The nation’s top teams are coming to the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood set in the beautiful woods of the surrounding Salem, Steelville, Potosi, and Viburnum areas of southern Missouri. The 100 Acre Wood Rally is the second rally in the Rally America National Championship Series.

Fans can expect a fierce battle for the overall lead. Four-time defending champion Travis Pastrana of Subaru Rally Team USA comes to the 100 Acre Wood Rally as the overall National points leader after winning the Sno*Drift Rally last month in Atlanta, Michigan.

However, Travis Pastrana faces a significant hurdle against Monster World Rally Team driver, Ken Block, who has won this rally four years in a row! Block signed with the Monster World Rally Team earlier this year and is campaigning a 2011 Ford Fiesta. This will be the first time he will drive the Fiesta at the 100 Acre Wood as he seeks to extend his Missouri win totals and land valuable points early in the season.

Block has said he loves the rhythm of the roads in southern Missouri and many in the rally community are anxious to see him bring his new Ford Fiesta into the 100 Acre Wood.

Block and co-driver Alex Gelsomino did not finish the Sno*Drift Rally after a mechanical failure took the team out on the first day. Block needs points to contend for the Rally America National Championship. The national calendar features six rally events and competitors cannot drop an event result. Last year teams could choose to drop two event results from the nine national events offered.

Adding to the drama in this event, the Subaru and Ford manufacturers will face a battle from the Mitsubishi powered teams of Antoine L’Estage, Bill Bacon, and Andrew Comrie-Picard, all capable of points paying finishes on the podium. They are currently ranked second through fourth, respectively, in the Rally America points standings and are always a threat to unseat the favorites. L’Estage is a former Canadian rally champion. Comrie-Picard is the current North American Rally Champion. Bacon finished on the podium at Sno*Drift.
In the Super Production Class, Travis Hanson from Littleton, NH, is seeking to extend his lead over Chicago, IL resident, Piotr Wiktorczyk, and the 2009 Rally America Super Production champion Jimmy Keeney. All are previous X Games competitors and are locked in an extreme battle to take over the Super Production Class lead.

The 2 Wheel Drive Class will see particularly interesting action as New England favorite, Chris Duplessis, seeks to dominate another rally in his 1990 Volkswagen GTI and continue to challenge last year’s 2 Wheel Drive Champion Dillon Van Way driving his plaid covered Ford Focus. Duplessis is particularly noteworthy in that he consistently places in the overall top 10 in a 20 year old VW against much newer and more powerful rally cars.

The 100 Acre Wood rally is known as one of the most scenic rallies on the Rally America calendar. It’s set in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains and named after the story book home of Winnie the Pooh. It is home to some of the best rally roads in North America.

Fans will have a chance to meet the drivers and see the cars close up at the Parc Exposes to be held at the City Park in Steelville on Friday, February 26th, and on 4th Street & Main St. in downtown Salem on Saturday, February 27th.

Saturday will also feature a spectator friendly Super Special Stage at Potosi Lions’ Park. Super Special Stages is a great way to watch an entire competition stage from start to finish from a single vantage point. Prior to the Super Special fans will again get a chance to meet drivers and take pictures of cars at the Potosi Parc Expose.

Event schedules, team entries, and a spectator guide complete with driving directions can be located at: http://rally-america.com/events/2010/100AW/

Top teams in the series are also invited to compete in the Summer X Games 16 Rally Car Racing event, the leading action sports event broadcast live on ABC and ESPN.

About Rally America, Inc.:
Based in Golden Valley, Minn., Rally America sanctions the premier rally racing series in the United States, the Rally America National Championship Series. In 2010, Rally America will conduct six National Championship events at venues across the country, from Olympia, Wash., to Bethel, Maine. Rally America competitors reach speeds well over 100 mph in modified street cars on natural-terrain courses of gravel, dirt or snow. In the Fall of 2010, Rally America will also introduce European-style wheel-to-wheel rally cross to North America. For more information regarding Rally America, Inc., the 2010 Rally America National Rally Championship or the new European-style rally cross events taking place at the New Jersey Motor Sports Park in the fall of 2010, please visit www.rally-america.com.

Photo Credits: Lorne Trezise/Rally America

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