The Oregon Trail Rally never fails to disappoint with it’s amazing stages and the backdrops to those stages. It’d been 3 years since the last time I had made the journey out for the event and I had been itching to go back, so I decided there’s no time like the present. And boy, it did not disappoint.
David Higgins and Craig Drew had won the event 6 years in a row and would be looking to keep their streak in tact. Challenging them would teammates Travis Pastrana and Robbie Durant, Jeff Seehorn and Karen Jankowski in their brand new Subaru and Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan in a WRC prepared Ford Fiesta. Little did Higgins and Drew know what sort of battle they were in for.
Some interesting news in from the world of rally in the US. Oregon Trail Rally organizers just announced they will be jumping to the newly formed American Rally Association (ARA) for next year’s event. Meanwhile the organizers at Rally in the 100 Acre Wood announced that the event will be the second in the Rally America Championship series and will be held on March 17-18 in 2017. I’m guessing that means Sno*Drift is on board with the Rally America Championship series and will remain the first event of the 2017 season, though no official announcement has been made.
Oregon Trail is always one of the most beautiful rally locations of the Rally America National Championship season. This year was no different, with Mt. Hood as the backdrop and wide open flowing gravel roads creating the perfect scenery.
With no Ken Block, Travis Pastrana or other factory sponsored driver, the 2015 Rally America Championship is Subaru Rally Team’s David Higgins and Craig Drew’s to lose. And lose, they have not. SRTUSA has been dominant all year, taking victories at Sno*Drift, 100 Acre Wood and now Oregon Trail. It’s gonna be a steep road for anyone trying to make a run at them the rest of the season.
It was my first trip to Oregon and boy was it a good one! The Rally America Oregon Trail Rally started at Portland International Raceway with 4 stages that included some sections of the racetrack and some dirt/gravel sections. It is a great venue for spectators to see rally cars in action all around the stage and gave an interesting mix of surfaces that you don’t always get. Travis Pastrana took advantage of this format and jumped out to an early lead taking fastest times on 3 of the 4 stages.