With a beautiful sunset for a background at Portland International Raceway and spectating areas full, the cars set off on the first stage of the weekend for the third race in the Rally America National Championship.
Stages one through four took place in and around the racetrack with stage one including a small jump and stage two featuring a long paved straight with a hairpin onto slippery grass that caused more than a few spins.
Day two’s sunny and windy conditions welcomed hundreds of spectators to Southeastern Washington. Fans watched from a hillside as cars gracefully drifted a gravel hairpin and sped through the finish line.
The next spectating area had racers barreling at full speed down a long straight into a series of S bends and off into the distance again. Some fans had camped out here for over four hours trying to get the perfect view of Dave Higgins and Travis Pastrana.
After a quick service to the cars and a few inaccessible stages, the last two for the night took place on Maryhill Loops road, the first paved road in Washington. Parking was limited and some people had been camped out for over seven hours before rally cars finally charged up the hill to the top.
Day three brought sunny skies to Dufur, Oregon. The first stage of the day gave panoramic views as cars sped by at top speed into a hairpin onto pavement from gravel. The second stage of the day had cars drifting sideways down a mountain and around a corner in front of spectators.
The last viewable stage consisted of a jump in the distance and then high-speed fire roads lined with fans looking for a glimpse of their favorite car.
After three days of intense competition, only 9.5 seconds separated the first and second teams. David Higgins and Craig Drew in their Subaru took first followed by Travis Pastrana and Christian Edstrom in second, and Brian Pouffier and Xavier Panseri in third.
Ryan Millen and Christina Fate prevailed in the two-wheel drive class in their Toyota RAV4, followed closely by Cameron Steely and Preston Osborn in their Ford Fiesta. Third place was taken by Dave Wallingford and Leanne Junnila, also in a Ford Fiesta.
The Rally American tour heads east now, as the next events are the Susquehannock Trail Rally (June 3-4 in Wellsboro, PA.), the New England Forrest Rally (July 15-16 in Newry, ME.) and the Ojibwe Forests Rally (Aug 26-27 in Detroit Lakes, MN.).
We’ll keep you up to date on how the leaders are doing and hope to cover the last event of the year, the Lake Superior Performance Rally in Houghton, MI on Oct 14-15, 2016, when the National Champions are declared. For more information on the Rally America events, go to www.rally-america.com.
Rally racing is big in the Northwest, and the fans flocked to the Portland International Raceway for the third round of the Rally America national rally championships.
Ryan Millen and Christina Fate would go on to win the 2WD class in their 2016 Toyota RAV4.
The Team O’Neil Fiesta passes a spun out Nameless Performance BRZ.
Fans cheer as Ryan Millen and Christina Fate race down a long straight.
The third place Bryan Bouffier and Xavier Panseri transition from a dusty straight to pavement near the end of a stage.
The 1982 Volvo 242 piloted by Derek Knight and Robert Culbertson drifts its way through the final stage.
Travis Pastrana and Christian Edstrom hit speeds upward of seventy miles per hour on this gravel descent.
This drift by David Higgins and Craig Drew showered onlookers with gravel.
Servicing the cars was done in the dark after all of that days stages were complete.
Fans attempt to capture David Higgins and Craig Drew, who would go on to win the Oregon Trail Rally.
Jason Bailey and Shayne Peterson coat fans in dust from their BRZ.