Close 2-Wheel Drive Fight Ends With Sherman, Smith On Top at Show-Me Rally
Spencer Sherman and Boyd Smith found themselves on both the overall podium and top step of the 2-Wheel Drive podium after Saturday’s Show-Me Rally, the seventh round of the 2018 Rally America National Championship. With a time of exactly 44 minutes, the their Group 2 Ford Fiesta topped the Group 5 Lexus of River City Rally’s Michael Hooper and Brian Katz by just 6.8 seconds.
At the end of the first leg of the rally, Sherman/Smith found themselves third overall, as a penalty to Chris Barribeau/Bryce Proseus for a late arrival to a mandatory time control knocked them down in the order. Going into the final four stages, they would trail only overall leaders Piotr Fetela/Dominik Jozwiak in the Open class and points leaders Dave/Mike Brown in Open Light, a position that would they would hold for the remainder of the event.
In the Group 2 standings, they’d finish two minutes and 26.1 seconds clear of Justin Mason/Alexandra Hutchings, who ranked eighth overall in their 515 Motorsport Volvo. The battle was a bit closer in G5, as Adam Hardin/Andrew Ecker led Hooper/Katz by 1.4 seconds at the first service. The class lead would switch hands on the next stage, the first pass at Baby Pigeon Roost, and Hooper/Katz would extend the advantage to over a minute and a half by the end of the event. The class victory came in Katz’s first-ever rally as a co-driver.
Chris Sladek/John Sharps, the lone B-spec entry in the event, placed 11th overall in their Maxxis/HPD Rally Team Honda Fit. With a time of 47:15.5, they were the sixth-fastest 2WD team in the event. Sladek extended his lead in the class driver’s championship over Doug Gekiere, who was not entered in the event.
Top finishers for each 2WD class were as follows:
- #158 Spencer Sherman/Boyd Smith, 44:00.0 (3rd overall)
- #515 Justin Mason/Alexandra Hutchings, 46:26.1 (8th overall)
- #201 Adam VanDamme/Andrew Herron, 46:58.7 (9th overall)
- #423 Michael Hooper/Brian Katz, 44:06.8 (4th overall)
- #122 Adam Hardin/Andrew Ecker, 45:38.6 (7th overall)
- #907 Jonas Lajos/Villo Cseh, 50:46.1 (15th overall)
- #141 Chris Sladek/John Sharps, 47:15.5 (11th overall)
2WD drivers have something extra to chase at Lake Superior Performance Rally in two weeks’ time. The SISU Challenge, organized by Tower City Race Team, will see competitors chase a number of prizes for all types of performances, ranging from first place to dead last but finished. The top competitor will earn, among other accolades, a half-price entry to any two-day Rally America event in 2019. More information is available here.