Semenuk starts Oregon Trail Rally with two stage wins

The Subaru star was fastest on both passes of Friday evening's rally-starting super special


Subaru Motorsports USA’s Brandon Semenuk leads the Oregon Trail Rally after the opening two stages on Friday evening.

The American Rally Association points leader was fastest on the first and second passes of the Founders Olmstead, Moore, Nagle super special, and has already built a huge lead. On the first run he was fastest by 13.8 seconds over Sam Albert, driving his Ferrar-engined Subaru, with a gap of a further four seconds to Jeff Seehorn who like Semenuk was driving a 2021-spec Subaru WRX STI.

However it was actually top ARA Regional runner Andy Miller who was third fastest through the stage, 16.7s off Semenuk’s pace in his 2005 Subaru Impreza STi N12. It was the Regional drivers who went in first on both passes, meaning they swept the stage for the National runners.

The alternation between gravel and Tarmac (and even grass) split tire choice between racing slicks and gravel tires, and the initial feedback on SS1 was that the 3.68-mile test was slippery. There was also an issue with dust as drivers caught up mid-stage with those who had been just in front of them in the running order.


An example of a non-gravel tire in use

Sadly not able to make it through was DirtFish crew Sean Edwards and Kendra Miller who came to a stop with a mechanical problem in their 1984 Volvo 242.

The sun was setting when the second pass begun, and so there was an array of different lighting setups to marvel at as each driver came to the start-line for SS2.

Semenuk was even more dominant second time through, adding 14.6s to his lead over Albert. Seehorn was 16.2s back in third place, and George Plsek was best of the rest in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX.

Miller was similarly as controlling in the Regional classification, going fourth fastest overall and doubling his lead over Steven Redd to 27.4s.

The second day of the rally consists of four stages that are each repeated on the second loop to make it an eight-stage day.


The setting sun

Results after SS2

1 Brandon Semenuk/Keaton Williams (Subaru) 7m09.3s
2 Sam Albert/Krista Skucas (Subaru) +28.4s
3 Jeff Seehorn/Aris Mantopoulos (Subaru) +34.0s
4 Andy Miller/Shaun Tracy (Subaru) +35.6s
5 Jason Bailey/Shayne Peterson (Ford) +40.5s
6 George Plsek/Danny Persein (Mitsubishi) +42.0s
7 Jacob Despain/Michael Despain (Subaru) +53.3s
8 Javier Olivares/KJ Miller (Ford) +55.3s
9 Lucy Block/Alessandro Gelsomino (Ford) +56.3s
10 Matthew Dickinson/Chris Kremer (Subaru) +1m02.6s