Subaru Rally Team USA driver Ken Block took the win at the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in southern Missouri this weekend.

“I love the flow of the stages of this event,” said Block at the finish. “I love the high speeds.”

Block’s flat-out style is well-suited to this fast and flowing event and he’s proven tough to beat here. He and co-driver Alex Gelsomino have now won this event four times in a row.

NOS Energy’s Andrew Comrie-Picard finished in second place in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX after a tight battle with Rockstar Energy’s Tanner Foust in his new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

By midday on Saturday, Comrie-Picard and co-driver Robbie Durant led Foust and co-driver Chrissie Beavis by just a tenth of a second, but they extended the gap as the weather worsened during the final stages of the contest.

“I feel awesome,” said Comrie-Picard. “The car was perfect and our Yokohama winter tires gave us an edge when the snow started coming down.”

It was Foust and Beavis’ first event in their new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X and Foust said he was able to pick up the pace as he adjusted to the new car.

“It’s good to be on the podium,” said Tanner. “The car has great potential.”

After two rounds in the Rally America Championship, Comrie-Picard and Foust are now tied for the championship lead.

“It’s really exciting to be at the top of the points with Tanner – I’m really enthusiastic for this season,” said Comrie-Picard.

In fourth place overall were Bill Bacon and co-driver Peter Watt in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, while Polish driver Andi Mancin and co-driver Maciej Wislawski rounded out the top five.

Former Production GT champion Matt Johnson and co-driver Jeremy Wimpey took the win in the popular new Super Production class, with a finish of sixth-place overall in their Subaru WRX.

“I love this event, it’s awesome,” said Johnson. “You just put the hammer down and hang on.”

The duo overhauled Subaru Rally Team USA’s Dave Mirra and co-driver Derek Ringer for the class win on the second day of the contest. Mirra and Ringer had a very strong start, running as high as third place overall early in the rally.

Super Production is a new class for 2009 that features minimally modified, production-based cars.

The two-wheel drive win went to Burak Tuglu and co-driver Carrie Wilburn in their 2001 Ford Focus.

Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana started strong but found himself out of the hunt after a rollover on Day 1. He and co-driver Christian Edstrom were unharmed, but were unable to continue. Pastrana had said earlier he was ready to win or crash trying to keep Block out of the top spot.

This event also serves as a Regional Rally championship event for 2008. Regional class champions from coast to coast are invited to race head-to-head in the foothills of the Ozarks for he Regional Rally Championship. In Open class, the winning driver was Arkadiusz Gruszka in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, while the Group 2 winner was driver Chris Greenhouse in a Dodge Neon.

The rally took place through the scenic Ozark foothills of southern Missouri. The smooth gravel course is fast and flowing, and sees some of the highest speeds in the series.

The weather is the real wildcard at this contest and the 2009 running proved no exception. The warm, early spring temperatures that greeted competitors at the Friday start turned cold and there was blinding snow as teams crossed the finish line. The contest was ultimately cut short by the brutal weather; the final stage was cancelled after the conditions deteriorated so much that it was deemed impassable.

All results are considered provisional pending final administrative processes.

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 more than 100 miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads.

Top teams in the series are also invited to compete in the Summer X Games, the leading action sports event broadcast live on ABC and ESPN. Eight top teams have already been invited to this August’s contest.

Next, the championship moves west to Washington state for the Olympus Rally, April 18 – 19.

About Rally America

Based in Golden Valley, Minn., Rally America sanctions the premier rally racing series in the United States, the Rally America National Championship Series. In 2009, Rally America will conduct nine National Championship events at venues across the country, from Olympia, Wash., to Bethel, Maine.



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