Tighten the belts and hold on! Round 4 of the Rally America Championship, is about to go full throttle. Teams from across North America have begun arriving in Portland to contest the Oregon Trail Rally, May 14-16. The Oregon Trail Rally is a 3 day extreme motorsport event that tests driver’s skill and vehicle reliability to the limit. Competitors will face the challenge of northwest Oregon gravel roads over a course that is 115 miles in length.

With 65 entries registered for the event, this is expected to be one of the most spectacular events organized by the local Oregon Rally Group. “It’s great to have the Rally Championship return to Oregon for the eleventh straight year”, commented event chairman, Matt Tabor. “The organizing team has worked hard over the past year to add some new spectator locations and new competition stages to this year’s event. We feel confident that this will be an exciting event for spectators and competitors alike.”

Current Rally America Championship point’s leader, Antoine L’Estage in the Rock Star Mitsubishi Evo X can expect stiff competition from the top National and Local drivers at this weekend’s event. Subaru Rally Team USA driver and X Games BMX legend, Dave Mira, will be pushing hard after his podium finish at last month’s Olympus Rally. YouTube Gymkhana driving legend Ken Block will bring his new Monster World Rally Team 2010 Ford Fiesta to Oregon for the first time and will be aiming for a win. Multi-disciplined driver, Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard, will return in his NOS Energy Drink Mitsubishi Lancer Evo thrilling the crowds with his driving style. Not to be out shone by the more powerfully 4WD cars, current Group 2 (2WD) class point leader Christopher Duplessis will debut a new Scion XD rally car at the Oregon Trail Rally.

Local competitors to watch include Doug Heredos in his newly built Subaru WRX driving for Open Class honors, the mother daughter team of Janice and Kristen Tabor in their Acura RSX and Glen Wallace in his beautifully prepared 1967 Ford Cortina.

Prior to the start of competition on Friday evening at Portland International Raceway, there are a number of fan events planned in the Portland/Vancouver area.
* Early Thursday morning look for local and national rally competitors to appear on the KGW Northwest News Channel 8 morning show from 5 -7 am with Drew Carney.
* Oregon Trail Rally Fan Appreciation Show on Thursday from 11 am – 1 pm in Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland.
* Subaru Rally Team USA driver Dave Mirra will sign autographs and shows his rally car on Thursday from 6:00 – 7:30 pm at Dick Hannah in the Vancouver Auto Mall.
* Monster World Rally Team driver Ken Block and his Ford Fiesta will appear on Thursday from 6 – 8 pm at Courtesy Ford on 122nd Ave in Portland.

The Friday Fan Spectacular at Portland International Raceway (PIR) begins at 6 pm with a Parc Expose (car display) where fans can view the competition cars up close and talk with the drivers. It is followed by a series of timed competitive special stages specifically designed for spectator viewing.

Saturday morning starts with another Parc Expose at 10 am in The Dalles (2600 W. 6th St., immediately off of I-84 exit 83). At 11 am the cars will leave at one minute intervals and head out to the forest stages which includes the spectator favorite at Fir Mountain. Rally fans in Oregon are familiar with this Hood River site, and 1000 fans packed the hillside last year. Special parking and shuttles are being implemented this year so that fans don’t have to hike a mile to the spectator location. Oregon Trail Rally sponsor, Dick Hannah Subaru, is graciously providing free hot dogs to fans at spectator locations over the weekend.

After a service stop back in The Dalles the show moves out to the Dufur area (15 miles south of The Dalles). A rally car service area will be set up in the City Park, with spectating venues nearby. At the service areas, teams refuel and make necessary repairs to their cars. The service areas are open to the public and are similar to being in the pits at a circuit track race. Take a walk through the service area and you will see the mechanics work on the cars under time restrictions. The top teams can change a transmission and get a car back on the road within 20 minutes.

Saturday’s action concludes in downtown Dufur at 7:30 pm with a “Rally Street Party & Barbeque” in the city park open to all rally fans.

On Sunday, teams return to Dufur, with breakfast at the high school on Court St. from 7:30 to 10:30 am, which will benefit the Dufur Schools Activity Fund. The breakfast is open to the public to come meet the rally teams and enjoy a warm morning meal, while raising money for a great cause. The motorsport action continues around the Dufur area all day, with the champions taking the podium on Dufur’s Main Street around 4 pm.

Spectator Information:

Detailed spectator information, including viewing locations and times, is now available on the events web site http://www.OregonTrailRally.com.

Attached: Carl Jardevall powers along the service roads at Portland International Raceway.
Image (c) Aaron Kathman



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