Dramatic fire takes Pastrana out early on ARA return

Travis Pastrana's Subaru is destroyed in blaze on Southern Ohio Forest Rally

Travis Pastrana

Travis Pastrana’s American Rally Association National series return at the Southern Ohio Forest Rally ended dramatically on the second stage after his Subaru WRX STI burst into flames.

The five-time US rally champion safely got through the opening Top Gun South I stage on Saturday evening – although currently his time on the stage is uncertain owing to signal issues for a few competitors – before a mechanical issue forced him to stop by the side of the road. From there, a fire consumed his car completely.

Pastrana and co-driver Chrissie Beavis, filling in for Robbie Durant this weekend, got out of the car before the fire fully took hold and are both reported to be OK.

Pastrana’s Subaru team-mates Brandon Semenuk and John Hall, competing in their first event for the factory team, officially finished the opening stage in fourth behind first-on-the-road Barry McKenna and Leon Jordan, and Joseph Burke and Rihannon Gelsomino. They were a second behind Ken Block and Alex Gelsomino, who are also making their first US start of the year.

Semenuk was third-fastest on the second stage, 39s adrift of stage winner McKenna and 17s adrift of second-placed Block, but 13s ahead of Burke and 21s ahead of McKenna.

That leaves McKenna and Burke sharing the lead at present, with Block right on their tails.

Times and standings are subject to change once official log sheets are in later on.