Gruszka’s push for ARA silver delayed

Patrick Gruszka and Lia Block will both compete in Nitrocross instead of the Ojibwe Forests Rally in ARA


Second place in the Green APU American Rally Association will have to wait a while for Patrick Guszka following his decision to withdraw from this month’s Ojibwe Forests Rally.

The Chicago-based driver’s Hyundai i20 R5 is undergoing a mid-season rebuild and that, combined with a Nitrocross NEXT debut in Utah for the 20-year-old, complicates an entry on the penultimate ARA round.

Gruszka’s not the only familiar face missing from Ojibwe, with Block House Racing pair Lia and Lucy Block also absent. Lia is competing alongside Gruszka in Salt Lake City.

“It’s a shame,” Gruszka told DirtFish. “This is a really busy time right now. I’m driving a safety car in a Porsche Cup event at Road America next weekend, then we have Nitrocross and we have the rebuild going on with the car.

“Ojibwe’s a great event and one of my favorites, but we can’t make it work. I wish everybody all the best and we’ll be back to ARA trying to secure second place in the championship at LSPR [in October].

“Nitrocross will be interesting – it’s my first time ever in rallycross.”

ARA podium finisher on three rounds this season, Gruszka will get more Hyundai seat time ahead of the Michigan finale at the Boone Forest Rally in Kentucky next month.

“I’m really looking forward to that event,” he said. “The roads down there look amazing with a bit of everything, some really wide, fast and flowing stuff and some much tighter technical places. It’s a good place to get back into the car before LSPR.

“I want to finish the year well with LSPR, there’s a bit of a vendetta with that event after not finishing last season.”