconds on Rethy, and ultimately ended up finishing eighth of eight finishers.
Travis and Kendall Clark's Audi finished second overall, and second in NA4WD to Rethy's Subaru. The Clarks had a similar day to Rethy and Dallman, taking a high position early on and then managing the gap for the rest of the event to take second by just over two minutes.
The podium was rounded out by the O2WD class winners Kelsey Stephens and Zachary Goldstein in their BMW "Clown-Shoe" M Coupé. This marks Stephens' first win, and highest overall finish in the ARA to date.
Only 45s behind Stephens and Goldstein was the 1987 GTI of Erik and Clarissa Votipka, who were able to finish fourth overall and second in class.
The fifth finisher was first-timer Joel Bruns with co-driver Luis Carazas at his side. The two were also able to win the L2WD class as the lone finishers with main competitors Jake Burke and his navigator Eric Schlee retiring early on.
Currently the Central Regional Championship is still led by Zachary Jaques with 34 points, followed by Jon Kramer with 28 and now Ryan Rethy in third with 26.
The next stop will be the Ojibwe Forests Regional Rally running alongside the seventh round of the ARA National Championship presented by DirtFish, at the Ojibwe Forests Rally, where Stephen and Katie Gingras are in good position to move to the top of the points from fourth with their current score of 25, as the top three have not entered for the event.