Higgins Dominates Oregon Trail Rally
PORTLAND, Ore. — Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew won 12 stages out of 16 to win the Oregon Trail Rally.
Higgins never trailed in the rally even when he shot off the road at high speed and bent his rear control arms. The team managed to finish the stage and hobbled to the service for repairs.
“I thought I was done for when I went off,” said Higgins, “But my team got me back on the road. I couldn’t have done it without them. I’m so proud to win four Oregon Trail Rallies. I’m getting up there with Ken Block in wins at single events,” said Higgins.
Notably, Higgins’ closest rival, the Rockstar Energy Drink Rally Team’s Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard, needed to bounce back from a DNF suffered at the second round of the Rally American National Championship.
At the Oregon Trail Rally the team dogged Higgins until a few turns into stage 7 the car stopped. They were unable to continue and a second DNF severely complicated their chances for another Rally America title.
The overall podium and class podiums were graced by many new Rally America drivers and teams.
Canadian Rally Championship regular, Leonid Urlichlich with Carl Williamson drove their 2007 Subaru STI to second place overall for his first American podium finish 4:25.9 minutes behind Higgins.
2011 Rally America Rookie of the Year Adam Yeoman with co-driver Jordan Shulze proudly stepped up to the overall podium by finishing third for the first time in his Rally America career. He finished 10:20.2 minutes behind Higgins.
The Super Production (SP) Class was won by Belgium Group N Champ, David Sterckx with co-driver Karen Jankowski for their first SP podium in just three U.S. events. Sterckx edged local Hood River driver, Dave Henderson with Terrence McDowell, by 30.9 seconds. This was Henderson’s first 2nd place podium in his SP Class car.
Chris and Lori O’Driscoll rounded out the SP Class podium finishing 7 minutes 52 seconds from the class leader.
In their first American competition, Australians Will Orders and Toni Feaver battled furiously to win the Two Wheel Drive (2WD) Class by 1:44.3 over 2WD regulars Andrew Comrie-Picard and Jeremy Wimpey. It was a close competition between Orders and Comrie-Picard until the longer, faster stages on day three gave the Nissan-driving Australians an advantage.
Edward McNelly and Ole Holter bounced back after a rollover in Missouri last February to complete the 2WD podium in their 2011 Ford Fiesta R2 and their first podium this season.
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