Weather Included Almost Every Possibility

Celsus “Charlie” Donnelly and Brian McNamara (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) took home the top award for Rally New York USA, the second round of the U.S. Rally Championship. This was the second victory in this event for Donnelly, who also won three years ago, but the first for new teammate McNamara.

Early in the rally, the top of the leader board was crowded with Mitsubishi Lancers. But earlier today two of the fastest, the cars of Tom Lawless/Kristin Przybysz and Martin Donnelly/Colin Fitzgerald, succumbed to engine problems. This was said by the teams to be the result of sustained running at maximum revolutions on the event’s long straights.

Cyril Kearney/Mark McAlister (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) placed second, 3-3/4 minutes behind the winners. They reported few problems, apart from a need to replace the brake pads during a service break on the second day. Third place went to William Petrow/Jeremy Neyhart (Subaru Impreza)

Matt Gottlieb/Austin Gager (Subaru Impreza WRX), now in their second full year of rallying, took the class for Production All-Wheel-Drive cars, and placed fourth overall. They were well ahead of class rivals Michael Cosgrove/John O’Reilly (Mitsubishi Eclipse).

There was no surprise in the result of the two-wheel-drive category: this was the only all-pavement national in North America, and the winners were Thomas Greer/Robert DellaRocco (Volkswagen Golf GT- also fifth overall), who admit that they are pavement specialists. They were followed to the flag by novice rally competitors Matthew Mathias/Tim Oliver (Ford Focus ZX3), who admitted to one, brief off-road excursion. Erika Detota/Jason Smith (Subaru Impreza) placed third, battling a transmission which was jumping out of third gear and a broken exhaust manifold.

Rally New York USA was conducted in the Catskill Mountain region of southern New York State. Over the two days, competitors encountered a variety of conditions, from temperatures in the 60s (Fahrenheit) and partly sunny, down to 40s with intermittent rain, sleet, and snow. This provided a lengthy guessing game to drivers and mechanics who were trying to adapt driving techniques and car set-ups to the changing conditions.

The two rallies-within-the-rally for the regional New York Rally Championship went to Celsus Donnelly/Brian McNamara, with Martin Donnelly/Colin Fitzgerald (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo) finishing as runner-up in the first event and William Petrow/Jeremy Neyhart in the other.

The next eastern round of the U.S. Rally Championship, in the same area but on dirt and gravel roads, will be International Rally New York on September 10-11.



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