4 Weeks Until the Hills Come Alive With the Sounds of Rally Cars!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4 Weeks Until the Hills Come Alive With the Sounds of Rally Cars!
- Rally racing returns to the Portland & Columbia Gorge areas for the Oregon Trail Rally Presented By Mtn Dew Kickstart, April 21-23.
- Friday Night Fan Fest at Portland International Raceway will offer fans exciting racing, several viewing opportunities and up-close access to the teams and cars.
- Several talented local teams will offer stiff competition to national competitors.
PORTLAND, OREGON (March 24, 2017) – The second round of the American Rally Association National Championship kicks off its USA debut at the Oregon Trail Rally Presented by Mtn Dew Kickstart on April 21-23 near Portland, Oregon. The three day racing event is known to challenge teams with its diverse stages of high speeds, technical turns, and varying road surfaces.
The racing starts on Friday with four Super Special Stages at Portland International Raceway (PIR). These stages combine the asphalt of the racing circuit with gravel service roads in and around the track. The continuous race action at PIR is a fan favorite with teams being easily accessible for photos and autographs prior to the start of the event. Gates open at 4pm and the rally racing action begins at 6pm.
After the PIR stages, the event moves east along the scenic Columbia Gorge where teams will experience the much faster closed county and private roads on Saturday and Sunday in and around the towns of Dufur, Oregon and Goldendale, Washington.
The field of competitors will be lead by factory Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew who have won the event the last 6 consecutive years. Higgins and Drew will be riding high after winning a challenging opening round of the newly formed American Rally Association National Championship at Rallye Perce-Neige in Maniwaki, Quebec.
Higgins won’t have it easy as X-Games mega star and Subaru teammate Travis Pastrana will be looking to make up for last year where he came up just 9.5 seconds short of the win. After competing in select events the past few years, Pastrana now has a full season campaign where he and co-driver Robbie Durant have the singular focus to take the championship from Higgins and Drew. The battle among teammates is expected to be closer than ever.
The two wheel drive class is expected to be equally close with last year’s National Champion Cameron Steely in his Fiesta ST once again taking on Ryan Millen in his factory backed Toyota Rally RAV4. A year ago the two rivals fought tooth and nail finishing Oregon Trail a scant 10.4 seconds apart with Steely taking the win. But Millen might have a secret weapon this year in his new co-driver, 2013 Rally America 2wd Champion Rhianon Gelsomino. They’ll both have to keep on eye over their shoulder though as up and comer Dave Wallingford and co-driver Leanne Junnila will be looking to move up the podium from their 3rd place finish last year.
Many local and regional competitors will be at this year’s Oregon Trail Rally. Local speed demon Jeff Seehorn of Spokane, Washington is stepping up in class to Restricted Open with a new 2015 Subaru WRX STI. He isn’t the only one running new hardware with DirtFish Rally School instructor Travis Nease of Kirkland, Washington also arriving with a brand new Subaru STI. They’ll be competing against seasoned veteran George Plsek in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, bringing back the classic Subaru vs. Mitsubishi rivalry.
The over 50 team entry list is sure to have something for everyone with vehicles of all types from highly modified modern 4 wheel drive monsters to rally classics dating back to the 70s and 80s.
Friday, April 21
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Fan Fest Spectacular Portland International Raceway
Saturday, April 22
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Parc Exposé Main St., Dufur
10:00 AM First Car starts Day Two Main St., Dufur
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Competition Stages (Free) Dufur Area
5:00 PM First Car Finishes Day Two Dufur Area
Sunday, April 23
9:00 – 10:00 AM Parc Exposé Eagle’s Aerie, The Dalles
10:00 AM First Car starts Day Three Eagle’s Aerie, The Dalles
10:00 AM – 5:45 PM Competition Stages (Free) Goldendale Area
5:45 PM First Car Finishes Event Goldendale Area
Spectator Guide Coming Soon!
Friday Night Fan Fest at Portland International Raceway:
Tickets are available from the event website (www.OregonTrailRally.com) or at the PIR gate. Gate Pricing is $12 for adults and $6 for children. Buy online and save $2 per adult or $1 per child off the gate price. Children under 6 with an adult are free.
All spectator areas in Wasco County on Saturday and Klickitat County on Sunday are free to the public.
The 2017 Oregon Trail Rally is also supported by:
Subaru of America – Trackside Motorsports – O’Reilly Auto Parts – Nameless Performance – LED Lenser USA – Dirtfish Rally School – Exedy Racing Clutch – Primitive Racing
About Rally Racing
Rally racing is one of the world’s most challenging and popular motorsports. It is considered by many as the extreme sport of automobile racing and it’s often described simply as “real cars, real roads, real fast.” Unlike any other type of car racing, rally teams compete in any weather, on challenging forest, mountain, or desert roads.
Racing takes place only on “special stages,” using demanding back roads temporarily closed by local authorities for the event. “Transits”, driven at normal highway speeds with teams fully subject to all traffic laws, connect the “special stage” sections together. Vehicles can only be serviced and repaired at designated “service” locations and for set periods of time.
Rally vehicles are production-based cars and trucks from manufacturers around the world. All competition vehicles are equipped with mandatory safety features such as roll cages to protect the competitors. They compete both for the overall victory as well as wins within a class structure that groups together vehicles with similar performance.
Each vehicle carries a driver and a co-driver/navigator. Using a detailed route book and a sophisticated rally computer, the co-driver keeps the team on-course and advises the driver of any hazards ahead. This role is as critical as the driver’s skill, since the team is traveling at full racing speeds over roads they have never before seen, in any type of weather.
About Oregon Rally Group
Based in Portland, Oregon, the Oregon Rally Group is a non-profit organization that organizes and promotes all forms of Rally (Stage Rally, Rally Cross and Road Rally) events in Oregon and beyond.