NOS Energy Drink driver Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard scored a decisive victory this weekend at Rally Colorado, Round 8 of the Rally America Championship.

“We’re really excited to win,” said Comrie-Picard, who was co-driven by Jeremy Wimpey for the first time at this event. “We were having a really great race with Travis (Pastrana) early on, so it’s a shame it came down to a chicane but it’s great to have the victory.”

Comrie-Picard had been trading times with Pastrana on the first day of the event until the Subaru Rally Team USA driver struck a chicane and incurred hefty penalties. The driver has already secured the 2009 title – with just one round remaining, nobody can catch him in the points – and the team opted to play it safe and pull Pastrana out of competition for Day 2.

The Polish team of Andi Mancin and co-driver Maciej Wislawski finished in second-place overall after a long battle with Subaru Rally Team USA’s Ken Block in his loaner Super Production class car.

Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino had been running ahead of Mancin until they struck a chicane element on the final stage of Day 1, taking a one-minute penalty. Then, as they fought to claw back the time, Block found himself out of the contest with engine trouble on the second-to-last stage.

The team’s Open class rally car is out of commission after a big wreck at Round 7, and they had taken over Dave Mirra’s ride for this event. Mirra sat this round out due to a conflict with his BMX competition schedule.

Block, who is perhaps best known for his sensational online gymkhana videos, has had a run of bad luck in rally competition this season and has DNF’d more times than he’s finished. Yet another poor result drops him into fourth-place in the championship, behind Pastrana, Mancin and Comrie-Picard.

Third place came down to a tie-breaker between Nathan Conley and co-driver Todd Moberly, and Mark Fox and co-driver Jake Blattner. Both crews crossed the finish line with a time of 1:35:46.0 but, under Rally America rules, a tie is resolved by counting the number of stage wins between the teams and the final spot on the overall podium went to Conley and Moberly.

With Block out, Pat Moro and co-driver Ole Holter inherited the Super Production class lead, scoring valuable points in a tight class championship battle. Heading into the final round, Moro is narrowly ahead of Piotr Wiktorczyk — who was absent from this round.

In the two-wheel drive class, Monument, Colorado’s, John Conley took the win.

All results are considered informational pending official rally processes.

The Rally Colorado event poses unique challenges. Many teams were complaining that they were down on power or overheating during the high desert stages. The altitude and subsequent lack of oxygen at this event saps the rally cars’ power. Despite this drain, the event has a reputation of being a one of the fastest in the series featuring many high-speed sections on flowing roads. The typically variable weather saw the event begin and end under bright, sunny skies, but also a rain delay and two stage cancellations due to mud on Day 2.

The rally is headquartered in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, known as “Ski Town”, USA. The small mountain community that’s home to numerous world-class ski and snowboarding events is also home to the largest ski jumping complex in America — used for training by the US Olympic Ski Jumping Team.

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.

The 2009 Rally America National Championship series consists of nine exciting events that take place in a range of challenging weather and road conditions in a season that extends from February to October. Throughout the year, teams take on everything from the forest logging roads in Minnesota, to the Pacific Northwest forest and coast paths.

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.

The ninth and final round of the 2009 Rally America series is the grueling Lake Superior Performance Rally, October 16 – 17, in Houghton, MI.

Video link to Andrew Comrie-Picard on careful driving:

Photo Credit: Caleb Tkach/Kevin Hahn Photography/Rally America



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