Speedway, Indiana ~From the hustle of highways near the Portland International Raceway to the rolling country backroads and twisting technical forest stages in the shadows of Mt. Hood, this weekend’s DirtFish Oregon Trail Rally will once again offer up a full representation of stage rally for racers and fans.
The Oregon Trail Rally is a three-day challenge of rugged terrain and tight, asphalt lines. It’s also round four of the 2019 American Rally Association, presented by AMSOIL, and is rich with storylines. Subaru Motorsports USA’s David Higgins has been nearly unstoppable in the Oregon countryside, picking up nine career wins at the popular venue. He, alongside co-driver Craig Drew sit third overall in the national points race after a rebound, second-place performance at Olympus last month.
But Higgin’s shine at OTR may be outdone by teammate and Nitro Circus star Travis Pastrana. In 2017, it was Pastrana and co-driver Robbie Durant who took home the prize, winning by a mere 10.5 seconds over Higgins and Drew. Oregon Trail marks the duo’s first race of 2019, and only one of two events they will enter this season.
In all, more than 70 entries from around the world will be competing this weekend, including Barry McKenna and co-driver Leon Jordan, who turned the tables on the 100 Acre Wood field in March by picking up their first career ARA wins. Local driver and defending L4WD champion Jeff Seehorn came close to hoisting the big trophy at last year’s OTR, finishing second behind Higgins.
Racing starts on Friday with a pair of Super Special Stages and the Friday Night Fan Fest at P.I.R. Always entertaining and a fan favorite, the PIR track combines extended asphalt sections before turning onto gravel service roads. Spectator viewing will be at its best at P.I.R, and gates open at 4:00 PM, with racing beginning at 6:00 PM.
On Saturday and Sunday, the racing exchanges the cozy confines of Portland for the scenic and aggressive forest rally action of the Columbia River Gorge. Teams will navigate the faster, closed county and private roads near the towns of Goldendale, Wash. and Dufur, Ore.
Fans can follow the Oregon Trail Rally with live scoring at the ARA website, www.americanrallyassociation.org, social media updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Also, subscribers will get a live feed of the Super Stages at PIR on Friday night on www.FloRacing.com, starting at 6:30 PM PT.