Ushering in a Victory at Sno*Drift Summer Rally
Photos via: Up North Motorsports Media/Chris Heikkuri
The team of Nathan Usher and Ryan Dunham have found themselves on the podium at the end of The Sno*Drift Summer Rally.
The team, Sneak Attack Rally, was a favorite to win in their black and pink NA4WD Subaru Outback Sport 3.0 R to win going into the event this morning. After holding steady in a close second place to Michael and Lauren Engle from SS1-SS9. Heading into SS10 there was only 1.8s separating the two teams.
Usher and Dunham were able to make a huge push on the last stage to put 8.5s seconds between them and the Engles, securing their victory after a long, hard-fought battle.
Running in third place for the majority of the rally was the turbo O4WD GC Impreza of Jimmy Pelizzari and Kate Stevens with Blind Deer Rallysport. About 48s behind the leaders after picking up a stage win on SS9, Blind Deer Rallysport was well poised to make the podium, until car troubles on the last stage caused an unfortunate DNF.
The Blind Deer team's DNF opened the door for the NA4WD Audi A4 piloted by Tim Michel and navigator Cindy Krolikowski to move up into the third position for the final podium position.
The LN4 competition podium, a common combination of L4WD and NA4WD, played out exactly the same as the overall as well.
With Usher and Michel taking first and second in the NA4WD class, it was rounded off with the final class competitors, Nathan Coulter and Bryce Proseus.
Fourth and fifth place were taking by the top O2WD teams. Leading O2WD at +5m55.3s from the event winners was Al Dantes Jr. and Andrew Sims in the famous LS-powered FC RX-7 named Rexine. Having won five of the first six stages, Dantes pulled out to an early lead that lasted the rest of the event.
Just 4.2s behind by the end of SS10 was Mike Cessna and Jamie Lambert in their 1998 M3. The duo were able to dominate the latter half of the rally, having won four of the last six stages.
In third place, and the last team to win a stage in the class was the newly built Thomspon Racing Fabrication Scion FRS of Eric Bailey and Jordan Rock. Breaking in the FRS on its maiden rally, the team was three minutes off the class pace, but winning SS9 proved they had the car dialed in and ready for the next event by the end of the day.
Santiago Iglesias and Robert Kassel led the L2WD class all the way from SS1 to SS10. The team led the class by 4m4.9s over second place Doug Gekiere and Joel Sanford in the Pontiac Vibe GT.
Gekiere and Sanford had a close battle with third place Matt Hoffman and Nathaniel Chaisson in the Chevy Sonic right up until the final loop, with the teams swapping positions each stage between SS8 and SS10.
Finally in the O4WD class, while event leaders Blind Deer Rallysport dropped out on the last stage, Daryl and Calvin Bergen were able to move up to the first position, with Bradley Hayosh and Neil Moser 4m23.6s behind them.
Top 10 times at end of rally:
Nathan Usher/Ryan Dunham (Subaru) 53m37.2s
Michael Engle/Lauren Engle (Subaru) +6.7s
Tim Michel/Cindy Krolikowski (Audi) +4m18.9s
Al Dantes Jr./Andrew Sims (Mazda) +5m55.2s
Mike Cessna/Jamie Lambert (BMW) +5m59.4s
Santiago Iglesias/Robert Kassel (Subaru) +7m49.6s
Nathan Coulter/Bryce Proseus (Subaru) +8m53.4s
Eric Bailey/Jordan Rock (Scion) +9m4.1s
Doug Gekiere/Joel Sanford (Pontiac) +11m54.5s
Matt Hoffman/Nathaniel Chaisson (Chevrolet) +12m4.8s