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  • Writer's pictureARA Staff

Seehorn Takes Tour de Forest as Olivares, Miller Round out Overall Podium

Shelton, Wash. ~ When the Tour de Forest rally was first introduced in 1978 by the Rainier Auto Sports Club, it brought together top-flight competitors that challenged one another for national championships. The event was a highly-contested battleground between legendary rally drivers Rod Millen and John Buffum, cementing the event's status as an essential piece of American rally history.


Tour de Forest would evolve into the modern-day Oregon Trail Rally before returning as a consistent and popular rally in 2018, joining the American Rally Association as a National Championship event. In 2019, Tour entered the ARA West Regional championship as a one-day event and has been on the series schedule since (it was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Pandemic).

Photo Courtesy: Anna Daugherty Photography


From the outside looking in, the 2023 iteration of Tour de Forest could have been construed as a nod to the past. It had a heavy national feel. Top ARA National Championship drivers such as Jeff Seehorn, Javier Olivares, Matt Brassfield, and Sam Albert made up a visible part of the 41 cars in Saturday's rally.


Jeff Seehorn and co-driver Aris Mantopoulos teamed up this weekend, looking to defend their 2022 Tour de Forest win. They would drop the first stage to Javier Olivares (co-driver KJ Miller) by 2 seconds but would control the remaining five stages and 26 and a half miles to take the overall win by 49.9 seconds. It was the third straight podium finish for Seehorn, who finished second as a national entry at this year's Olympus Rally and the Oregon Trail Rally.


Photo Courtesy: Alan Hussar (@Hatake_Shoots)


Olivares extended his class win streak to three by finishing second behind Seehorn (and first in Limited 4WD). The Ford Fiesta driver took the LN4WD National class wins at the Ojibwe Forests Rally and Oregon Trail this year and has yet to finish below second in his past seven events. He sits second in National LN4 this season, six points behind Matt Dickinson. Both drivers are scheduled for next weekend's ARA National finale at LSPR.



Photo Courtesy: Anna Daugherty Photography


Andy Miller has been on a hot streak over the past two seasons. The top true regional competitor, Miller, and co-driver Shaun Tracy drove to a third-place finish at Tour de Forest, their fifth straight NA4WD class win. Miller's third win of the season has him in a tie for the 2023 NA4WD title with David Peretz and just five points behind Chris Miller for the overall.


Sam Albert (Krista Skucas) brought the head-turning Ferrari-swapped Subaru to their home rally. Albert was second after SS2 but dropped time to the leaders on both runs of Schumacher (SS3 and SS6). The 2018 Tour de Forest national runner-up would finish the day fourth overall and second to Seehorn in Open 4WD.


Todd Hartmann (Shawn Callahan) backed up their Open 4WD win at Oregon Trail with a third-place class finish at Tour de Forest. Hartmann found more comfort with his 2010 Ford Fiesta as the rally hit the final stages, moving from seventh to fifth overall on the last two stages.


Dave Clark (Jamie Willetts) were only 4.5 seconds behind Hartmann in their two-wheel drive 1999 BMW M3 at the end of the day. Clark, who finished second as a national competitor in Open 2WD at Oregon and Olympus, was also the top O2WD finisher at Tour de Forest. Chris Sutton (Hayley Hoffman) finished 52secs behind Clark for second in class, and Sage Van Tilburg (AJ Johnson) closed out the rally third in 02WD.

Photo Courtesy: Alan Hussar (@Hatake_Shoots)


Cooper Anderson (Ethan Curtis) drove to a career-best finish in Washington. Anderson was ninth overall, finishing only 2/10ths of a second behind Sutton, while also finishing second in NA4WD. Jeffrey Olmstead (Ann Hanson) was third in NA4WD.


For the second time this season, Andrew Reavis (Anthony Campbell) sat second overall in Limited 4WD, finishing 34.2secs ahead of third place (and 10th overall) driver Phil Clarke (Ed Flaisig). Matt Brassfield was second overall through four stages but retired after SS4 and could not finish the final two stages.


Photo Courtesy: Anna Daugherty Photography


In Limited 2WD, Jeff Castro (Michael Milos) drove a 1982 Toyota Corolla to their first ARA class win (they did finish first in P2WD at Big White in 2022). A pair of first-time rally drivers rounded out the Tour de Forest L2Wd podium. Lucas Chalcraft (Sophia McKee) was second in L2WD, and Johan and John Friesen finished third in class.


The Lake Superior Performance Rally will conclude the ARA's Green APU National Rally Championship on October 13-14 in Marquette, Mich. All 2023 ARA Regional championships will conclude with the Super Regional Show-Me Rally on November 3-4. Drivers and Co-Drivers may still earn points at LSPR and Show-Me for their regional championship. For more information on the American Rally Association and the Green APU National Rally Championship, go towww.americanrallyassociation.org

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1 Kommentar


Rally Graves
Rally Graves
08. Okt. 2023

Great photos! Why are there no captions??


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