Off-road sports car racing, or rallying, is one of the purest forms of motorsport. It is unique in that each car takes to the course with a driver and a co-driver at timed intervals, so crews are literally competing alone. Man and machine battle against the clock, themselves, nature, and the elements. Rallies are run rain or shine, day or night, even in snow and ice. It is grueling and often times cruel; a test of endurance and mental and physical toughness. Often times simply finishing an event seems like a victory.

Round six of the Rally America National Championship series is regarded as one of the toughest performance rallies on the schedule. Basketball size rocks are commonly pulled up out of the loose, sandy terrain and take an exacting toll on the undercarriages of competitors cars, despite beefed up suspension systems and elaborate underbody protection.

Team Havspeed, based in Highland New York, fielded two entries in this year’s event, and with a great team effort, the cars of Scott Wilburn/Aaron Crescenti and Eric Hansen/Kim DeMotte not only finished the event, but took 1st place trophies in both regional events in their respective classes.

Victory was not guaranteed however, as both cars sustained serious damage from the punishing terrain. Shredded tires, bent suspensions, holes ripped in sheet metal, flattend exhaust systems are not surprising knowing this rally’s reputation! But with the diligence of Havspeed’s service crew, repairs were handled quickly and efficiently, and both cars arrived (somewhat battered!) at the finish control.

Making an impressive debut at NEFR, was Havspeed’s own Eric Hansen of Gardiner, New York, who, with mentoring from veteran co-driver Kim DeMotte and driver and shop owner Andrew Havas, acquitted himself well in his first-ever performance rally.

The teams are now looking forward to Rally West Virginia August 1st, where Scott Wilburn and Constantine Mantopoulos will go for another victory in his four-wheel drive Subaru, and Andrew Havas will look to take a commanding lead in the MaxAttack! championship for two-wheel drive cars.

Team Havspeed are sponsored in part by PIAA Performance Lighting Systems and Mid-Hudson Subaru.

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