ARA National champion Barry McKenna’s eight-minute penalty on last weekend’s Show-Me Rally has been rescinded, reinstating him back in the second place he had earned on the road after nine special stages.
McKenna won his first ARA National title in Missouri despite losing the rally win to Subaru Motorsports USA Brandon Semenuk who was his closest title challenger. The Ford Fiesta WRC only needed a top five finish on the Show-Me Rally to guarantee his title.
But McKenna came close to having to wait until Olympus Rally to claim the title after dropping to fourth place – behind Travis Pastrana and Patrick Brennan – when he received a 7m59s penalty for allegedly breaching Article 4.1.11 of the ARA technical regulations.
That particular regulation relating to turbochargers and exhaust gases had been clarified ahead of the previous ARA round – the Ojibwe Forests Rally – after a competitor inquired about the legality of fresh air valves that were being used on some turbocharges in the service park.
In Ojibwe, ARA organizers clarified the rule to those teams in question and allowed them sufficient time to make their cars compliant ahead of the rally in August. ARA had intended to issue a bulletin to all affected competitors clarifying the rule so that all teams could ensure they were in compliance.
However, McKenna Motorsport’s protest made clear this bulletin had not been issued, and therefore the rule interpretation was still unclear while the team added in a post on Facebook that the turbo fitted to McKenna’s Fiesta WRC was an FIA-homologated part.
The ARA therefore ruled in favor of the protest to reinstate McKenna’s second position on Show-Me Rally – extending McKenna’s 2020 record to four consecutive podiums in the series.
It also demotes Pastrana back down to third – a position he was consigned to after dropping close to a minute with a double puncture on the rally’s first afternoon.
DirtFish has contacted ARA for a response.