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Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard and the ACP Rally team moved into the Rally America championship lead this weekend with a second-place finish at the 100 Acre Wood Rally in southern Missouri.

“We’ve got our eye on the title this year,” said Comrie-Picard. “It’s very competitive out there and we’re in the game.”

The early-spring event takes place in Missouri’s scenic Ozark foothills. The course roads are consistently fast and flowing, and weather is changeable. Teams arrived in the area to tornado warnings, started the contest the next afternoon in balmy spring temperatures and crossed the finish line a day later in the middle of a blinding snowstorm.

“With the high speeds and the wild weather, you have to be prepared for anything – especially when it comes to tires.” said Comrie-Picard. “Our Yokohama tires came through for us in every condition.”

The result continues a strong start to the season in the NOS Energy Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The team finished third in Rally America’s season opener last month. The back-to-back podium finishes mean Comrie-Picard is now tied with Rockstar Energy’s Tanner Foust for the championship lead.

The exciting contest saw Comrie-Picard and co-driver Robbie Durant in a tight battle for the podium from the very start, challenging multi-time event winners Ken Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino, of Subaru Rally Team USA, for the early lead.

The team dropped half a minute to a pair of spins late on Day 1 and then fended off a challenge from Foust and co-driver Chrissie Beavis. The two teams were just a tenth of a second apart at the mid-point in the contest.

In the end, Block and Gelsomino took their fourth-consecutive win in four starts at the Missouri race, while Comrie-Picard and Durant finished second with a 15-second margin over Foust and Beavis.

Next, ACP Rally heads to the Olympus Rally in Washington State on April 18-19.

Rally car racing is considered the extreme sport of automobile racing and is often described simply as “real cars, real roads, real fast.” This all-season motorsport sees drivers and their co-drivers take modified road cars to the limit as they achieve blistering speeds over courses that cover hundreds of miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads.

The sport is also featured in the annual X Games, the premier action sports event on the globe, featuring athletes competing for medals and prize money in sports including BMX Freestyle, Moto X, Skateboard, and Rally. Comrie-Picard has been among the dozen invited drivers every year since the rally discipline was introduced to the contest, and he has already secured an early invitation to return in 2009.

The Rally America national championship includes nine events in a cross-continent season that extends from January to late October. The Canadian Rally Championship has six events from coast to coast. ACP Rally will contest a busy season, with events on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border — and the X Games.

The ACP Rally program is made possible by: NOS Energy (www.drinknos.com), K&N (www.knfilters.com), Mitsubishi Canada (www.mitsubishi-motors.ca), Yokohama Canada (www.yokohama.ca), Motul (www.motulusa.com), AMS (www.amsperformance.com), Works (www.worksevo.com), Brian Crower (www.briancrower.com), JE (www.jepistons.com), Exedy (www.exedyusa.com), Ohlins (www.ohlinsusa.com), Pfitzner Performance Gearbox (www.ppgearbox.com.au), Mishimoto (www.mishimoto.com), Oakley (www.oakley.com), Innovate Motorsports (www.tuneyourengine.com), Team Dynamics (www.teamdynamicsracing.com), Endless (www.endlessusa.com), NBB (www.nbblights.ca), Sparco (www.sparcousa.com), NGK (www.ngksparkplugs.com), Piloti (www.piloti.com), and Skull Candy (www.skullcandy.com).

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