Semenuk narrowly beats McKenna to 100AW victory

The fight for the win went down to the wire as Semenuk prevailed out in front


Brandon Semenuk has won the Green APU American Rally Association 100 Acre Wood Rally after a close battle with Barry McKenna.

The fight between the pair lasted the entire rally, and the final Deep Ford stage decided the victor, with Semenuk coming out on top by 6.9 seconds.

Subaru’s Semenuk took the lead of the rally early on, claiming stage victories on the opening two stages, but McKenna then responded on the third test, reducing Semenuk’s lead by a tenth.

The following stage was where McKenna made a real dent though, completing the Floyd Tower East Short test 3.7s faster than Semenuk, bringing the lead down to just half a second.

Semenuk then responded on the fifth stage to extend his lead to 4.6s, and by SS10 he’d increased his lead to 13.3s. But McKenna won the next two stages, to bring Semenuk’s advantage back down to just 2.8s.

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McKenna won again on SS13, this time beating Semenuk by 8.3s, propelling McKenna into the rally lead, one he extended to 6.9s on SS14.

But on SS15 Semenuk came back fighting in style, hurtling through Elders Crooked Truck 17.7s faster than McKenna to reclaim the lead.

From there Semenuk never looked back, and although McKenna won the final stage, it wasn’t enough to prevent Semenuk winning his second consecutive event this year.

The rest of the field were some way behind the leading pair, and it was Tom Williams who was running third for most of the rally. However, his engine let go on him on the penultimate test, plunging him into retirement, meaning Patrick Gruszka rounded out the top three, although he was over eight minutes down on Semenuk at the end of the rally.

Michah Nickelson ended the rally in fourth, with Matthew Dickinson in fifth, while Lia Block finished her first rally of the season ninth overall.