It was all smiles among Subaru Rally Team USA, as their team of Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino (Subaru Impreza WRX STI) took first overall at Rally New York USA. At the end of nearly 400 miles of motoring, and 100 miles of high-speed special stages, the two Californians were over three minutes ahead of the NC Rally Team car of Otis Dimiters/Dominik Jozwiak (Subaru Impreza WRX). Martin Donnelly/Stephen Duffy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 ) completed the top three.

For Block/Gelsomino, it was a smooth performance — the only glitch was a flat tire in the middle of the day today. On the other hand, the car of Dimiters/Jozwiak suffered from various minor problems, ranging from a loose intercooler hose to a lack of fuel pressure.

Several of the top competitors were sidelined by mechanical problems, particularly on the first day. Seamus Burke/Ole Holter (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9) went out when the car’s transmission stuck in fifth gear. Celsus Donnelly/Barry Smith (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8 ) suffered a broken front differential. Enda McCormack/Bernard Farrell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6) broke the rear output shaft in their car’s four-wheel-drive system.

In the two-wheel-drive category, Bruce Davis/Jimmy Brandt (Dodge Neon SRT-4) were clear winners. Hampton Bridwell/Josh Katinger (Ford Focus SVT) were second, over three minutes back, and were the best-placed Production 2WD entry. Mark Lawrence/Robert Maciejski (Volkswagen Golf) had been expected to be among the top finishers, but withdrew after an off-course excursion today.

The route of this opening event of the 2008 United States Rally Championship was entirely paved; rare for a performance-type auto rally in North America. The roads were wet on the first day from moderate rains, but drying on the second day due to partly-sunny skies.

Results:

1. Ken Block/Alex Gelsomino (Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Open AWD class)
2. Otis Dimiters/ Dominik Jozwiak (Subaru Impreza WRX, Open AWD)
3. Martin Donnelly/Stephen Duffy (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8, Open AWD)
4. Francisco Pereira/A. Vokes (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, Open AWD)
5. Maciej Przybysz /Damien Treanor (2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Open AWD)
6. Scott Wilburn/Constantine Mantopoulos (2003 Subaru Impreza WRX, Production AWD)
7. Bruce Davis/Jimmy Brandt (Dodge Neon SRT-4, Open 2WD)
8. Wojtek Okula/Adam Pelc (Subaru Impreza WRX, Production AWD)
9. Hampton Bridwell/Josh Katinger (Ford Focus SVT, Production 2WD)
10. Michael Cosgrove/John O’Reilly (Mitsubishi Eclipse, Production AWD)
11. Dan Brosnan/Shane McCann (Nissan Sentra, Open 2WD)
12. Thomas Greer/Robert Della Rocca (Volkswagen Golf GTI, Open 2WD)
13. Gustavo Garrido/Jeremy Neyhart (Nissan Sentra, Open 2WD)
14. Larry Duane/Eamon Sweeney (Toyota Corolla, Open 2WD)
15. Simon Wright/Kieran Wright (Ford Focus ZX3, Open 2WD)
16. Richard Spaulding/Niall Johnson (Ford Focus SVT, Production 2WD)
17. Patrick Brennan/Carrie Wilburn (Subaru Impreza WRX STI, Open AWD)
18. Javier Festa/Santiago Festa (Volkswagen Jetta, Open 2WD)
19. Paul Ferreira/Aaron Cresenti (Acura RSX, Production AWD)
20. Gerard Coffey/Dave Dooley (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 8, Open AWD)
21. Michael O’Leary/John O’Leary (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 4, Open AWD)
22. Steven Levesque/Kristin Chute (BMW M3, Production 2WD)
23. Enda McCormack/Bernard Farrell (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 6, Open AWD)

Did not finish:

Seamus Burke / Ole Holter (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, Open AWD)
Seamus Burke / Ole Holter (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, Open AWD)
Ivor Wigham/Jeff Hagan (Mitsubishi Lancer, Production AWD)
Mark Lawrence/Robert Maciejski (Volkswagen Golf, Open 2WD)
Joseph Burke/Brian Sharkey (Acura Integra Type R)
Conor Malone/Glenna Chestnutt (Dodge Conquest, Open 2WD class)

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