A technical challenge will greet the best rally teams in North America when they arrive at the 2009 Olympus Rally in Aberdeen, Washington for Round 3 of the Rally America championship April 18-19.

The rugged course laid out by organizers promises to test competitors’ range of skills, with roads that transition between twisty and tree-lined, to fast and flowing – with daunting drop-offs always a possibility should drivers end up off course. The rally will be based in the ocean-side community of Aberdeen, with day-long Service Parks in Taholah on Saturday, April 18th and South Bend on Sunday, April 19th.

Last year’s temporary move of the Rally to the area surrounding Pomeroy, Washington in the Eastern part of the state made for a very fast and exciting rally.

“Pomeroy was a great location for the Olympus Rally in 2008, but we’re glad to be back near the Olympic and Capital forests,” stated Olympus Rally chairman Steve McQuaid recently. “The springtime weather in Washington is extremely unpredictable at this time of year and everything from warm sunshine to blinding snow is certainly a possibility.”

This year’s Olympus Rally is expected to feature fierce competition, with the series’ battle of energy drinks competing for the top spot – each with 31 points. NOS Energy’s Andrew Comrie-Picard from Toronto, Canada driving his Mitsubishi Evolution IX and Rockstar Energy’s Tanner Foust from Capistrano Beach, California piloting a Libra Racing-built 2009 Mitsubishi Evolution X are currently tied for the early season points lead, followed by the Subaru Rally Team USA drivers – Bed Bull’s Travis Pastrana from Davidsonville, Maryland and Monster Energy’s Ken Block from Rancho Santa Fe, California — tied for second place overall in the Championship with 23 points. Close behind and tied for third place just one point back are Andi Mancin from Bielsko-Biala, Poland and Bill Bacon from Nashua, New Hampshire – both driving Mitsubishi Evo’s.

Rally America’s popular new Super Production class will also offer plenty of off-road excitement at the Pacific Northwest event with series regulars Matt Johnson from Apex, North Carolina and Dave Mirra from Greeneville, North Carolina – both driving Subaru WRX STI’s – and Piotr Wiktorczyk from Chicago, Illinois challenging them with his beautifully prepared Mitsubishi Evolution.

Typically, the Olympus event sees a very strong turnout of local rally teams as well as a good number of contestants in the two-wheel drive category. The marques typically represented at Rally America events include Subaru, Mitsubishi, Dodge, Ford and Volkswagen.

The legendary Olympus Rally is relatively new to the Rally America calendar having returned to the national series in 2007, but the event has a very rich history. It was first run as a national championship event in 1973 and was a favorite stop on the World Rally Championship calendar from 1986 to 1988. Rally racing legends including Rod Millen from New Zealand, Juha Kankkunen from Finland and American rally ace John Buffum are among those who have claimed victories at the famed contest.

Rally car racing is considered by many as the extreme sport of automobile racing and it’s often described simply as “real cars, real roads, real fast.” This all-season motorsport sees drivers and their co-drivers taking modified street-legal cars to the absolute limit as they achieve blistering speeds over challenging courses that cover more than 100 miles of gravel, dirt or snow-covered roads.

A number of the top teams from the Rally America National Championship are also invited each year to compete in the Summer X Games, the world’s leading action sports event broadcast live on ABC and ESPN. Eight top rally teams have already been invited to this year’s contest in Los Angeles, California which takes place on August 2, 2009.

About Rally America
Based in Golden Valley, Minnesota, 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 rally events at venues across the country, from Portland, Ore., to Bethel, Maine. Rally America competitors reach speeds of well over 100 mph in modified street-legal cars on natural-terrain courses of gravel, dirt or snow.

Additionally, through a partnership with ESPN, qualifying Rally America drivers are invited to compete in the Summer X Games, the annual leading action-sport event that is broadcast worldwide live on ABC and ESPN. For more information, visit www.rally-america.com.



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