Reigning American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National Champion Barry McKenna will make US rallying history this weekend when he starts the 100 Acre Wood Rally in the latest generation of World Rally Car.
McKenna, who will be co-driven by Leon Jordan, has acquired a Ford Fiesta WRC and in doing so becomes the first driver ever to pilot such a machine in the ARA.
Very few drivers out-with the World Rally Championship have ever driven the latest spec of WRC car, and McKenna is part of an even more exclusive club in actually owning the car.
The current generation of World Rally Car made its debut in rallying’s top-tier in 2017 and produces upwards of 380hp and is around 25kg lighter than the previous 1.6-liter versions used in the 2011-2016 ruleset.
McKenna secured the ARA National title last year, driving a Ford Fiesta with a WRC engine, after finishing second to Subaru Motorsports USA driver Brandon Semenuk. McKenna had earlier made the switch to Ford power after driving most of the season in a Škoda Fabia R5+.
The Irishman has minimal experience with the new machine but did get some mileage in on the pre-event shakedown on Wednesday.
He will attempt to win the 100 Acre Wood Rally for a second time having won when the event last ran in 2019 and will be up against Subaru Motorsports USA drivers Travis Pastrana and Semenuk as well as the returning Ken Block – who drives McKenna’s Fabia R5+ – for victory.
The rally starts tomorrow with six stages before a further eight on Saturday.