The best of the Midwest’s Group 2 teams met in Duquette, Minnesota for Rounds 5 and 6 of Rally America’s Central Regional Rally Championship. The nine G2 teams starting the rally included seasoned veterans and newcomers to the sport, making up over three quarters of the field. Four stages were on a section of the Nemadji Truck Trail, which snakes its way 8.6 miles deep into the state forest. The stages were run in a twin-sprint format, where each pass out and back were scored as a separate race with a brief service break between each rally.

Overnight snow made for slick conditions for Nemadji 1A – the first run through the stages. Chad Eixenberger and Christopher Gordon in their GTI held a 15 second lead over Matt and Silas Himes’ Honda after stage 1. Jim Scray and Colin Vickman were lurking in third place less than five seconds behind in their Datsun 510. Despite a rear brake failure late in the first stage, Eixenberger held on to take top honors in G2, second place overall. Matt Himes didn’t make up any time on Eixenberger’s GTI, but stayed ahead of the charging Datsun to keep second place.

After a 30 minute service at the Duquette General Store, the cars headed back to the forest for a second sprint through the stages. Silas Himes took over driving duties in the Team 535 Honda Civic for Nemadji 1B and held an 8 second lead over Eixenberger and Gordon’s VW after stage 1. With badly worn tires Jim Scray slipped to fourth place less than a second behind Mark and John Huebbe’s historic class VW Beetle. On the final stage Silas Himes pressed on with a blown head gasket to set the fastest stage time of the day and take 1st place in G2, second place overall. Chad Eixenberger drove to a solid second place 18 seconds behind. Taking advantage of the drying conditions Mark Huebbe pulled away from Jim Scray to take third place in the Beetle.

Derek McCorison and Paul Johansen took the top rookie honors in their V6 powered Hyundai Tiburon, finishing 5th in G2, 8th overall.

The results today moved Mark Huebbe into third place in the driver’s points championship, but don’t change much at the top as Chris Greenhouse maintains his lead. Andrew Bushore stayed on top in the navigator’s championship, but John Huebbe and Christopher Gordon moved into second and third in the points chase.

The Central Region Rally Championship continues on Memorial Day weekend with Rounds 7 and 8 at the Gravity Park Rally, another twin-sprint rally outside of Chilton, Wisconsin.


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