David Higgins and Craig Drew Win Lake Superior Performance Rally
Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew outlasted the competition and the wet stage conditions to take victory at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR) on October 17-18, 2014 in Houghton, MI.
LSPR is the concluding round of the eight-event 2014 Rally America National Championship. The win marks the seventh time David Higgins and Craig Drew have won this year. A costly mechanical failure that took them out of February’s Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in Salem, MO was their only blemish on their nearly perfect season record.
The battle for the top spot raged throughout the first day of LSPR competition as David Higgins and Craig Drew slowly pulled ahead of teammates and rivals Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis. After 80+ stage miles, Pastrana began the second day only 22.3 seconds behind Higgins.
Pastrana’s rally unraveled on Stage 13 when he went off around a corner. Despite getting back on to stage and limping to service, Pastrana was time barred and retired from LSPR to strip away his chance to finish second.
Super Production’s (SP) Nick Roberts and Rhianon Gelsomino drove a patient rally to finish second overall and first in the SP Class. It is his highest overall placement to date and his third class victory this year. Roberts is the runner-up to Dillon Van Way in the final SP Class standings.
In just his third event this season, Evan Cline with veteran co-driver Jennifer Majszak took second place in the SP Class for his best finish this year.
Lauchlin O’Sullivan and Scott Putnam had an up and down rally. O’Sullivan found himself leading LSPR early on the first day, but got stuck after taking a big jump on Stage 6 (See the video: http://vimeo.com/109304545), O’Sullivan was forced to reenter the event with time penalties the next day. This time O’Sullivan kept it clean and his perseverance paid off with a third in class podium finish.
Due to the attrition ahead of the field, 2014 Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) Champions Andrew Comrie-Picard and Ole Holter drove to an outstanding third overall position, the highest placement in his 2WD career. The 2WD class victory also gives Comrie-Picard a remarkable 17 straight 2WD podiums extending back to 2011.
Interestingly, Dillon Van Way and Andrew Edwards began the season as Super Production drivers, but felt compelled to jump back into 2WD competition in a Ford Fiesta R2 at LSPR. Van Way and Edwards were already crowned the 2014 Super Production Champions, so the only question remaining was whether Van Way could keep his second place position in the final standings.
Ultimately, Van Way took second in class and a sixth overall finish. His placement dropped him to third in the national standings, which ties for the highest placing Super Production Champion in Rally America history.
Disaster struck Cameron Steely and Preston Osborn who nearly landed a 2WD third place spot. Steely lost a wheel on Stage 15 and was unable to complete the event. Steely’s retirement handed third place to Panos Karpidas and John Hall. With Karpidas and Hall on the final podium spot gave Ford Racing a Ford Fiesta R2 sweep. Karpidas is the runner-up in the 2WD national standings.
Notably Houghton, MI’s top drivers, Adam Yeoman and Jordan Schulze of FY Racing, stormed back to a respectable fourth place overall finish after the team blew up an engine on day one. The drivers began day two in seventh with time penalties and climbed to fourth place. Amazingly, the finish was enough to catapult Adam Yeoman into a career best second place in the national standings.
First time rally driver and ex-Indy Car driver, Alex Lloyd with co-driver James Guitar took the B-SPEC Class victory in their Honda Fit. Lloyd was supported by Honda Performance Development. Toyota Yaris drivers Tracey Gardiner and Tabitha Lohr took second in class, which pushed the team into second place in the B-SPEC national standings.
Grezgorz Bugaj and Elizabeth Lowisc piloted their 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS to an Ottawa Regional Rally victory on Friday. Justin Pritchard and Ryan Scott won the Lac View Regional Rally in their 1993 Subaru Impreza on Saturday.
Rally America is proudly supported by Subaru of America, Inc., Ford Racing, Honda Performance Development, Exedy Racing Clutches, VP Racing Fuels, Streetwise Parts and GoPro.
CLICK HERE for LSPR National results.
CLICK HERE for Ottawa Regional Rally results.
CLICK HERE for Lac View Regional Rally results.
ABOUT RALLY AMERICA:
Based in Williston, VT, Rally America, Inc. sanctions the Rally America National Championship, which consists of eight national-level events in 2014 located at a variety of venues across the country, from Portland, Oregon to Newry, Maine. NBC Sports Network is airing eight Rally America episodes. For more information please visit www.rally-america.com.