Is there more to come from ARA’s new double champion?

Brandon Semenuk is on an absolute roll, but he feels the best is yet to come


Recently crowned American champion Brandon Semenuk has told DirtFish there’s more to come from him on the stages in the coming years.

The Canadian won last week’s New England Forest Rally to ensure a clean sweep of this year’s Green APU American Rally Association events.

Semenuk is expected to remain with Subaru Motorsports USA into next season, when he will chase a third straight title.

The Red Bull-backed driver said: “This year’s achievement is much different from last year. Last year felt like [I was] in an interesting position with the team – there was some uncertainty that I would do all the rallies and, in the end, it became a two-horse race. It was an awesome battle.


“This year has been a bit different. In 100 Acre [Wood] we had one of the best battles ever against Barry [McKenna], but this season has been more of a testament to the team, how good the team is and how reliable the car is.

“There’s always some sort of drama in rallying, but we’ve managed – so far – to stay relatively drama-free. In terms of the driving, I feel I’ve improved through from last year, but I still think there’s room to grow both in terms of being a driver and in the experience I have at this level of the sport.”

Semenuk and co-driver Keaton Williams were crowned under the most emotional circumstances following the passing of Erin Kelly who had been competing alongside TJ Pullen.

Asked for his thoughts on the cancellation of the second day’s competition out of Sunday River, the champion respected the thoughts and wishes of all competing.

“There’s such an amazing community in the northeast,” he said. “This is a strong rally that people go out and support. It couldn’t have been a more tragic end with Erin’s passing.

“From my experience of people passing in the mountain bike world, people react in different ways and there’s no right or wrong here: some people want to get back on the horse and do what that person loved doing. But, at the same time, it can be hard to get the headspace right and if you’re not driving in that frame of mind, then that can be dangerous.

“The majority of the competitors didn’t feel they were in that headspace and they didn’t want to continue. In that case, the organizers’ decision was probably the best call.”