by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Jason Swoboda

There may be a Rally America National Championship event going on this weekend with Sno*Drift Summer Rally, but two well-known names within the paddock are taking their talents overseas.

Longtime racing partners and frequent Rally America competitors Paul Ferreira and Ozgur Simsek are in Lithuania this weekend to compete in Samsonas Rally Rokiskis, the second round of the Baltic Rally Trophy and third national championship event in Lithuania. As one of six crews competing on the team of event sponsor Samsonas Motorsport, they’re joined by some impressive company—including six-time World Rally Championship podium finisher and Finnish Rally Championship winner Toni Gardemeister. The multi-car Samsonas effort includes drivers and co-drivers from seven different countries.

“Originally, we were to compete in a Group N Mitsubishi Evo 9, but due to some technical issues we will be competing in an Evo 10 instead,” Simsek explained. “The event takes place Friday and Saturday in northeastern Lithuania in the town of Rokiskis over 90ish competitive miles. Friday will include a beautiful street stage in the center of town that is run twice.

“Stages seem to be very fast and relatively narrow. Local talent as well as international names will be tough to keep up with, but we will try hard to prove our speed and represent not only our native countries Portugal and Turkey well, but our adopted home US of A.”

Ferreira and Simsek kicked off their 11th season as rallying partners by competing at both Rally in the 100 Acre Wood and Southern Ohio Forest Rally. They were the top Open class crew and finished second overall in 100AW’s Trespassers Wil Rally, the first of two regional events during the weekend. At SOFR, the duo posted multiple top-three stage finishes before having to retire.

Samsonas Rally Rokiskis kicks off on Friday the event’s first five stages, and concludes on Saturday after a total of 13 stages. For more information on the event and to follow along, visit www.samsonasrally.com.