After just one stage in almost eight hours, Barry McKenna has since consolidated his lead of the Southern Ohio Forest Rally with three stage wins once action got underway again on Saturday.
Round four of the 2021 American Rally Association presented by DirtFish National season has been heavily delayed due to communication issues, with five stages canceled and forcing the rally organizer into altering the itinerary to include just three-stage routes on Saturday instead of the planned six-stage map.
Reigning ARA National Champion McKenna won SS6, the only stage that ran on Saturday prior to this loop, to grab the rally lead from Subaru Motorsports USA’s Brandon Semenuk.
The Ford Fiesta WRC pilot had 11.9s seconds in hand over Semenuk before SS10 but now leads by 26.4s after SS12 as Semenuk, in turn, edged further clear of team-mate Travis Pastrana.
Pastrana is in no man’s land in third position after a difficult first few stages, but he did beat Semenuk on SS10 and lost out to him on SS11 by just 0.1s.
However, barring some extraordinary circumstances on the final three stages, his run of successive ARA victories looks set to come to an end.
John Coyne is now up to fourth in his Ford Fiesta Rally2 as Ryan Booth, who had been showing strong pace in his Škoda, crashed out on SS12.
Gary Donogue is also now up to fifth but he’s being chased hard by Will Graham’s similar Mitsubishi Evo. Two-wheel-drive class leader Seamus Burke, Mark Piatkowski, Arek Bialobrzeski and Ele Bardha complete the top 10.
Ken Block, who’s over 17 minutes down after crashing on Friday evening, was fourth quickest on SS10 and 11 and third-fastest on SS12 to complete another loop under Super Rally rules.
1 Barry McKenna/Leon Jordan (Ford) 11m33.7s
2 Brandon Semenuk/John Hall (Subaru) +4.4s
3 Ken Block/Alex Gelsomino (Subaru) +7.4s
4 Travis Pastrana/Rhianon Gelsomino (Subaru) +20.9s
5 Will Graham/Cameron Carr (Mitsubishi) +1m25.3s
6 Gary Donoghue/Kieran McElhinney (Mitsubishi) +1m33.6s
Leading positions after SS12
1 McKenna/Jordan (Ford) 51m38.5s
2 Semenuk/Hall (Subaru) +26.4s
3 Pastrana/R Gelsomino (Subaru) +2m02.8s
4 John Coyne/Nick Dobbs (Ford) +7m23.4s
5 Donoghue/McElhinney (Mitsubishi) +8m03.9s
6 Graham/Carr (Mitsubishi) +8m31.8s
7 Seamus Burke/Martin Brady (Ford) +9m09.1s
8 Mark Piatkowski/Aaron Crescenti (Subaru) +9m34.8s
9 Arek Bialobrzeski/Aris Mantopoulos (Subaru) +9m53.6s
10 Ele Bardha/Corrina Roshea (Subaru) +10m02.3s