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

Piotr Fetela and Dominik Jozwiak have established themselves as the drivers to beat for the 2018 Rally America National Championship after winning this weekend’s second annual Southern Ohio Forest Rally. With a time of 2:03:08.3, Fetela and Jozwiak beat second-place Cameron Steely and Preston Osborn by over four minutes, winning eight of the 22 stages in the event.

When overnight leaders Joseph Burke and Ole Holter suffered an incident on Lake Road East, the first of seven stages on the day, it opened the door for Fetela to strike. While six different entries failed to finish the treacherous opening stage, Fetela completed the 4.04-mile run in 4:34.7, just under eight seconds ahead of local favorites Tim Rooney and Anthony Vohs.

In fact, most of Saturday’s action saw Fetela and Rooney battling for the top spot on the time sheets, with Rooney taking four stages to Fetela’s three. Re-entering the event on Saturday despite losing its chance for the overall victory on the first day, the PMR Motorsports entry managed to climb all the way back to fifth in Super Production and 31st overall.

They were significantly luckier than a number of drivers, as 18 entries failed to finish the event. Big names on the DNF list in the Open class alone included Burke, Car and Driver’s Josh Jacquot, and defending series champion and inaugural SOFR event winner Arek Gruszka.

As was the case in 2017, three different classes made up the overall podium; behind Fetela and Steely, Dave and Michael Brown took the Open Light class victory and third place overall. In fact, fourth place saw yet another class winner, as Seamus Burke and Martin Brady claimed fourth place overall and posted the best result in 2WD in their Group 5 1977 Ford Escort.

Unofficial class winners from the second annual Southern Ohio Forest Rally are as follows:

  • Open: Piotr Fetela/Dominik Jozwiak, 2:03:08.3 (1st overall)
  • Super Production: Cameron Steely/Preston Osborn, 2:07:57.2 (2nd overall)
  • Open Light: Dave Brown/Michael Brown, 2:08:30.0 (3rd overall)
  • 2WD: Seamus Burke/Martin Brady, 2:11:06.4 (4th overall)
  • B-spec: Chris Sladek/Alex Schum, 2:25:21.2 (17th overall)

Stay tuned for more news from Southern Ohio Forest Rally coming soon!