Ken Block is in control of the second round of the 2022 American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National championship, the 100 Acre Wood Rally, blasting into a half-minute lead at the end of the first day.
Driving his new Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC, Block had trailed reigning ARA champion Travis Pastrana by 0.2 seconds after the first loop of stages, but three dominant stage wins across the second pass have allowed the Hoonigan Racing Division boss to establish a 30.7s lead over Subaru’s Brandon Semenuk.
While Block aced it and looks well on course to extend his record of 100AW victories from seven to eight, erstwhile leader Pastrana experienced a troubled loop.
The damage to Pastrana’s rally was done on Pigeon Roost East where he lost over a minute to Block with a puncture, but he struggled to run at the required pace on the other stages and has slipped to fourth overall. That puts him 10.6s behind Barry McKenna’s Ford Fiesta WRC.
McKenna was another one to lose time on Pigeon Roost East with a puncture – dropping 49.5s to stage winner Block – but can be relatively happy with third overall given he hasn’t competed for eight months.
It is extremely tight in the battle for RC2 class honors as Tom Williams and Johnny O’Sullivan are split by just 0.2s in their Fiesta Rally2 and R5 respectively.
Williams had initially been fending off the advances of Sno*Drift winner and ARA National championship leader Mark Piatkowski – who’s driving Kyle Tilley’s R5 as Tilley is competing in the 12 Hours of Sebring circuit race – but Piatkowski was yet another to drop time on SS5, falling to ninth after a spin and suffering “zero confidence” in the tricky conditions.
O’Sullivan profited superbly with a strong third-fastest time on the fearsome Pigeon Roost East, and by beating Williams again on SS6 he closed right up to the former Junior World Rally Championship driver.
Enda McCormack is over a minute further back in his Hyundai i20 R5, 16.7s up on Dave Carapetryan’s Subaru in seventh and eighth overall. Pat Moro rounds out the top 10 in his distinctive Chevrolet Sonic.
Zachary Jacques leads the ARA Regional classification after day one, 46.1s up on fellow Subaru driver Jimmy Pelizzari.
1 Ken Block/Alex Gelsomino (Hyundai) 3m00.5s
2 Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan (Ford) +8.6s
3 Brandon Semenuk/Keaton Williams (Subaru) +9.7s
4 Travis Pastrana/Rhianon Gelsomino (Subaru) +11.0s
5 Johnny O’Sullivan/Kenneth Quirke (Ford) +18.6s
6 Tom Williams/Ross Whittock (Ford) +24.4s
7 Zachary Jacques/Ronald Jacques (Subaru) +29.7s
8 Dave Carapetyan/Danny Norkus (Subaru) +30.9s
9 Enda McCormack/Liam McCormack (Hyundai) +31.6s
10 Jimmy Pelizzari/Sara Kate Stevens (Subaru) +36.9s
Leading positions after SS6
1 Block/Gelsomino (Hyundai) 32m06.1s
2 Semenuk/Williams (Subaru) +30.7s
3 McKenna/Jordan (Ford) +1m12.8s
4 Pastrana/Gelsomino (Subaru) +1m23.4s
5 Williams/Whittock (Ford) +3m53.1s
6 O’Sullivan/Quirke (Ford) +3m53.3s
7 McCormack/McCormack (Hyundai) +5m11.9s
8 Carapetyan/ Norkus (Subaru) +5m28.6s
9 Piatkowski/Hall (Ford) +5m36.5s
10 Patrick Moro/Ole Holter (Chevrolet) +5m43.9s