Ford Fiesta drivers finally broke the stranglehold that Scion Racing Rally xD’s Andrew Comrie-Picard and Jeremy Wimpey held in the Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) category this season by taking two 2WD podium spots.
Australian newcomers Brendan Reeves and Rhianon Smyth impressed by driving their 2012 Ford Fiesta R2 to a 5th overall placement and winning the 2WD category in their first American race. Reeves and Smyth’s have previous WRC Academy experience and proved that 2WD drivetrains can crack the top five amidst other cars with twice the horsepower.
“What an amazing feeling it is to come to America for the first time and win the class convincingly,” Reeves said. “We had a trouble-free run thanks to Team O’Neil and the effort they put in. The Ford Fiesta was brilliant even on today’s blindingly fast stages, and Rhianon did a great job calling the notes.”
Fellow Ford Fiesta drivers Dillon Van Way and Andrew Edwards drove a relatively problem free race and held third place for much of the event until Comrie-Picard experienced overheating issues on the last stage. Comrie-Picard lost significant power and ceded second place to Van Way. The Scion team had to be towed into the final controls by three different teams to finish the event and take third place in class.
Van Way and Edwards now have two second place finishes this year and Comrie-Picard’s third place finish helps to keep his 2WD points lead in the standings. Notably, Edward McNelly and Ole Holter was not able to finish the Oregon Trail Rally when they went off-course on stage 5.
The Oregon Trail Rally saw the largest entries of the year with 74 cars. Due to the fast and rough stages 31 cars were not able to finish the event, though some were able to reenter using SuperRally rules in national competition and some teams reentered for the following regional rally.