Rally driver Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard is in the lead of the Rally America championship and will be making a return trip to the X Games — despite a tough weekend in Pennsylvania at Round 5.

The notoriously brutal event ended early for Team ACP Rally after a plastic fan plug came loose on an unexpectedly rough landing early in the contest and the engine began to overheat. The service crew quickly diagnosed and repaired the problem, but the stress on the finely tuned motor was too great and, on Day 2, it blew.

“It’s frustrating; just bad luck cost us a finish here,” said Comrie-Picard. “But this is a rally that was difficult for everybody, so we’re still leading the standings.”

Comrie-Picard’s main points rivals, the factory-backed Subaru Rally Team USA, didn’t have an easy weekend either. The debut of their new competition cars ended in a pair of DNFs.

As a result, the top three positions in the Rally America championship remain unchanged: Comrie-Picard leads Subaru Rally Team USA’s Travis Pastrana by one point. Subaru Rally Team USA’s Ken Block is another two points behind him.

“Rally car racing is one of the toughest motorsports there is,” said Comrie-Picard. “Every team has its share of difficulty in a season and now we’ve had ours. We’ll be back on the podium at the next rally.”

The top drivers after this event are to receive an invitation to the high-profile X Games in Los Angeles this summer. It will be a third trip to the X Games for ACP.

“We’re thrilled to be returning to Los Angeles this summer; the crowds, the energy, the crazy jumps… There’s nothing else like it in the world,” said Comrie-Picard.

The annual X Games is the premier action sports event on the globe, featuring athletes competing for medals and prize money in sports including BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, Surfing and Rally. The rally car racing event was added to the X Games in 2006, and Comrie-Picard has been among the dozen invited drivers in each of the three years.

“Experience is really an asset at the X Games,” said Comrie-Picard. “We’ve learned a lot every year and we expect to put that to good use this summer.”

This summer’s X Games 14 will be telecast live on ESPN and ABC.

Rally racing is one of the most challenging motor sports and competitors are widely considered the most skillful drivers in the world. Teams race against the clock on variable terrain in modified cars that closely resemble those that the average consumer can find at their local dealer. The sport requires intense teamwork between driver and co-driver and extreme skill behind the wheel.

THANKS TO: Mitsubishi Canada (www.mitsubishi-motors.ca), Yokohama Canada (www.yokohama.ca), Slowboy Racing (www.slowboyracing.com), K&N (www.knfilters.com), Motul USA (www.motulusa.com), Engine Pro (www.enginepro.com), Innovate Motorsports (www.tuneyourengine.com), (www.enginepro.com), Innovate Motorsports (www.tuneyourengine.com), Ohlins USA (www.ohlinsusa.com), Pagid North America (www.pagidusa.com), Sparco (www.sparcousa.com), Piloti (www.piloti.com), and FixAuto Blainville and the Losier family.

For more information and video highlights, visit: www.acprally.com

Photo courtesy of Rally America

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