Following the trend from last year, the American Rally Association presented by DirtFish’s Limited and Naturally Aspirated 4WD National Championship is heating up massively in the wake of the New England Forest Rally.
While last year Ele Bardha and Mark Piatkowski battled each other for the title, this year’s top competitors were expected to be Dylan Murcott, Phill Wearn, and Dave Carapetyan, as they entered into the final third of the season.
That said, the LN4 Championship had an unexpected, and very welcomed competitor join the title fight at the last minute after a maximum points run on the high-speed, high-attrition stages of New England.
We’ll be taking a look at many of the big LN4 players in the ARA as we reach make-it or break-it time. In the meantime, we’re starting with the one very few saw coming until last weekend: Klim Fedoff.
While Fedoff has been around rally for quite a while, and has even been at NEFR for the last 20 years, it was a slow progression to get to the point he’s at now.
“I didn’t start driving rally until around 2014,” Fedoff told DirtFish. “Before that, I was attending and helping my team RKT Motorsports in servicing for years and they taught me a lot about the sport.”
You may recognize the name RKT Motorsports as being behind many of the LN4 Mitsubishi rally cars in the US, driven by the likes of Gary Donoghue, Eamon Fallon, and Will Graham, as well as the Fiesta Proto car most recently campaigned by Pat Brennan.
Fedoff sends out a huge thank you to everyone at the shop, and specifically Greg and Konstantin Roumiantsev for the help he has received from them over the years.
RKT started building Fedoff’s car, and he took it here and there for a couple of outings as he was able.
“I’ve done a few events, starting with Rally of the Tall Pines in Canada in 2014 and some local NASA Rally Sport events like Empire State Performance Rally for the most part. I’ve also done a bunch of hill climbs and some local rallycrosses to get used to the car.”
Of course, like many who want to rally in the US, it wasn’t feasible to jump right in to the deep end, and Fedoff had to balance rallying and the other parts of his life.
“Budgetary and time constraints kept me away from doing anything consistently and on a larger scale. Then I started a business in 2016 and that took me out of any competition for years.
“I started to poke around again with NASA local events in 2020 and 2021, but I finally decided to run ARA events in 2022, starting with 100AW.
“I placed third in class in that one and had times that were close to 2nd place, including winning the powerstage!”
While 100AW was all around a huge success, Fedoff’s attempt at Southern Ohio Forest Rally was a “mixed result”.
We’re going to have to give it some serious thought because we could get the championship if all goes well.Klim Fedoff
“We had a very small mistake that caused us to get stuck, but we were able to finish the rally and gain some points,” he added.
While talking to Fedoff at NEFR, DirtFish started to pose the question of if a championship run was in the cards, seeing as a good finish at the event would land him in the top three overall after Murcott’s unfortunate issues and Texas Dave’s withdrawal from the event due to car problems.
“We’re toward the top of the points so we’re going to have to go further out than Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally,” he said. “We’re going to have to give it some serious thought because we could get the championship if all goes well.”
Thankfully a day later, Fedoff showed up in the 57th entry list for the Ojibwe Forests Rally, the next round of the championship, and an email came in from Fedoff that included the line, “to answer your earlier question, we are definitely going for the championship and planning to be at Ojibwe next!”
While placing your bets on a late entry might be a risk, Fedoff has won the powerstage at every round he has competed at this year for his class, and has been showing very promising pace on stages that he has never rallied before. He’s not one to be counted out.
In an already tight battle for the LN4 championship, Fedoff has snuck his way in and put himself in a prime position for an upset victory.